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Spectrum 12: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Hardcover)) Hardcover – 27 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Underwood Books Inc (27 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887424954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887424950
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 24.1 x 31.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,323,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Julie Artist on 3 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book, full of images that set your imagination running. As with all the Spectrum books there is little in the way of information about the artist's inspiration and working process, but the book is good value none the less
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By ninjagreg on 28 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome as always!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Another Delightful Visual Odyssey 6 Jan. 2006
By Tome Raider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered my love of science fiction illustration about ten years ago when I perused a book by an artist named Boris Vallejo. Different epochs in time, different places in the universe, epic battles, astonishing spacecraft, beautiful women, courageous warriors, gothic weapons...all fused together into simply beautiful, dramatic art. From Vallejo I followed what I presume is a pretty common route of exploration: Frazetta, Chesley Bonestell, and assorted others, and then compilation books like "Infinite Worlds" and "Tomorrow and Beyond" and then the "Spectrum" series. Unfortunately I discovered Spectrum too late and didn't get in until Spectrum 7. The earlier editions are out of print, and used they are selling for prohibitive amounts, often into triple digits. They did do a reprint of Spectrum 1, which I bought in a heartbeat and I keep hoping there will be reprints of the other editions.

As the other reviewers have mentioned, this is just amazingly beautiful and exciting art. Some images are total exotica, some progressive and avant garde, and some appear to be well within classical conventions. Almost all of these artworks are astonishing and will have your imagination just buzzing. Most are paintings, many are photos of sculpture and other media. I find myself gasping as I flip the pages, saying "Unbelievable!" You really just have to see this work to fully grasp it. I implore my six year-old to look at the pictures, hoping to inspire neurological pathway formation with the colorful pictures of the stuff of our wildest dreams , but I slap her little paw whenever she tries to touch! Spectrum books are a peanut butter-free zone!

I personally do not see this edition (12) being that different from its predecessors in terms of content. Every volume I have is first-rate and a stone-cold must-have. This is exactly in that tradition in terms of quality and quantity of art.

Why the four stars instead of five: Okay, I should have griped last year. With Spectrum 11 they switched over to a cheaper cover. It is a shiny cardboard cover which will get dinged up and scuffed over time. The book loses its high-quality outer lustre with the downgraded binding and I think the Fenners (the wonderful people who produce this series and several other magnificent books) have made a significant mistake by allowing this to happen. As someone who went through a twenty-year phase of haunting used bookstores I can testify as an expert: this cover does not come close to matching the quality of the work (and paper, for that matter) on the inside. These books deserve the high quality cloth "buckram" covers which earlier editions had. Those covers will last forever and preserve these works as the historical momentos which they are indeed. If the price has to be raised a few bucks, so be it. I suspect demand will only go up; people who appreciate this type of art obviously are discriminating, and they will gladly pay for the extra attention to quality. Please, put Spectrum 13 back in a high-quality cover. Otherwise, keep up the fabuluous work.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Full Spectrum 13 Dec. 2005
By Antonio D. Paolucci - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fantasy art is as inspiring as it is beautiful, and Spectrum has been doing well to keep only the best between their thick volumes. Spectrum 12, though, seems to contain a great deal more. Every page, besides where the awards are presented, has two or three painting or images, with publishing details, titles, etc. placed on the corner of the left page. The art is categorized and every page seems to follow a theme of sorts. The sections include the best in advertising, books, comics, dimensional (action figures, sculptures, and the like), editorial, and unpublished. Each category has a gold and silver award for the best paintings, and the rest is a kind of short list of the best in the categories.

Plus, it has absolutely every kind of artist you can think of, from the darker paintings by Brom to the action-packed scenes of Todd Lockwood, and many smaller names in between. It has an image published by TokyoPop, which impressed me greatly, since Spectrum is obviously moving to include anime as an art form. It has concept art from movies (The Chronicles of Narnia) and video games (Oddworld Stranger's Wrath). It has book covers for children's books and the more risque style well known from Luis Royo. Put together, there is something here for every fan of fantasy art, and shouldn't be missed by art fans. As this is the best in collected art, I highly recommend this to writers, readers, and lovers of cinema. Very little in this book left me disappointed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Best Keeps Getting Better 2 Dec. 2005
By Kronos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The latest addition to the Spectrum series of "year's best" fantasy art books is as gorgeous as the first eleven The art is beautifully presented in full color and for some reason, #12 feels meatier, more substantial when holding it and comparing it to earlier editions. There's an interesting "year in review" that prompted me to start looking for some titles I was unaware of and there's contact information for the artists in the book, but the main thing is THE ART. Some of my favorites this year included "The Pirate & the Mermaid" by Scott Gustafson, "Lisa & Clay (The Tooth Fairy & the Boogieman)" by Dennis Brown, "Little Tiny" by David Bowers (which was used as the cover), "Wild Reel" by John Jude Palencar, and "Elantris" by Stephan Martiniere. But that's just the tip of the iceberg: there's art for every taste, from cute pin-up to hard SF to works bordering on surrealism. Artists include Michael Whelan, Gregory Manchess, Bob Eggleton, Brom, Kinuko Craft and on and on and on. Some of the sculpted pieces are simply astonishing. A few of the works contain nudity (not a lot and all of it tastefully done--it is ART, afterall--but it's there) so you might want to keep that in mind if giving the book as a gift.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The annual of fantasy art 16 April 2006
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As always, the annual Spectrum compiles hundreds of samples of the very best of 2004's fantasy art. The work is divided into categories that reflect the generally commercial origin of each work: ads, comics, books, etc. Every category displays a range of subjects and style. Lush realism predominates, including two of Royo's fantasy pinups. Other styles appear, too, including ink paintings by Vess and Kaluta, Justin Sweet's Rorshach-like watercolors and some raw, expressive work from the "Blood" comic.

Some of the most remarkable work appears in the sculptural (dimensional) category. That group includes a few pieces based on standard comic superheroes. Works by Davis and Northey are clever, and one by Loroux is clearly a work of great affection. A political piece by Ross, in the editorial grouping, displays chilling wit.

With roughly 250 artists represented, and multiple works by many, there's an exciting assortment of topics and approaches. Although I recognize only a few of the names, the quality and wit meet very high standards throughout. I recommend this to anyone that values fantasy images, as a spectator or as a creator.

//wiredweird
Compelling and superior. 6 Jan. 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Any interested in science fiction and fantasy art will find all the masters represented here, from Michael Whelan and Brad Holland to Linda Bergkvist and Daren Bader. Each artist's works are rendered in full color and includes contact information plus notes on clients, medium, and picture size. A jury selected the 2005 Spectrum winners, surveying over 4,000 works both individually and in light of overall fantasy artist accomplishment to cull the best: the result is a winning pick of top winners any involved in fantasy art will find compelling and superior.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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