Featurin' Pop Art

You'll find various articles on pop culture artists or artworks featured here. This is James Jeans' "Rift"

Featurin' Anime/Manga

You'll find various articles on anime + manga artists or artworks featured here. This is KYMG's "butterfly M82A1"

Featurin' PC/Video Games

You'll find various articles on PC + video game related artists or artworks featured here. This is Jeong Juno's "Last Rebellion"

                I've only really known and been a fan of Brom's fantasy artwork for only a few years now, but I've always "known" that Brom has been and always will be a "Big Name" in Western Fantasy art. That's why I was quite surprised to find out that he has started a Kickstarter project with Flesk Publications. But this project isn't any ol' obscure project. This is the funding needed for THE ART OF BROM. This will be the omnibus of Brom's art work; the art book that will beat all of his other art books, as the largest, most comprehensive, highest quality art book of his work to date. Ya, I've got your attention, now right?

This is THE Brom book, and THE essential book in any Fantasy library.  

                And what goodies they offer to further entice the deal. Four different versions of the book will be published: Trade Edition, Publisher's Edition, Publisher's Edition with an Alt cover, and a Deluxe Edition. I could go into all the details as to how they differ but you can read all about that on the Kickstarter pledge page. Shouldn't be very hard to guess which one I opted for... XD Tons more extras are included which I won't cover here, but the coolest pledge prize is DEFINATELY the ZOMBIE painting of yourself done by Brom!!! I'm so envious of the lightning fast pledgers who snatched these 5 slots up (I know 2 grand... but damn that's a painting of you done by Brom! The man himself!)
                Fans have already managed to nuke this project with $100,000+ already pledged, far exceeding its $12,000 goal. With 37 days left to go, what do you say? Are you a true Brom fan? Are you ready to own his BEST book?

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Today, for the first time ever I went to my local comic festival VanCAF with a friend and was pleasantly surprised how well organized and enjoyable the event was. Especially considering it was FREE it was very well done. I think there were a good 80 something artists there and although western comic art is not my forte I realized there is a huge diverse pool of amazing comic talent out there. I remember one of the most poignant moments was the comic artist, Barry Deutsch, who promoted his story about , "Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl." His story looked fun, yet intelligent, akin to some of the comic books I had during one of my English courses at university. I can see him being a major force in the comic industry and wish him the best.

However, even in a mass of foreign comic artists... I recognized a duo and was pleasantly surprised to see "Becky and Frank Gibson" or better known as the creators of "Tiny Kitten Teeth." I'd been a fan of their artwork for awhile so I was very happy to see them. Appreciation of the cute, adorable, painted delights that are Becky's animals is an understatement. I. love. cute. painted. vintage-y. animals. XD I don't even know how to describe her artwork, it's ol'school, yet modern, and not least of all...extremely cute. did I say "cute" enough times? At least half the charm must be the gouache paint... she's just so damn good at colour choices and really making her paintings pop.

So lo and behold, I commissioned a marker sketch from her of my pet dog, Dante. Even as a black and white marker sketch I can still see her magic in the artwork. So. Fucking. Awesome. He even has a crown. How did she know that we all call him "THE PRINCLING?" Maybe she overheard me... XD Thank you SO much Becky!

I also picked up her newest art book, but I'll save the review for that, for another day. :)
VanCAF exceeded my expectations. I don't know if it was the gorgeous sunny day, the classy Yaletown Roundhouse venue, or the talented, friendly amazing people who are comic artists (most likely all XD) but the event was something to remember. 

Another day remains! Go check it out if you're in the hood!

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Anyone familiar with the pop art scene is also most undoubtedly knowledgeable of James Jean. Taiwanese American artist of highly prolific works, you'd be hard pressed to find many individuals who are completely unfamiliar with his art. Lyrical, disturbing, and infinitely beautiful, his art always makes an unforgettable statement. Rebus may not be his premier art book (that belongs to Process Recess 1) but it’s a full blown, full release book not only meant to please his established fans, but to further wow the unexpecting masses. 

