- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Underwood Books (October 29, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1887424458
- ISBN-13: 978-1887424455
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spectrum 1: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (No. 1) Paperback – October 29, 2003
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Top customer reviews
I was nothing less then shocked, when i saw the "cutting edge" 3d computer pictures (that should be jaw dropping), compared to 2015s 3d modells. All that aside, you can notice the change and shift in every aspect of art with digital tools advancing and media spread of animation and fantasy- Sci fi themes and topics. The pictures clearly feel outdated compared to the refined fantas and sci fi art of 2010+
My personal suggestion is to buy Spectrum 15+ if you want amazing and inspirational pictures.
Dont get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the art in it, the artists are extremely talented and known even now, they are just made in another era with older tools and mindset.
As with all art books, it should be pointed out that there will be some depictions of nudity, violence, or gore. If images that are as graphic as, say, a Frank Frazetta painting of Conan bother you, then be advised. I don't find anything truly horrifying or awful to look at and quite the opposite I find moments of sheer beauty, as you can see from the colorful example by James Gurney on the cover.
For those who love the fantastic and can appreciate art, the Spectrum books are an enjoyable collection, and I'm glad that the many artists who put in effort every year on things like book covers, games, and statues can get some recognition for their work.
In some ways, it's very familiar Perennial names, like Charles Vess, Michael Kaluta, John Bolton, and Brom (back when he used a first name, also) appear here, along with rising and unfamiliar names in every genre. Although the level of skill is as good as any, a few things look dated - remember when Dinotopia was new? This comes from that era. And, in some ways, this foreshadows what the series would become. For example, later editions list the title of each piece - an omission I found odd for any art anthology.
One might argue that later editions of Spectrum feature better art - but one could also argue that Spectrum itself, by highlighting and publicizing the form, helped encourage those improvements. In an case, the first is as worthy a member of the series as this year's, the twentieth - and I look forward to many more in coming years.
The first few Spectrums, however, pale in comparision. The pictures are small, often with several crammed onto the same page, and the art itself is a confused collection of random types of art, which is great at showcasing all that's out there, doesn't really maintain an over-arching theme.
Maybe that's not fair to these first few books, but if you are looking to buy a book with dazzling fantasy/horror/sci-fi pictures, try the later books in this series.
On the whole I think people who are into the art on covers of books, etc. will enjoy this work. I did dock one point because I though that there wasn't a real correlation between the quality of the art and the space it was given though. Maybe later issues are better? I haven't seen them yet.