Facebook Twitter RSS
Mon, 17 Dec ’12

Art Books for the Gifting Challenged

Four books that will turn your living room into an art gallery

As holiday shopping progresses, we’re sure you may have run into a road block or two with some of the people that made your “Nice List.” No matter what gift you find, it’s either not something they would want or they’re so on top of the things they like, they’ve already purchased it. Instead of getting disheartened, or adding that person to the ever-growing “Naughty List,” why not give the gift of books of related art? It conveys thoughtfulness and lets them know you’re aware of their favorite artist or film. Points will be scored. Here are four recommendations for your holiday shopping this season:

The Art of Wreck-It Ralph – From the first trailer at E3 to the fourth viewing when it was released in theaters, we loved Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph and Vanellope’s adventures are so original but so familiar we had to see them from their inception. The Art of Wreck-It Ralph takes you through every iteration of the wreckage inducing lug and his party. You’ll find awesome stuff like the fact that early Sargeant Calhoun designs could have easily been used to model Fem Shep, find out the backstory of the cut character of General Locknload and discover lost levels that didn’t make it into the final film based on Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution and even a GTA-inspired level called EZ Livin 2. After reading this book you’ll understand how rich of a world Ralph actually lives in and how great the rumored sequel Super Wreck-It Ralph could be.

Shadowline: The Art of Ian McCaigStar Wars concept artist Ian McCaig has worked on so many projects that haven’t seen the light of day, your heart almost breaks that the world wouldn’t get to see the fruits of his labor. You can rest easier though, now that a wealth of his designs and art have been collected in this fantastic hardcover. From his concept work on the Star Wars Prequels to his own personal pieces, the book covers all of this fabulous artist’s oeuvre. More than most, this art book gets into the day to day life of a working artist as Ian is very forthcoming and honest in the interviews. If you have a friend who wants to be a working artist (especially in the film industry), this book is a must have. The highlight for us though may be the concept art for the ill-fated adaptation of John Carter of Mars McCraig worked on before it ultimately fell apart and went to Disney.

The Art of Todd McFarlane – McFarlane has at times been a polarizing figure in the worlds of comics and toys, but nobody denies that he sure can draw, especially when it comes to masked men and monsters. From Hulk to Spider-Man to Spawn, this book collects some of his greatest artwork, starting with early sketches he did when he was 16 (and created Spawn to be a sci-fi character!) all the way up to the present. Never at a loss for words, the artist has added select commentaries to the images, and persuaded Stan Lee to write the forward. And now that this book’s finally out, maybe he’ll start moving forward on that Spawn movie reboot we’re always hounding him about.

The Art and Making of Rise of the Guardians – Another of our favorite animated films this year was Rise of the Guardians. Seeing Santa and the Easter Bunny as superheroes could not have made us more elated. That is, until we saw the gorgeous artwork from it in this book. Written by Animation Magazine editor-in-chief, Ramin Zahed, The Art and Making of Rise of the Guardians compiles sketches, designs, paintings (which are stunningly beautiful) and commentary about the characters and worlds from several of the film’s main concept artists. It really adds a whole other layer to the film’s fun and majesty. If you get one for your loved one, maybe “North” will bring one for you, too.