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Parka (Singapore)
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Playing with Pop-ups: The Art of Dimensional, Moving Paper Designs
Playing with Pop-ups: The Art of Dimensional, Moving Paper Designs
by Helen Hiebert
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very hands-on book, 8 May 2014
Length:: 1:14 Mins

Playing with Pop-ups by author Helen Hiebert is an activity book on creating pop-ups.

It's a beginners book that goes through the basic techniques of creating cuts and folds. The instructions are clear and simple to follow.

The book starts off with the materials required and then proceeds on quickly to the 20 hands-on projects.

The designs of the pop ups are included in the book with instructions to photocopy them into different sizes. You don't want to cut the pages off from this beautiful book. The pop-up designs are also available for download on the publisher Quarry Books website.

The first five are elementary projects to start you off. The next 15 are more interesting and you can create pop-up subjects like city skyline, robot, dragon, carousel book, and more. Some are quite elaborate designs requiring many cuts, folds and gluing. The end result is often delightful and charming, such as the recreation of an interior room, or a volvelle (a rotating paper mechanism).

The last chapter features a gallery of artworks from paper engineers and artists. 25 are featured and the works are wonderful and inspiring.

Highly recommended to pop-up beginners.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel
Map Art Lab: 52 Exciting Art Explorations in Mapmaking, Imagination, and Travel
by Jill K Berry
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.89

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A creative book of map-inspired art projects, 8 May 2014
Length:: 1:14 Mins

Map Art Lab is a fun art activity book for those interested in art and cartography.

The 52 projects included involve mixed media, and uses all the different elements of the map to create art. You'll get to draw sea monsters like olden day maps, create all sorts of interesting looking roads, make a pop-up map, a tea-stained treasure map, satellite map of your house and many more.

In many cases, you're not making an actually usable map, but a piece of art that's inspired by maps.

Some of the projects would require you to collect glass tiles or stones to make a mosaic map, or have a camera or sketchbook in hand and look out for map-like creations from nature, many projects involve drawings, some collages, and other interesting ways to create art.

There's a good variety of art inspired projects.

It's a very hands-on book, recommended to art and craft lovers.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter
Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter
by Dan Luvisi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 36.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The IMAX of artbooks, 29 April 2014
Length:: 2:48 Mins

When I first saw the book, I was like "Is this for real?". This book is huge! It's almost A3 size, and it's 272 pages thick. This is the IMAX of artbooks.

If you look closely at the cover, you'll see the actual killbook attached in chains to the belt of Gabriel, the protagonist that artist Dan Luvisi has created for his story.

Gabriel is a super soldier who was framed by a military corporation with global power. The story isn't really original, but it's still quite interesting to see this world that Gabriel lives in. With the help of a secret agent, he managed to escape the prison and is now back for revenge. This killbook collects all the bad guys on his hit list.

The book is presented as a scrapbook, with photos, artworks, documents and notes. The writing style is like snapshots from what Gabriel still can remember. Basically, there's no actual flow to the story. The book starts off with the introduction and background to the world, and then moves on immediately the the hit list, and ends with a gallery of concept art from children who still believe in the innocence of Gabriel.

While the writing isn't as good as it can be, the idea is fantastic. There are lots of bad guys with profiles and interesting analysis. Since the genre is sci-fi, you get characters that are not humans. There is a lot of content to read through and digest.

The last part of the book is quite creepy. It features fan art of Gabriel and other characters by children, fictitious of course, mostly under the age of 10. The artworks are look great, and there lies the creepiness because the kid's photos are shown beside their art. It's difficult to imagine young kids creating such accomplished pieces of work. Imagine a 5-year-old with an almost 3D painting of a muscular man-shark or shark-man with teeth that looks like it can bite through your neck like french fries. Interestingly, when you follow the websites of these kids, you'll be brought to the actual artists who created them.

This is a visually wonderful book and could be more awesome with better writing.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Gurren Lagann Art Works
Gurren Lagann Art Works
by Gainax
Edition: Paperback
Price: 20.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWER, 28 April 2014
Length:: 1:18 Mins

I feel so happy looking at this artbook. Gurren Lagann is one of my favourite anime and it's also one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen, in a good way.

Gurren Lagann Art Works is the illustration art book for the anime. The original book is actually 天元突破グレンラガン画集 紅蓮螺巌 which is in Japanese and this is the English edition translated by Udon.

This is a marvelous art book. The artworks are beautiful and exciting. There's a good sense of dynamism, which is not unlike what you see from the anime. There are many huge full page and double page illustrations.

