Dragon Girl And Monkey King is a big hard cover book showcasing the art of Japanese illustrator Katsuya Terada, concept artist for Blood : The Last Vampire and the manga Monkey King. Published by Dark Horse, this is Terada’s first art book in English language.
The scope and quantity of art work covered is extensive – over 200 pages of full colored illustrations making great use of the book’s substantial print size.
(above & below) Illustrations from Terada’s Monkey King ( Saiyukiden Daienou ), probably the artist’s most famous manga. The story is loosely based on the Chinese mythological tale Journey To The West.
(above) Illustrations for Blood : The Last Vampire.
(above left) A familiar red demon makes an appearance too.
At the end of the book Terada provides some additional information on a few select pieces of art work, as well as an interview. The contents of the interview are quite light and not superbly insightful – I found the English write-ups in Terada’s other art book “Erotic Engineering” to be more illuminating/interesting.
So is the book worth getting ?
Short version : Yes.
Long version : I’ve been asked by many readers before the release of the book if it’s worth buying should they already own another of Terada’s art book, and my answer is yes, for the following reasons :
1) New content – This book offers an overall, comprehensive* look on Terada’s art, which most of his Japanese art books do not. A substantial percentage of the art work featured have, to the best of my knowledge, not been released in any other book before.
2) Excellent presentation – The huge size of the book really shows off Terada’s illustrations; the reproductions are crisp and sharp, and the paper quality is great. The sturdy hardcover format and bind also makes the book durable and can be enjoyed for a a long time to come. ( Most of Terada’s Japanese art books are neither hard cover nor huge in print size. )
3) Great value – For such a hard cover book of this size and page count (200), the price is very reasonable. A Japanese publication with the same specs will probably sell at a higher price.
* It is worth noting here that Terada’s more explicit, erotically charged adult-themed illustrations are mostly absent – there are still art work with full frontal nudity but those featuring phallic shaped objects and bondage themes have been left out; I’m guessing it’s Dark Horse’s decision so as to cater to a wider demographic.
“Dragon Girl And Monkey King – The Art Of Katsuya Terada” book details :
Dimensions – 12 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches
Hardcover, 200 pages
Full Color, in English
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