Never mind, though. Wish me luck! And remember, all images are © the artist concerned and are used with the kind permission of Titan Books. Steal them and they will deploy the Lawyer-Bots.
|Diplodocus by Raúl Martín|
As has already been noted, the print quality is excellent, and shows off some artwork in a new light. David has remarked on some of the photo-composite work suffering a little, and I'll have to agree - while of course none of it approaches If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today levels of "Look, ma! Photoshop!" cringe, the contrast between the photographic elements and the animals can be jarring. On the other hand, some artists' work benefits hugely from such a quality reproduction, and that includes John Conway, who works predominantly in the digital medium. Having only ever seen his work online, it was a revelation to view it in this book - it really comes alive. Sibbick's work is even more mind-boggling than usual, and it's simply marvelous to see his hyper-detailed preliminary sketches.
|Aucasaurus attacking titanosaur nests, by John Sibbick|
If there was something that I wish I could have seen more of in this book then it would have to be the science behind the art, and more particularly the artists' reasoning behind some of the necessary speculative decisions they had to make when creating a piece. For example - why does John Conway illustrate his theropods with 'lips', whereas Robert Nicholls opts for exposed gums? Why does Julius Csotonyi only feather the arms (and very minimally, the backs) of his tyrannosaurs? While it's absolutely fascinating to learn of the artistic techniques being deployed, and how they have evolved over time, a little more of the history of some of the pieces - and the decisions that went into them - wouldn't have gone amiss.
|Brachylophosaurus and Daspletosaurus, by Julius Csotonyi|
Still, I am very keen to make it clear that I am not really complaining; you can never please everyone, but absolutely anyone with an interest in dinosaurs, or prehistoric animals more broadly, will get something out of this book - even if they just stare at the flabbergasting Raúl Martín cover for days on end. I very much enjoyed reading it, and still regularly peruse the pages and find something new in a work I thought I was very familiar with.
So buy it. It also has Todd Marshall, who is awesome and that's the end of it.
|Rugops primus by Todd 'Awesome' Marshall|