Saturday, June 13, 2009

Parka Blogs Art Book Stores

Hi there, if you're still reading this, you should head over to the new parkablogs.com for the latest art book reviews.

I've also just recently created a few online art book stores on my blog. There are art books relating to animation, concept art, comics, manga, individual artists, movies, and Japanese anime art books.

Here are the links back to the art book stores on parkablogs.com:
USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan 日本

Help bookmark the stores or post links on your blog's sidebar! The more visitors I have at the stores, the more giveaways and contests I can organise.

Thanks.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Parka Blogs has moved

I've moved parkablogs.blogspot to parkablogs.com.

All new art book reviews will be posted over there in the future. I will no longer be updating this blogspot account.

Do update your bookmarks and your RSS feed so you can access the new content.

Thanks everyone for the support so far.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review: Massive Black Volume 1

The first thing I noticed about the Massive Black art book is that it's titled Volume 1. It's safe to guess that there's going to be other volumes in the future. That is great because this book is very good.

If you have no idea who or what is Massive Black, here's a short history I found on Ballistic Publishing page:

Founded in 2002 by a group of passionate developers, Massive Black has grown to become a powerhouse of the entertainment industry—particularly in the areas of concept art, illustration, 3D, animation and intellectual property development. During its six-year history, the company has worked on 210 projects, generating a staggering 30,000 pieces of concept art for games, film, television, graphic novels, toys, and advertising.


The book is a paperback edition housed inside a slipcase. There are 192 pages and they are relatively glossy. The binding is great too. This book is a fingerprint magnet, and I left a few when I first held it.

Right at the start is an inspiring company's history. You'll get to read about how they started the company with $6000 to build it to a world class art studio where their art workshops look no different from rock concerts.

Inside the pages contain an impressive portfolio of illustrations and concept art created for too many clients. There are character designs, environment paintings and 3D modelings. The level of technical quality is top notch, of course.

Because the clients are mainly from the movie and gaming industry, most of the art pieces relate to the fantasy and sci-fi genre, oftentimes dark. It's like entering a different world just by looking at the paintings, the characters.

Massive Black Volume 1 has managed to put a smile of art lust and fascination on my face. It's highly recommended for concept artists, art directors, video game art lovers and people who just like good art.

Do check out the Massive Black homepage as well, for more illustrations in their art galleries.

Special thanks to Kelvin Chan for providing the book for this short review.



Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Massive Black Vol 1

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more books for review.

You might have to get the book from third party merchants on Amazon because not all Amazon sites stock the book themselves, at least at the time of this writing.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.fr | Amazon.de

Ballistic Publishing is also accepting orders on their website as well.

Book releases for New York Comic Con 2009

Here's a list of books I found on that would be appearing in New York Comic Con 2009 on 6 - 8 Feb.

Anyway, here's the original page where I found it on Amazon.

Comic & art book releases 3-4 Feb 2009

Seems like a lot of comic books are coming out for the first week of February 2009.

I encourage readers to support their local comic retailers whenever possible. Visiting comic shops is cool.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Book Review: Once Upon a Time

Here's a nostalgic book authored by Amy Weinstein, a curator. She has collected a great amount of children books published by McLoughlin Brothers. There are many classics like Mother Goose, Tom Thumb and other less well known stories. Right at the start is an introduction to McLoughlin Brothers and the history of children books.

The illustrations are collected in the book, with captions. Children books in the past has a very unique artistic style, with respect to colouring and penciling. Throughout the book, the captions also explain the various influences on the books, such as the appearance of flags to show patriotism.

This book will serve as a useful reference for artists into children illustrations.



Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.fr | Amazon.de

Friday, January 30, 2009

Photos from Massive Black Workshop Jan 2008

Irene Gallo just recently blogged about the Massive Black workshop held in Seattle in Jan 2009 and has provided tons of great photos from the event.

Great stuff.

Massive Black Seattle Workshop Jan 2009

Massive Black Seattle Workshop Jan 2009

Massive Black Seattle Workshop Jan 2009

Book Review: The Art of Porco Rosso

Porco Rosso, the movie, is actually based on a 15-page water-coloured manga by Hayao Miyazaki. Included in the book are 3 pages from that manga and they look really fantastic.

The only one thing I don't like about the book is there are too much screenshots from the movie. The concept art consists of character designs, airplane designs, publicity posters and storyboards. I love that they included the film ending credit illustrations. Overall, the amount of concept art is still overwhelmed by the film stills.

Right at the end, there are over 60 pages of the screenplay, broken down to story beats with captions. There are also 5 full black and white pages from the original manga.

There's also not much writeup except to explain a little history on the story.

This book is still good just that it's not as great compared to the art-of books released for later movies.

If you like this book, you might also want to check out the other art-of books I have reviewed for Studio Ghibli's movies.



The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

The Art of Porco Rosso

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.fr | Amazon.de

Thursday, January 29, 2009

ArtOrder - Blog of Jon Schindehette

Jon Schindehette -  ARTORDERToday's featuring art blog, ArtOrder, belongs to Jon Schindehette.

He's the Wizards of the Coast’s senior Dungeons and Dragons art director.

I found the blog from ConceptArt, where Irene Gallo posted a link to an interview she did with Joe Schindehette.

So check out ArtOrder! There are lots of fantastic art featured there. Oh, he has a Flickr photostream as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Review: How to Draw Noir Comics

Shawn Martinbrough has illustrated comics for DC Comics, Vertigo, and Marvel Comics, ranging from Batman, Superman, and X-Men, to King James, based on superstar athlete Lebron James. He's an accomplished artist and it's great he shares his tips on drawing noir comics with this book.

Everything in the book is explained simply and clearly with lots of personal examples. He tries to address the many approaches to creating noir comics and does them well. For example when explaining the tools he used, he would talk on the type of ink to buy (fade and erase-proof), how to maintain them and choosing the right tools for the job.

The main bulk of the book deals with comic creation specific to noir style. He explains the ways to create mood, lighting and texture to aid the story. And also touches the comic creation part like paneling, pacing, creating drama, choosing backgrounds, using references and more. All the examples included are well caption to emphasis the techniques reviewed.

At the end of the book is a 16-page noir style graphic novel to show readers the finished product.

This book is a great introduction to noir comics and serves as a great reference.

You can view more of Shawn Martinbrough's work at Verge Entertainment, which is a company he founded with his partners.

Thanks to Kelvin Chan for providing the book for this short review.



How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

How to Draw Noir Comics

Visit the link beside to read more reviews on Amazon. If you buy from the link, I get a little commission that helps me get more books for review.

Country-specific Amazon links for this book:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.fr | Amazon.de