It features mainly the characters with some coverage for the many mechas. The character poses are great, composition is wonderful, the art looks epic and feels epic.

I love Yoko and she looks good in all the artworks. She's not the main character though, the characters are pretty well mixed for the variety.

The artworks are created by several artists. Many pieces are in anime style, and some with more traditional medium looking style. There aren't any screenshots.

Fantastic book. Highly recommended to all Gurren Lagann and anime art fans.


Watercolor pb
Watercolor pb
by Sujean Rim
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag of contemporary watercolour art, 24 April 2014
This review is from: Watercolor pb (Paperback)
Length:: 1:17 Mins

This book is a mixed bag. Looking at the preview pages that Amazon has provided, I would not have bought the book. But I managed to browse through the whole book at a bookstore and like it enough to buy it.

The book features the artworks of several contemporary artists. I only know two out of the 21 artists featured so it's great to check out other new artists.

What you won't see are the typical traditional watercolour painting style. Instead, we have a nice variety of artworks and subjects being tackled by the watercolour medium. There are artworks of desks, childlike drawings of vegetables, ink and watercolour sketches, fashion illustration, abstract, Ultramarine blue portraits, book spines, fantasy illustrations and other stuff.

It's quite cool to see how the artists use watercolour for the different subjects in their own styles. This is the main reason why I bought the book. It's delightful to look at all the examples and to get a bit of inspiration for experiments that I might personally try.

By the way, I won't describe more than half of the artworks featured as paintings. Paintings implied a finished piece of work. There are some finished pieces, and there are those that feel unfinished, there are the illustrations, and then there are some paintings.

The only text are the artist profiles. There's no mention of the techniques which would have made the book even better.

Who this book will appeal to, I feel, is quite subjective, so I recommend browsing before buying if possible.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Monstrous Collection of Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson
Monstrous Collection of Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson
by Bernie Wrightson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 31.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stories. Good Art. Highly recommended., 24 April 2014
When I think of Bernie Wrightson, my mind goes back to the Frankenstein novel that he provided art for. The pen and ink drawings are just stunning, and they will always be etched into my mind.

I bought this book without know what it's about actually. It can't be too bad if Bernie' Wrightson's name is there. The other guy Steve Niles is a comic book artist and you may know him for 30 Days of Nights among other comic and horror titles.

Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson make a potent combination.

This book is a graphic novel collecting three horror stories, namely Dead She Said, The Ghoul and Doc Macabre. It's 176 pages total, and the book's a wonderful over-sized hardcover with a nice textured cover. The publisher is IDW, so reproduction quality is to be expected.

Dead She Said is a story about a dead detective trying to find out what happened as he's slowly rotting away. It's a mystery and horror story mixed into one with a hilarious last panel.

The Ghoul is a huge gun welding gigantic guy who's helping a local detective solve a mystery that involves devils from hell.

Doc Macabre is a scientist who solves supernatural mysteries and this one involves an undead who's an old man without underwear, and more undead.

The stories are more horror than creepy and they are great fun to read. The art is just fantastic, the ink work, panel, storytelling and flow are top notch. The black and white suits the mood very well. Right at the end is a gallery with more artworks from Bernie Wrightson.

Good stories. Good art.

Highly recommended for horror readers.


Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Art of the Movie Slipcase
Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Art of the Movie Slipcase
by Marvel Comics
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 24.69

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice artbook companion to the film, 23 April 2014
Length:: 2:43 Mins

This is one fine artbook to accompany the second Captain America movie. It's as good as the first artbook The Art of Captain America: The First Avenger. I like both books.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Art of the Movie still comes with a slipcase. Inside, the 232-page hardcover book has the Winter Soldier facing off Captain America on the cover. That's the art for the limited edition poster released at San Diego Comic Con 2013, and it's in the book.

And just like the earlier artbook, this is also packed with lots of artwork.

You'll get to see Captain America with his new suits, the stealth one he used on The Lemurian Star ship, the old (but updated) suit he stole from his own memorial while Stan Lee was working a security guard there, and also the other suit variations.

The other characters with more coverage would be The Winter Soldier and Falcon. These two have more pages dedicated to their costume designs. Together with Captain America, they have the best costumes. As for Black Widow, Nick Fury, the pirates, mercenaries, they only have too few pages among themselves.

There are quite a lot of scene paintings, and those look great. Many are double page spreads.

Environment art are for The Triskelion, the offices inside, Helicarrier Bay and Camp Lehigh. There aren't a lot of prop art. Strangely, there's no overall shot of the Helicarrier, although we have Nick Fury's awesome SUV.

