Here are the art books to I'm looking forward to until the end of 2012. For all the titles, check out the full list of upcoming books - only less than half are mentioned below.
Some of the scheduled release dates are still not confirmed yet.
Christopher Nolan's Batman: The Art and Making of the Dark Knight Trilogy
I can't remember who but someone told me this is more of a making-of book rather than an artbook. At 304 pages, it's going to be packed with content, no doubt.
I've heard good reviews from my colleagues. But I've a phobia of movies that run more than 2 hours. The Dark Knight Rises is 2 hours 45 minutes. GASP! Imagining myself watching already makes me shudder.
Imagination. It’s an innate quality that every child seems to possess in immeasurable quantities. Imagination allows children to create wonderful worlds in which to relate to their friends, envision their futures, and, of course, play with their toys. More often than not, imagination is a quality that diminishes with age, as fantasy worlds are replaced by “the real world” and inquiring young minds are forced to grow up. But there are those among us, who, like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, never stop using their imaginations, envisioning their futures, and, most importantly in this context, playing with their toys. A select group of these individuals—and their unfettered imaginations—are the reason that the Toy Story films came to be.
The Toy Story Films: An Animated Journey tells the tale of the incredibly talented visionaries who conceived, developed, and ultimately shared Woody, Buzz, and the rest of Andy’s toys with the entire world. Their story is recounted within these pages through candid interviews with the animators, directors, and voice actors who brought the films to life; artwork that inspired, grew into, or became a part of the iconic movies; and untold details of the growth and development of one of the most lucrative and artistically significant film series ever. It serves as a lesson to us all that we are never too old to use our imagination—and play with our toys.
DISGAEArt!!! Disgaea Official Illustration Collection (review)
A very wonderful book for fans of the Disgaea game series.
Release date: 7 August 2012
The Frazetta Sketchbook
This is an A4 artbook. There are hardcover and paperback edition. On Amazon, their prices don't differ too much so it's good to get the hardcover one. Publisher Vanguard Productions has listed the hardcover to ship in August and paperback in September.
Release date: 10 August 2012
Nuthin' But Mech (preview)
This is a collection of mecha robot design from various artist. The preview pages are looking good.
Release date: 15 August 2012
The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania
This is going to be great. Authored by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, published by Titan Books.
The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania brings to (undead) life a fresh new spin on the classic horror monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Werewolf, and the Invisible Man from Sony Pictures Animation and director Genndy Tartakovsky - creator of Samurai Jack and executive producer and director of Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series.
The story features Dracula, owner of a lavish five-stake resort hotel for monsters, away from the human world. On one special weekend, he invites some of the world's most famous monsters to celebrate his daughter's 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all these monsters is no problem, but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles into the hotel and takes a shine to his daughter, Mavis.
Featuring over 400 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital art, along with interviews with key filmmakers and crew, this full-color book is truly a spooky but fun treat for the eyes!
Assassin's Creed: Art ( R )evolution
First there were the other Assassin's Creed artbooks, then the Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia, then there's The Art of Assassin's Creed III. Now, we have another new artbook announced.
Assassin's Creed Art (R)evolution is the first art catalogue dedicated solely to one of the most loved videogames in the world, one that puts history and art at the centre of every move and has thrilled not only players but critics and columnists alike. It is a meticulous exploration of artistic genres, graphics, technological platforms, iconographic forms, ideas, colours and sounds: all this makes Assassin's Creed a multi-dimensional and multi-sensorial work of art.
Since it was first released in 2007, Assassin's Creed has made the entire world familiar with Italian art cities such as Venice, Florence, Rome, and Forlì, and great historic cities such as Jerusalem, Constantinople and Damascus, setting events between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The concept artists who work in 23 studios spread throughout the world have brought timeless masterpieces back to life in thousands of art works: just think of Piranesi's engravings, Leonardo's machines and subjects such as Dürer's Venetian Girl, who becomes the protagonist's wife in the game.
Five years since its first release, a change has been announced: the third chapter is due for release and it is set in America during the War of Independence. Thus the videogame leaps forward 250 years after the narration in the second chapter of Ezio Auditore's Renaissance experiences. At the same time it is set 250 years back from the present time, in a plot involving the genetic reminiscences of the protagonist Desmond Miles.
The art of a video game like Assassin's Creed comes about through a kind of 'Renaissance workshop' where, in addition to the Game Designer and Concept Creators, dozens of different artists work on a precise task. Just as the Master of the workshop conceived the vision for a work and traced its outline on paper, leaving the workshop artists to execute hands, feet, background landscapes etc ... in a videogame studio there are those who draw and work on texture and colour; those who built shadows, insert movement, and create environments and soundtrack, voice and dubbing.
Transformers: The Art of Fall of Cybertron
I really hope this one will be good and not just panel art from the comics.
The Art of Wreck-It Ralph
This is another one I'm waiting for. The first half of the trailer looks good.
In Wreck-It Ralph, Disney's expert team of concept, visual development and story artists explore the hidden world of video games from classic 8-bit arcade games to the most modern and inventive offerings of the digital age. At the center of this hilarious and wildly original video-game-hopping adventure is Wreck-It Ralph, an arcade game bad guy who breaks all the rules when he sets off on a mission to prove he can be good. The Art of Wreck-It Ralph captures the fresh artistic vision of the film and the aesthetic journey of the filmmakers through interviews with the film's many artists, including a foreword by director Rich Moore and a preface by John Lasseter. Illustrated with character sketches, storyboards, visual development paintings, colorscripts, and more, this behind-the-scenes look at Disney's latest 3-D animated epic is a treat for video game and animation lovers alike.
