Tag Archives: art books

Final Fantasy Gets Two New Art Books from Dark Horse

The highly successful partnership continues to expand as Dark Horse and Square Enix offer two new Final Fantasy art books, Miniature Final Fantasy: No Adventure Too Large and FF DOT: The Pixel Art of Final Fantasy.

In Miniature Final Fantasy: No Adventure Too LargeFinal Fantasy fans can have a unique and adorable experience with beloved art from throughout the franchise as miniature photographer Tatsuya Tanka takes a whimsical approach to iconic scenes from the Final Fantasy series. 

Tanaka’s vibrant and cheerful miniature photography is showcased side-by-side with concept art that details the process of each photo’s creation. This 96-page hard cover tome catalogs fan-favorite moments captured from across the Final Fantasy series, followed by a longform interview with Tatsuya Tanaka himself. 

In FF DOT: The Pixel Art of Final Fantasy, experience the intriguing evolution of pixel art from the Final Fantasy series! Containing detailed sprite sheets that showcase the pixel composition of Final Fantasy’s beloved characters, highlighting tools used by the developers, and including a special interview with Kazuko Shibuya—the character pixel artist for the Final Fantasy series. FF DOT is an extraordinary 296-page hard cover art book that immerses readers into an iconic aspect of the Final Fantasy history and experience.

Miniature Final Fantasy: No Adventure Too Large arrives in comic shops and bookstores December 17, 2019 and FF DOT arrives a month later on January 28, 2020 for $24.99. Miniature Final Fantasy is available for pre-order for $19.99.

Miniature Final Fantasy: No Adventure Too Large
FF DOT: The Pixel Art of Final Fantasy

Trump’s Tariff War with China is Already Impacting Comic Creators

shipping container boat

We spoke about Trump’s trade war with China and the raising of tariffs to 25% of items from the country in our second episode of Graphic Policy Weekly. Tariffs are a way to “even out” the cost of foreign goods so they’re on par with domestic goods.

While President Trump claims that the foreign government pays the tariff, that’s incorrect. In reality the importer does and that cost is passed along to the consumer in the retail cost of the goods. It’s a tax on consumers.

Much of the comic, game, and toy industry’s production is in foreign countries, especially China, and thus this policy is directly impacting our hobbies.

John Fleskes has spoken out about the impact of the tariff on his company, Flesk Publications. Flesk Publications is a high end art book publisher of which many art books highlight the talents of comic artists. You can read his full post below.

As he points out, this policy also include Hong Kong where his books are printed. He has checked on working conditions, which he describes as “stellar,” and has verified that the paper and materials have been sourced in an environmentally and sustainable way. The facility is “clean” and a “professional environment.” This directly disputes the narrative of “slave labor” producing our goods.

As he describes in his post, this policy decision directly impacts his company making it go from a “good year” to a possible “negative year” and that hiring a new employee won’t happen and bonuses provided to employees won’t happen. Prices up books will also go up while production will be on hold for future books.

Read his full post below while another good read about the reality of book production can be found here.