There is substantial amount of storyboards included for several key scenes, but they will leave you wanting more because the sequences are quite long and the full length storyboards cannot be included. They are real cool to look at though, to relive the moment. However, I would have preferred more painted illustrations or character designs than the storyboards because they are just better to look at for subsequent reference.

The text provides some behind-the-scenes commentary that explains what's going on with the film's plot, the design and a bit on how they shot the movie. It's a good read, but I'm sure there's a lot more material not included.

Overall, it's a fantastic artbook. Definitely worth getting.

4.5 out of 5 stars
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 11, 2014 10:04 PM BST


James Jean: Memu (Stationery)
James Jean: Memu (Stationery)
by James Jean
Edition: Card Book
Price: 11.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, 23 April 2014
Length:: 2:56 Mins

This is a truly wonderful box of postcards from James Jean.

There are 100 postcards in a nicely designed canvas wrapped box. When you flip open the cover, you're presented with the postcards and a red ribbon by the side to help you take them out.

Looking at each postcard just gives me a sense of awe and wonder. There are his surreal paintings as well as his intricate line drawings. Always a marvel to look at. Although I suggest if you want to look at them bigger, get his Rebus artbook.

Some of the artworks have appeared in Rebus and the poster book Kindling. I spotted some new pieces as well.

The artworks are exquisite. This is James Jean we are talking about after all. I'm not sure if you can bear sending these beautiful postcards out. It's really more of a collectible item than actual postcards.

Highly recommended. Amazing.

(See more pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Hellboy: The First 20 Years
Hellboy: The First 20 Years
by Mike Mignola
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for fans of Hellboy and Mike Mignola, 23 April 2014
Length:: 1:07 Mins

Here's the second Hellboy artbook. It's not the sequel to The Art of Hellboy that was released in 2004 though.

Hellboy: The First 20 Years is a 20th anniversary artbook to celebrate the character and title that Mike Mignola created.

So unlike that 2004 artbook, this one features just art without any commentary. What you'll see are mostly cover art for Hellboy, B.P.R.D, and some from Abe Sapien, Witchfinder and others. Selected pieces have sketches provided, not a lot, and there also also some comic partially inked comic panels.

There are about 20 pieces or pages of art from before 2005, and the rest are from the last ten years.

The art is fantastic of course. The style is very recognisable Mike Mignola. Striking and bold. Lovely use of blacks that really suits the mood of the comic and character. Even Peter de Seve who wrote the introduction also drew in similar style for his guest art. There are a few watercolour pieces that look really different from the others.

It's a nice hardcover artbook. 136 pages. Large and tall format to fit the typical comic book dimensions so that the covers can be reproduced big, and they are reproduced very well in this book.

It's a fantastic book for fans of Hellboy and Mike Mignola.

(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)


Citysketch New York: Nearly 100 Creative Prompts for Sketching the Big Apple (Doodle Book for Dreamers)
Citysketch New York: Nearly 100 Creative Prompts for Sketching the Big Apple (Doodle Book for Dreamers)
by Joanne Shurvell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book for you to sketch and doodle in, 22 April 2014
Length:: 1:28 Mins

I actually bought this book thinking it was a sketchbook. Well, it's more of an activity book for you to doodle and sketch in, rather than a sketchbook that features artworks even though they are included.

Citysketch is a series of doodling books released by Race Point Publishing. So far, the cities covered are New York, Paris and London.

This is a 176 page paperback, about A5 size. The paper quality is quite good to draw on.

The book features different aspect of New York city that you can draw, such as the architecture, art, culture, fashion, food, landscapes and people. There are nearly 100 prompts on what to draw.

For every two pages, there's usually a description of the place or subject, and the opposite page would usually have a half completed sketch for you do drawn onto. For example, when talking about The New York Philharmonic, there's a sketch of an empty theatre stage waiting for you to draw in the conductor and musicians. The one about the Statue of Liberty invites you to draw the statue onto the platform located on the island. For Radio City Music Hall, the building is provided and the suggestion is to draw a red carpet premiere and a limo at the front door.

I imagine some of the drawing tasks will either be difficult or require research, which you will need Google for, or you can just doodle your way through with your imagination. For example, I have no idea how the AT&T Building looks like, or what kind of dishes would be served in 1927. I feel that the book is part fun and work.

What I like about the book is the little bits of information that talks about the subjects, either the background of the buildings, or the food and people there. They are brief but interesting to read.

When the book is filled with your own personal sketches and doodles, it will definitely look better.


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