Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Hi readers welcome to the last of my missives for the near future as I take a rest from book selling to visit friends overseas.
I'm going to charge up the batteries so I'm all ready for the run into Christmas and the Angouleme festival in early 2013!
Meanwhile, the force of one who is Adnan will be manning the good ship Pulp's Art!

Gaming takes centre stage in our line up of new releases from the US of A for this week, so please have your fingers and thumbs at the ready.

HC 144pp Color, Black + White
Titan Books
So let me get this straight, in Ubisoft's popular game Assassins Creed descendants of Assassins, the dope loving protojihadists and depicted here as the original hoodies, are the heroes vying against descendants of the Templars for possession of fabulously powerful prehuman artifacts?
And in this third incarnation of the time spanning feud, the action shifts across the Atlantic to 18th century N. America, where our Assassin "hero" is half Mohawk?
(Sorry P.C. watch and Ubisoft but Mohawks weren't the protohippies you want Amerindians to be but one of the most seriously sadistic and murderous tribes to ever make life hell for neighboring indigenous peoples!)
I hear you, "untwist the knickers Nick it's only a game", so who cares if the heroes are an odd choice and the poor Templar's, so badly treated by Philip The Fair and the Inquisition, have yet more ignominy heaped on them?
The main thing here is the visuals for games have moved on, to the point when now game graphics are of a standard to rival those of animated films.
Oh yes, in Assassins Creed III and the newly released Halo 4 you are in beautfully realised settings populated with credible adversaries and allies.
Gone are the days of chunky Lego and Kubrick style characters and environments, you can almost smell who and where you are in these games!
This sumpteous book pays a fitting tribute to the design work of the talents Ubisoft employed to bring this stunning vission to the public.

From the entertainment Titans at Ubisoft to the Mighty Mice of Disney now, who not content with buying Marvel have recently bought themselves the Force. Yes the folks who brought you Gooffy now have the rights to Ja Ja Binks and a Galaxy far far away from me trembles with anticipation for Star Wars Episode 7.
It brings to mind a line from Blake "what immortal hand or eye could frame thy fearful symmetry?"
( Yeah probably some of you find my lack of faith disturbing and are perhaps pinching your fingers together while breathing like a serial smoker, well it isn't working!)
Anyway, what ever my view on fantasy film monopolies, Disney deserve full credit for the visual feast which will be,

HC 160pp Color, Black + White
Chronicle Books
A clutch of Disney's best artists, many involved in the delightful Tangled, were chosen personally by director Rich Moore to work on Disney's latest digitally animated feature, Wreck it Ralph.
Ralph is the principal character in a successful arcade game, in which he determindly wrecks things but he defys his programming and jumps game to prove that he's more than just a pixelated villain.
Ralph's quest across various games, from candy cute to gritty science fiction, allows the art team to go for broke in creating highly original settings and characters, which never the less could be popular mainstays of the gaming industry, as well as having some fun with familair ones.
All the usual stuff you want from an "Art of " book is here, character and environment development art, story boards, color keys, etc. and by top people in the trade.

A twist on the seasonal stories that get dusted off at this time of year as we find out what fan favorite Brom's been doing.

HC 368pp Illustrated Novel with 8 color plates and numerous black + White
Harper Voyager
Brom's previous 3 books have been illustrated novels, Plucker, Devil's Rose and The Child Thief and for fans of the artist's illustrated work it probably seems the images get fewer as the words pile up.
This said his writing is maturing to the extent that he is now considered a fully fledged writer of horrific fantasy and this latest book is garnering great reviews.
So to its story, in rural West Virginia the ancient pagan Yule Lord, Krampus, is on the loose and determined to wrestle back control of his festival from the usurper Santa Clause, Jesse Walker, down and out trubedor, is caught in the middle but this might be his chance of redemption.

Thinking of stories inspired by festive personages, the Arludik Gallery is having an exhibition and sale of artwork from Dreamworks amazing animated feature, The Rise of the Guardians.
The art book for this film has been enjoying good sales given the quality of the work, so do get along to the Arludik to see some of the beautiful originals.

Finally to a book  by an artist we're often asked about, at last we can offer:

HC 144pp Color, Black + White
Serge's work has featured in the Spectrum art annual and he's been a featured artist in the Digital Art Masters series, so clearly he's good at what he does and has a fan following.
His followers can now sit down with this gorgeous collection of his funny and cute pin-ups, plus he lets us in on how he creates these wonderful images and his relationship with the lovely ladies who inspire him!
Serge loves depicting tattooed lovelies - the sort appearing in Burlesque shows and making up the ranks of the cult "Suicide Girls"-  and tentacles, that's tentacles, in wonderfully playful pin-ups created on his lap top!

OK, I'm nearly out of here for a few weeks to get some rest and rid myself of this biting cynicism which is pervading my reviews.
Enjoy the great books we're sure to get while I'm away and I'll see you in early December when I get back.

HC 144pp Couleur, Noir et Blanc
Titan Books
Laissez moi vous résumer la populaire saga des jeux Assassin's Creed, nous suivons différents assassins d'une même famille combattant les Templiers pour obtenir différents artéfacts aliens qui une fois réunis donnent accès à un immense pouvoir.Et cette guerre se poursuit depuis l'epoque des croisades jusqu'à la guerre d’indépendance Américaine, période durant laquelle se déroule ce nouvel opus.
Le héros de ce nouvel opus est à moitié Amérindien  et se retrouve impliquer dans différentes batailles à différents lieux sur le territoire Américain
Ce qui surprend le plus, c'est la prouesse technique qui rend le visuel du jeu aussi riche et précis que les films d'animtion 3D.
En plus des incroyables environnements , vous pourrez decouvrir d'incroyablement bien réalisés personnages durant les nombreuses scenes de batailles ou de simples discussions.
Ce magnifique artbook rend un véritable hommage au travail artistique extraordinaire qu'a fourni l’équipe d'Ubisoft pour apporter cette superbe expérience au grand public.

HC 160pp Couleur, Noir et Blanc
Chronicle Books
Une grande partie des meilleurs artistes de Disney, certains ayant participé à Raiponse, ont été choisis par le réalisateur Rich Moore pour travailler sur le dernier film de Disney? Wreck it Ralph.
Ralph est le personnage d'un jeu video d'arcade, dont le rôle est de detruire des choses, seulement un jour il s'enfuit de son jeu pour prouver u'il est plus qu'un simple vilain pixelisé.
Ralph va alors traverser différents types de jeux videos, permettant à l’équipe artistique du film de visiter tous les personnages cultes de l'univers des jeux videos.
Vous pourrez découvrir dans cet artbook les études de personnages, d'environnements et les story boards de cet incroyable film.

HC 368pp Roman Illustré avec 8 illustrations couleur et de nombreux dessins en noir et blanc
Harper Voyager
Comme pour ses trois derniers oeuvres Brom nous propose un roman illustré, l'histoire se déroule dans une ville reculée de l’état de Virginie aux Etats-Unis où un ancien dieu païen Krampus va essayer de reprendre possession de la célébration de Noël qui lui a été volée par Santa Claus, et bloqué au milieu de tout cela nous suivons Jesse Walker dont ce sera peut être une chance de rédemption.

HC 144pp Couleur, Noir et Blanc
Serge a déjà été publié dans le Spectrum annual et est un habitué de la collection Digital Art Masters, donc il connait bien son métier.
Découvrez dans cet artbook ses nombreux travaux de pin-ups et quelques tutoriaux.

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