We have been notified by our shipper today that by the end of June there will be an implementation of the 25% duty tax that will effect books manufactured and imported from China. This includes Hong Kong (where we have our printing done).
At the moment, we have Ballpoint Beauties by Frank Cho, the new Terry Dodson sketchbook, Bombs Away, and the new Art of Gary Gianni for George R.R. Martin’s Seven Kingdoms in transit with an arrival date in the US port at the end of June. If our books arrived a week or two earlier, we would have avoided the duty tax. (Update: This is up in the air at the moment.)
As a small publisher, this is how a sudden duty tax will affect us.
We plan our book releases anywhere form 8-12 months in advance. At that time, we set our cover prices, then promote and advertise the book, as well as list it with our distributor. We sign contracts with the printer so that we can secure a quote, then they order the paper and place us into their production schedule. Unlike just about every other item you find in a store, the cover price is printed on books. So, if a publisher is hit with a sudden tax or unexpected expense, we can not adjust the cover price to compensate. The discounts with the distributor have already been negotiated. I cannot charge the distributors more to compensate. The duty tax comes straight out of our narrow profit margin.
In essence, because of this duty tax, I am preparing for the following. Due to the direct loss to our profits:
1. We will not be able to hire the new employee that we planned in securing this summer.
2. We already signed our printer contract and set the pricing for Spectrum 26. Due to the duty tax, our profits for this book will be greatly reduced. Our 6 months of work on this title will break even, at most.
3. We will not be able to provide the bonuses that we normally provide to our employees.
4. Any funds that we planned on saving for the future are greatly compromised.
5. All of our plans for growth are on standby since we have no idea how this duty tax will be implemented.
6. All books in development are currently being produced, but are on hold as we learn how this will impact us further.
7. All book prices will go up to make up for the duty taxes. How much? We can’t tell yet.
We are going from having a good year, to having a possible negative year due the trade wars.
We need a full year notice if new duty taxes are going to be implemented. That would give us time to plan and make changes. Unfortunately, using printers in the US is not an option. They charge upwards of three times the costs, even after shipping, than China or Hong Kong printers do. Also, the facilities and printers who can print deluxe hardbound books simply do not exist in the US. It would take years for someone to invest in the creation of a premium US art book printer, and it would be a risk since if the duty tax was to be removed in the future it would put them out of business. Creating incentives for US companies to grow manufacturing here, instead of penalizing us for going outside of the US for manufacturing, would make more sense in my opinion. The infrastructure simply does not exist in the US for us to print here. We have no choice but to go overseas.
This will be a tough year for us. We’ll get through it. We’re strong, yet we wish we didn’t have to be.
I’m saddened though. Saddened that I can not take care of my family and employees like I had hoped this year. I’m saddened that much of the slim profits that we make will be taken away from us by a trade war. Publishing is my passion. Making books is my great love. Not even a duty tax will stop us, as much as it may try. But it will be one hell of a speed bump to drive over.

Dark Horse and The Coalition Proudly Bring You The Art of Gears 5

In partnership with The Coalition, Dark Horse has announced a collection of gorgeous art that delves into the characters, settings, and equipment of Gears 5 in the full-color hardcover tome The Art of Gears 5, the most in-depth look at Gears of War art to date.

The Gears of War series of third-person shooters has grown tremendously since its initial release in 2006, and the highly anticipated Gears 5 arrives later this year. Now, you can entrench yourself in a world of conflict and discovery with Dark Horse’s latest expertly designed art book.

In Gears 5, the world is crumbling. The Swarm has corrupted the Coalition’s robot army and is descending upon human cities. With danger closing in, Kait Diaz breaks away to uncover her connection to the enemy and discovers the true danger– herself. The Art of Gears 5 examines in careful detail this bold new chapter in the Gears of War series, chronicling the development of the action-packed game with art that spans from early concepts to polished renders.

Dark Horse and The Coalition join forces to present The Art of Gears 5, on sale later this year for $39.99.

The Art of Gears 5

The Art of Splatoon 2 Blasts into Shops on October 15, 2019

Splat! Dark Horse is proud to bring Splatoon 2 fans an amaze-ink behind-the-scenes look at the making of the award-winning game in The Art of Splatoon 2! To the delight of fans around the world, Dark Horse and Nintendo partnered on an English-language edition of The Art of Splatoon in July 2017. 

The Art of Splatoon 2 is based on Nintendo’s 2017’s award-winning game for the Nintendo Switch™ system. In The Art of Splatoon 2, fans can dive into 384 pages of intense ink-splatting action through illustrations and rough designs of your favorite colorful characters, weapons, gear, locations, and maps. This book also features storyboards and other extras that are sure to make a splash with any fan of Splatoon 2.

The Art of Splatoon 2 goes on sale October 15, 2019.

The Art of Splatoon 2

The Galaxy Awaits in The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Dark Horse Books, Lucasfilm Ltd., Respawn Entertainment, and Electronic Arts present The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The new book, which was created in close collaboration between the four companies, is a full-color, oversized hardcover volume that captures the design process of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a galaxy-spanning, action-adventure video game from Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts arriving later this year.

The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will guide readers through Cal Kestis’ perilous and heroic journey across the galaxy in an attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order as he learns the ways of the Force, travels to exotic worlds, and battles tyrannical foes. This uniquely designed work is sure to thrill dedicated Star Wars fans and gamers alike.With detailed concept art of all-new characters, exciting equipment, and locales both familiar and new, this tome offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a highly anticipated video game—all accompanied by intimate artists’ commentary that reveal how this incredible galaxy is brought together.

The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order goes on sale November 19, 2019.

