My 10 Favourite Art Books Of 2013

Posted By yonghow on January 1st, 2014

Happy new year everyone ! While you recover from all the booze and partying, here’s a look at my 10 favourite art books of 2013 (in no particular order).  There are actually a couple of high profile Japanese art books ( Otomo, Terada and Satoshi ) that probably would have made this list, but they are releasing only in December so reviews will have to wait till 2014.

Anyway, I hope you’ll find at least a book or two in the list to be of interest. Do note that some of these books might not have been published in 2013. Enjoy ! –


1) Lyricism – The World Of Kamimura Kazuo

I got lucky with this one, stumbling upon the artist’s exhibition on pure luck while in Kyoto. I took a fancy to Kamimura-san’s work almost immediately, the way he drew his female characters, a beautiful combination of style and sexiness. Also, the artist’s background in graphic design definitely lend a nice touch to his great poster designs.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


2) Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities

This book is full of treasures from the coffers of Guillermo Del Toro’s imagination, poured out on paper. A great chance to delve into the mind and insights of a visionary filmmaker.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


3) Amalgam – Kent Williams

His piece for the Criterion Rashomon blu-ray cover art caught my attention, and a coincidental recommendation from an illustrator friend quickly sold me. In some ways, his work feels like Norman Rockwell on LSD.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


4) The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) Storyboards

The complete storyboards for Miyazaki Hayao’s The Wind Rises, painted in full water color no less ? It doesn’t get much better than this. (except maybe for this.)

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


5) The Wes Anderson Collection

An in-depth discussion/dissection of Wes Anderson’s hitherto full repertoire of films through conversations with the author Matt Zoller Seitz. The lengthy text is supplemented by plenty of production stills, sketches, storyboards and more. A great treat for fans of Wes Anderson, and an invaluable film-making resource.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


6) John William Waterhouse

“A sumptuous guide to the romance, drama and ethereal beauty of the work of J.W. Waterhouse.” Couldn’t have put it better. My highest, highest recommendations.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


7) Katsuya Terada 10 TEN Exhibition Book

The catalogue for Katsuya Terada’s 10 Ten Exhibition, held in Kyoto this Spring (read event coverage here). While the presentation and size of the book could have been better(bigger), it does contain a huge volume of previously unpublished Terada work that still gives it great value.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


8) World War Robot – Ashley Wood

Moody paintings of giant mecha engaged in robot warfare. There is scant detail in every piece but the mood hits one like a sledgehammer.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


9) The Incredible Screw-On Head – Mike Mignola

(Ok technically this is a comic, not an artbook, but oh well…)

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (with a little creative input from his daughter) illustrates a whimsical collection of short stories based on his favourite subjects – fairies and demons, the magical and supernatural, and a bouncing, screw-on head. Delightful from start to end.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link


10) Harry Potter Page to Screen

The Harry Potter film series (especially the last 4 films) were class acts in all disciplines of film-making including cinematography, art direction, set/costume design, VFX and more. This massive book (7.7 pounds/3.5 kg) documents the copious amount of art work created for the entire series and is the best Harry Potter art book out there.

Click here to read the full book review. | Amazon purchase link



Here’s to a great year ahead for all those beautiful art books out there ! I’ll love to hear about the art books you’ve enjoyed in 2013.



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