This is a review of the GRAPHISTES WORLD ARTBOOK 01, subtitled BOOK OF CREATION, it is published by Oracom Editions and compiles selected artwork from a French on-line artists collective.
First impressions, presentation. It’s a sizable SC book at 11″ x 9″, and feels substantial at 220+ pages. Nice striking cover image, on a nice pull out gate-fold cover. It’s a matte type paper stock on both the cover and the interior pages, and utilizes a sewn binding (initially had thought it was glued, but is a sewn binding. Pretty spiffy for a soft-cover.).
The Matte paper stock, I can appreciate its use on the darkly illustrated cover to help minimize finger-prints, however on the interior pages I’m not a fan of it, as I think a gloss paper stock would have better worked to showcase the images on the interior. I’ll go into that in more detail in a bit,
Now getting into the content, the actual images themselves, there’s more than a bit of crossover in terms of style and theme and subject. The images are mostly computer generated imagery, a lot of video game like landscapes. Much of it is a bit dark for me, in terms of actual brightness not content. I think this is the printing job, rather than the images. Because the images viewed on-line look great (as in the ones I post with this blog), but in the actual book the images appear muddy and un-dynamic.
It may be what the artists are going for, but I’m inclined to think it’s printed a bit dark. So that is where a glossier, brighter, higher contrast interior paper stock could have helped the images come alive, and not fade into the background as much.
It’s definitely a preference argument, but generally I feel glossy paper works much better for art books, and that this particular art-book, because the images are so dark, would have benefited from a higher-contrast glossy paper stock.
Mainly because the dark muted images, lots of purples on blacks, one after another tends to reinforce the need for a more varied palette. The detail in the images just get lost. There are a lot of images I think I would like, if I could see the detail in the images.
But just when you think the similarity is getting to you, you turn the page and there is a burst of artistry and an unexpected, thematically intriguing image to bring you back into the book.
Among such standouts are [the creator or studios nickname is listed with the image, but the table of contents gives their full name] :
28162 has a lush and beautiful and vibrant image with PINK DREAM and SANS UN DEFAUT
Kiko has a wonderful, futuristic landscape scene with IN THE MORNING, but I do think it looks a bit dark, muddy
Mr. Xerty has a nice collage like work with JING
Pim does the lovely LIGHT PULSE
3mmi Design has several intriguing images with DELIVRANCE and TONIGHT IN HELL
Maliciarosenoire offers us the nicely composed INCERTAIN
Graphic Traveling bring us the imaginative NYX
Grivetart’s NEW YORK 2030 and EXPLORERS are both quite excellent
Graphaddict’s offers us the well composed and lit SPACE MOUNTAINS
Pezcado’s MAINS DANS LA MAIN is quite ingenious
BeautifulReal brings us the sumptuous and strange LAST TRAVEL
KarimDesign’s offers us the attention getting LAST BREATH
Aiven’s 5 PAR is likewise imaginative and compelling
Todavia’s DEATH OF A SIREN
Lord K’s POLAR SUMMER
So these are some of the ones that stand out, and make the book well worth a viewing, despite my issues with the printing. Beyond the brief French introduction, the book consists of all images, so it can be enjoyed by all. Final Grade: B-.
CONTEST! WIN THIS BOOK!
This book isn’t currently available on Amazon US, but is available from Amazon UK and Amazon FR. It’s like $50.
But wait a minute! For being a Heroic times follower, I’ll tell you how you can win it for free.
It’s really, really easy to win this review copy they sent me.
Be the 15th person (follower, you have to be a follower of this blog)to comment on this post, you win the book.
Put contest in the comment, include your email address so I can get in touch with you. Comments do not get posted if you put contest in it, and they come right to me.
The 15th person, maximum of 3 attempts per person and consecutive attempts not counted. 15th person (follower) to leave a comment saying “you want this book and love Heroic Times”… wins the book.
Okay, that’s all folks. Go hug somebody.