The Art of Rise of the Guardians
I have no idea what this is except that it's an animated movie. 158 pages. Published by Insight Editions.
In Rise of the Guardians, North (Alec Baldwin), Bunnymund (Hugh Jackman), Tooth (Isla Fisher), and Sandman try to recruit the mysterious Jack Frost (Chris Pine) to help them stop Pitch (Jude Law) from putting an end to childhood belief and sending the world into eternal darkness.
Rise of the Guardians is one of DreamWorks Animation’s most ambitious films to date, allowing families to get to know the icons of childhood in a whole new way. Its mythic premise provided the artists at the studio with an opportunity to let their imaginations soar, producing a truly unique take on the imaginary figures of childhood and the innocence and joy they represent. The Art of Rise of the Guardians is a fascinating look at the ways these artists and craftspeople collaborated to create a stunning CG movie in 3D that will change the way we look at childhood.
Frankenweenie: The Visual Companion
Frankenweenie is a Tim Burton movie. I expect this to have gorgeous dark concept art.
The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Boxed Set
This title has been postponed for too long and too many times. I've actually seen it (Chinese edition) and it's actually a set of three books. The art is quite similar to Dawn: The Worlds of Final Fantasy except it's going to be 800 pages.
Yoshitaka Amano is one of the world's foremost fantasy artists, and the limited-edition The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy boxed set is a giant-sized (462 cubic inches!), signed collection of five books, plus bonus items that showcase Amano's ethereal illustrations for the first ten Final Fantasy games! The 12" high, 11" wide, and 3 1/2" deep box that encloses The Sky has a hinged lid decorated with artwork from Amano inside and out. Its contents include: Three 11 3/4" by 10 1/2" hardcover books, printed on high-quality stock. Volume 1 (144 pages) contains Amano's work for Final Fantasy I - III. Volume 2 (276 pages) contains his contributions for Final Fantasy IV - VI, and Volume 3 (156 pages) features his art for Final Fantasy VII - X. All About Yoshitaka Amano is 128 pages of photographs and images, serving as the most extensive look ever in English at the artist, including an interview with Amano, a timeline of his career, a glimpse into his studio in SoHo and his favorite places in New York, a visual index of each illustration that appears in the three The Sky hardcover art books, and more! A 2 1/4" by 4 3/4" 100 page Final Fantasy animation flip book designed by Amano, containing two different "movies." A 10 1/4" by 11" acetate print with silver ink. Two 5 3/4" by 8 1/4" postcards featuring the interior and exterior art used on the box. And finally, a signed 5 3/4" by 8 1/4" card by Yoshitaka Amano!
The Art of Assassin's Creed III
Another book that I will most definitely buy. 144 pages. Published by Titan Books.
The DC Comics Art of Amanda Conner
This is interesting because The Art of Amanda Conner was just released.
Amanda Conner started out in comics after working as an illustrator for New York ad agencies. However, loving comic books and cartooning the most, Amanda found work at Archie, Marvel and Claypool Comics early in her career. She's probably best known for her work on Vampirella for Harris Comics, as well as Painkiller Jane, CODENAME KNOCKOUT, BIRDS OF PREY, and the creator-owned books Gatecrasher and The Pro (with Jimmy Palmiotti and Garth Ennis).
The Art of Blizzard
The video game art of Blizzard. 352 pages, published by Insight Editions. This will be good while waiting for the rumored Rockstar Games artbook.
Over the past two decades, Blizzard Entertainment has had a tremendous impact on the world of games and global pop culture. From its humble beginnings as a three-person console-game development studio in 1991 to the creation of the blockbuster Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® series, Blizzard has a history of crafting stunning worlds of science fiction and fantasy. The company’s distinctive gameplay and storytelling styles have captivated an international audience numbering in the tens of millions whose passion cannot be quelled.
Twenty years after Blizzard opened its doors, the company’s World of Warcraft® boasts the title of the world’s most popular subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game, and the studio is widely recognized as one of the leaders in creatively driven game development.
An epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard® celebrates the studio’s genesis by examining the creative forces behind these games and showcasing their artistry through more than 700 pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches. Commentary on the art is provided by Blizzard Entertainment’s own Nick Carpenter, Sam Didier, and Chris Metzen, who’ve each played important roles in shaping Blizzard’s game universes over the years.
The Art of Portal 2
I still have fond memories of playing Portal 2. Nice to see that an artbook is coming.
It has one of the best ending songs ever.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists: The Making of the Sony/Aardman Movie
The movie was released in April 2012. This is the DVD tie-in.
A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss
I like all of Danny Greg's books. This is going to be the most emotional one.
After the loss of his wife in a tragic accident, beloved artist Danny Gregory chronicled his grief in the medium he knows best—the pages of his illustrated journals. This intimate volume reproduces these journal pages in a stirring visual memoir of Gregory's journey towards recovery. Uniquely sincere, and by turns tender, raw, and hopeful, Gregory's idiosyncratic text and illustrations capture the darkest and lightest moments of his "year of magical drawing." Gregory's process reminds us that creative expression offers its own therapy, and that living each day to its fullest may be as simple as putting pen to paper. Anyone who has experienced loss will take solace in this refreshingly candid look at grieving, while art lovers will marvel at the artist's beautiful celebration of the power of creation.
The titles mentioned above are less than half of the total I've compiled for the upcoming list.
Hold on to your wallets and credit cards.
PS. To find the nearest Buy Now buttons, please visit the Amazon and Book Depository links I've provided.