- Series: Thor
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Marvel; First Edition edition (May 4, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785151303
- ISBN-13: 978-0785151302
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1 x 11.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Thor: The Art of Thor the Movie Hardcover – May 4, 2011
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If you haven't watch the movie, the spoilers in the book will come in the form of characters that aren't shown in the trailers. There are lots of designs for the characters, namely Thor, Odin, Loki, Destroyer, enemies and other lesser characters. Each character has several costume variations. The armor and especially the helmets are very beautifully designed. The costumes designs are done really well. Designs for the Destroyer is very cool.
The environment art are on Asgard and its various places like Odin's chamber, palace ground, Heimdall's Observatory, Jotunheim and also the sets on Earth. They aren't digitally painted - touched up definitely - and have a very CGI look with the photo textures. The concepts and design are great, you get the feeling that Asgard is a beautiful place but somehow the style of the art just doesn't bring that out.
The rest of the book have other stuff like designs for the hammer, Odin's horse, photos of the props and actors, movie posters etc. Most of the art are accompanied by commentary providing interesting background information, like why they create runes on the hammer and what they are.
The downside of the book is the less than satisfactory resolution of the art included. The image resolution isn't high enough for the large format book. Some of the pictures look pixelated, especially for those that are scaled over 2 pages, typically the background art.
So overall, the character art is great, but the background art and low image resolution don't quite make the mark for me.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Like the movie, this book does not disappoint. It features many concept drawings that show how Kirby's Thor costume and helmet designs went from the 2-D comic book page to the 3-D world of cinema. As most of us know, just because it looks great on paper does not mean that it will look equally great on a live actor. Thor's helmet is an example. On paper, Thor shouldn't be without it, but in the movie one realizes just how much of Thor's face it hides (as a battle helmet should). Wisely, the movie establishes that Thor does indeed wear the helmet, then promptly drops it so we can see the actor act. It is also interesting to see actor Chris Hemsworth posing in various rough-design costumes (everyone knew that the placement of the six discs was critical to audiences accepting the costume) and realize how much he bulked up for the role. The text describing Thor's cape is very informative as capes are notoriously difficult to manage in the real world. Of course very few Marvel superheroes need worry about them, but just ask Superman or Batman!
Of particular interest is the design of Mjolnir, Thor's hammer. Branagh did not feel bound to use Kirby's design and had the art department generate about 200 versions, 27 of which are shown in the book. Then, Branagh went back to basics and used Kirby's original design (which is nowhere near what is depicted in ancient Norse texts) with some small embellishments.
Of course the other characters (along with their costumes and weapons) get similar treatment, but at a lower page count. I would have liked to see more about the Gort-like Destroyer, including a shot of the life-size version. The section about Laufey and the Cask of Ancient Winters are just perfect.
There are many drawing and shots of the sets and other props too. All the pictures are high quality, with good contrast and sharpness. The book paper is obviously glossy and also high quality.
But the book is not perfect. The most annoying feature is the page numbering. One can flip through many pages and not find a page number, then they appear and disappear. The art being depicted determines if a page number is present. Some art is so good that a page number would distract from its beauty. Still, it is annoying to not know where one is in the book.
The other gripe is that Wen's wonderful rendition of Thor battling Loki on the bifrost bridge appears only on the cover. It should have been included as a large foldout.
Bottom line: If you liked the movie, this book is a "must."
Although, the book itself could have used a bit more useful concept art material, for artistic reference, but it is a common thing with many art books.
All in all, it's a good deal.
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