The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Dark Horse and Cartoon Network Announce The Art of Steve Universe the Movie

Dark Horse and Cartoon Network have announced the newest installment of their partnership with The Art of Steven Universe The Movie art book. Steven Universe, Cartoon Network’s GLAAD Media Award-winning and Emmy-nominated animated series, revolves around Steven, the “little brother” to a team of magical aliens—the Crystal Gems—who defend the planet Earth. Created by Emmy and Annie Award-nominated writer and New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

Go behind the scenes of Cartoon Network’s highly anticipated movie with this unique art book! This magical deep-dive into the Steven Universe movie is designed by Ryan Sands (Frontier) in conjunction with Steven Universecreator Rebecca Sugar. See preliminary character designs, witness the formation of settings and storyboards, and discover the art that shaped the full-length movie! It’s a new kind of artistic adventure with Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and—of course—Steven. In the meantime, eager fans can purchase the Steven Universe Coloring Book to occupy their time and prepare for the upcoming movie release. 

The Art of Steven Universe The Movie art book will be timed to the release of the movie, coming this fall. This unique, 96-page zine-like softcover retails for $19.99.

The Art of Steven Universe The Movie

Preview: Planet Of The Apes Artist Tribute HC

Planet Of The Apes Artist Tribute HC

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer:  n/a
Artist: Alex Ross, Paolo Rivera, Bob Larkin, Michael Allred, Gabriel Hardman, Jay Shaw, Declan Shalvey and more.
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Price: $24.99

Since its original release in 1968, the Planet of the Apes franchisehas shocked and captivated authors, artists, filmmakers, and fans across the world with its incredible effects and brilliant narrative. Now, return to the worlds of Planet of the Apes, both old and new, realized by a collection of classic and modern artistic voices in celebration of one of cinema’s most celebrated works.

The Planet of the Apes Artist Tribute features illustrations from renowned artists and bold new voices alike, including Alex Ross, Paolo Rivera, Michael Allred, Gabriel Hardman, Joe Quinones, and more.

Planet Of The Apes Artist Tribute HC

Get a Load of The Art (and Many Other Mistakes) of Eric Powell this October

BOOM! Studios has announced The Art (and Many Other Mistakes) of Eric Powell, a brand new art book with scandalous tales, family gossip, illegally obtained medical records, behind-the-scenes character designs, sketches, and illustrations from the twisted mind of the creator of the acclaimed series, The Goon, available in stores October 2019. Celebrate an obscene number of years of low art and high art, failure and success, and the many other mistakes of multi-award winning writer and artist Eric Powell!

In Nashville, Tennessee lives a man, a recluse, a curmudgeonly high falutin’ cartoonist-type who, as a young child, had a penchant for drawing and making up tall tales. It was at the tender age of 18, he turned his back on a promising career in adult film cinematography and followed his heart into the comic book industry. Out of desperation, Eric kept drawing, painting, and then creating his own characters and worlds culminating with the beloved series, The Goon, currently celebrating its twentieth anniversary.

The Art (and Many Other Mistakes) of Eric Powell sheds light on the deliberate and painstaking process of becoming a world renowned comic book creator as recalled by the artist and a few of his delinquent friends. This extensive art book spotlights never-before-seen childhood drawings, early superhero test pages, film poster art, and the establishment of Powell’s homegrown publishing house Albatross (Exploding) Funnybooks. 

Eric Powell is an Eisner Award-winning writer and artist best known for his critically acclaimed series The Goon, which launched in 1999, and quickly became an indie hit with a die-hard cult following. In 2002, Powell launched his own publishing house, Albatross Exploding Funnybooks, which has been home to several creator-owned titles, including his own series Chimichanga and Hillbilly, as well as Rebecca Sugar’s Pug Davis, Fabian Rangel Jr. and Logan Faerber’s weird war tale ’Namwolf, and Brendon Small’s Galaktikon. In 2019, Powell relaunched The Goon at Albatross in coordination with the book’s 20th anniversary.

The Art (and Many Other Mistakes) of Eric Powell will be available for sale October 23, 2019 at local comic book shops and October 29, 2019 at bookstores.

The Art (and Many Other Mistakes) of Eric Powell

Yoe Books Launches Marvel Hardcover Program

IDW Publishing and Yoe Books have announced a new line of Marvel Comics collections, a sensational series of large-format hardcovers curating the finest artwork from the Golden Age’s four-color foundations all the way up to the Marvel Age’s dizzying heights!

Coinciding with the year-long celebration of Marvel’s 80 years of publishing, Yoe Books will debut their retrospective look at the House of Ideas with Marvel Masterwork Pin-Ups, which will be followed by additional entries in 2019.

In Marvel Masterwork Pin-Ups, the pulsating pin-up artwork of legendary Silver Age creators – including Jack KirbySteve DitkoJim SterankoDon HeckJohn ByrneBarry Windsor-SmithJohn SeverinWally WoodDan DecarloJohn Romita, and many more – is collected for the first time ever into a single volume, accompanied throughout with witty wordage, pulse-pounding patter, and zany zingers by Stan “The Man” Lee!

Fans will treasure large, deftly drawn pin-ups by these marvelous artists of Spider-ManThorDoctor StrangeCaptain MarvelThe HulkThe X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and many more, plus nefarious villains led by Doctor Doom – and even Millie the Model by Dan DeCarlo!

Marvel Masterwork Pin-Ups

New Anime and Manga this April from VIZ Media!

VIZ Media has some highly anticipated new home media and publishing releases debuting this month. New titles include set 1 of the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, as well as My Hero Academia: School Briefs, a short story collection based on the hit superhero action series created by Kohei Horikoshi. Nier:Automata: Short Story Long is the second novel adaptation based on the best-selling video game. Horror master Junji Ito’s Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection will contain thirteen manga stories and debut later in the month.

The last two titles set for release include The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Nausiccaä of the Valley of the Wind Picture Book. Each book features vivid Studio Ghibli art from the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki.

New Home Media for April:

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS SET 1

Blu-ray MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $51.99 CAN Available April 9th

Meet Naruto’s son! His name is Boruto and he’s just like his dad – unfortunately. He’s rambunctious, rebellious, and more than a handful! He’s joined by the next generation of the Hidden Leaf Village – including Sarada, the daughter of Sasuke, and Mitsuki, a shinobi of mysterious lineage! Boruto and his friends have their hands full when they investigate a dangerous entity known as “The Ghost.” Can Boruto save the village just like dad? Dive into all of the action of Episodes 1-13 of the hit anime series in its first home media release. Special features include a BORUTO OVA, storyboards, art gallery and more!

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS SET 1

New Publishing Releases for April:

MY HERO ACADEMIA: SCHOOL BRIEFS

By Anri Yoshi; Original Story by Kohei Horikoshi

MSRP: $10.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN · Available April 2nd

The U.A. High School Hero Course teaches young hopefuls everything they need to become heroes. Between killer events like the Sports Festival and internships, there’s even Parents’ Day! That’s when all the kids get the chance to show their parents what they’re made of!

MY HERO ACADEMIA: SCHOOL BRIEFS

NIER:AUTOMATA: SHORT STORY LONG

By Jun Eishima and Yoko Taro

MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN · Available April 9th 

When alien forces invade with an army of Machines, the remnants of humanity must depend on Androids of their own design—the placid 2B and the excitable 9S—to survive.

NIER:AUTOMATA: SHORT STORY LONG

SMASHED: JUNJI ITO STORY COLLECTION

By Junji Ito

MSRP: $22.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN · Rated ‘T+’ For Older Teens · Available April 16th

Try not to be noticed when you eat the secret nectar, otherwise you’ll get smashed… What horrific events happened to create the earthbound—people tied to a certain place for the rest of their short lives? Then, a strange haunted house comes to town, but no one expects it to lead to a real hell… Welcome to Junji Ito’s world, a world with no escape from endless nightmares.

SMASHED: JUNJI ITO STORY COLLECTION

THE ART OF NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND

By Hayao Miyazaki

MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN · Available April 16th

Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, based on his own manga, was released in 1984 and has been a cult classic ever since. In a long-ago war, humankind set off a devastating ecological disaster. The earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Decay, an enormous toxic forest that creates mutant insects and poisonous spores. Beyond the sea lies the Valley of the Wind, a kingdom of barely 500 citizens and home to Nausicaä, who risks everything to save her people and bring peace and health to the valley. Includes sketches, developmental water colors, cel animation, and more.

THE ART OF NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND

NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND PICTURE BOOK

By Hayao Miyazaki

MSRP: $29.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Available April 30th

In a long-ago war, humankind set off a devastating ecological disaster. The earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Decay, an enormous toxic jungle filled with mutant insects and poisonous spores. At the edge of the sea lies the Valley of the Wind, home to Nausicaä, who risks everything to save her people and bring peace and health to her people. Studio Ghibli picture books capture the magic of the legendary studio’s animated films with easy-to-read text, full-color pictures direct from the film, and a family-friendly oversized hardcover format.

NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND PICTURE BOOK
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