Basic Stats
Title: Rebus
Author/Artist: James Jean
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 240 pages
Dimensions: 23 x 31 cm :: Hardcover
Date of Publication: Sept.21, 2011
ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0-81187-125-9 | ISBN-10: 0-81187-125-8
Retail Price: 45.00 US


                As I first held this book in my hands and felt the smooth thick covers brightly adorned with an all over print of James Jean’s art, I already knew this book would be impressive. From the art books I have reviewed thus far, I find Rebus to be closest to the ideal in terms of standard construction. It is hardcover, albeit missing a dust jacket, and the exterior is done with a smooth matte finish, perfect for concealing finger prints or easy to keep clean in general. Smooth and thick boards ensure the interior will be protected for years to come.

               The paper quality is exceptional and some of the best I’ve seen for a mass market, non specialty release. The interior pages are bright white, and super heavyweight (among the thicker sheets I’ve seen) to prevent any bleed through the pages. The semi-gloss finish does a great job of presenting his colourful paintings accurately. I heard James Jean is a real stickler for absolute accuracy of the colours in his reproductions, so I can only assume the images in his art book are also true to the originals. You’ll have to be careful of fingerprint smudges of the full bleed dark/black pages though, so flip through carefully.
Book spines are something rarely mentioned in my reviews, but it stood out for me in Rebus. It's well constructed and tight, but not too tight where you'll hear excessive cracking that not only results in a loose binding, but pages that eventually fall out as the spine completely breaks away from the back. The book can be enjoyed fully open without over stressing the spine. A definite plus to be able to leisurely enjoy the art book without worrying about damaging the book or keeping it in “perfect condition.” 


Standard features have been covered, however I shouldn’t neglect to mention the red metallic gilded pages. It’s certainly a “James Jean” addition that adds some class, yet this nice touch falls a bit short. The foil rubs off easily from normal use. Any of the edges that have had contact with my fingers have already lost their glitz. It’s a shame to see such a beautiful addition lack durability. If there was just one thing I could change about Rebus, I would have LOVED to see some metallic foil used on the covers. James Jean loves his palladium foil on his fine art prints ( Coral Hound especially comes to mind) so if the book cover decoration was done in similar vein, I would have been completely ecstatic…  just a bit of wishing on my part. :)
                Rebus is James Jean’s most complete collection of artwork so it’s accurate to claim that it is THE James Jean book. He’s had numerous art book releases in the past, (notably the Process Recess series which is now in the third instalment) but these books have been more “hobby” in nature.  Most of the content in the Process Recess series covers James Jean’s private sketches and works. The first two volumes were also very limited in quantity, distribution, and long out of print. Perhaps one day I’ll find them both for my collection. ^^
                     But let’s return back to the actual content of REBUS. Both covers are magnified close ups of one of James Jean’s most recent paintings, “Hounds” from the Rebus show. It’s only fitting he used one of his newest paintings for the art book that shares the same name ^^ Flip a few pages and the reader is initially welcomes by a distinct title page, a circular kaleidoscope of bicycles envelops the title, “Rebus.” As I was flipping through and soaking in the plethora of James Jeans colouring paintings and illustrations, I started to notice something, or more correctly a lack of something. Rebus has almost no notable organization or categorization. To a casual fan or onlooker, the paintings and illustrations appear to have no order (chronological or otherwise). However, after flipping through a 2nd time much more carefully, I noticed I missed a few organizational markers.

               The first fifth of the book are paintings are from “Kindling,” James Jean’s first collection of paintings and gallery show after having left the professional illustration field to pursue his fine art ambitions. Many of these paintings are also his most famous and favourites amongst his fans (Crayon Boy anyone?) The rest of the book is divided between two sections called, “cartoon tainted symbolist narrative computer assisted surrealism 2006-2010” and, “Recess 2002-2004.” The first title appears to be particularly nonsensical, but understood simply, these two sections just display works from their respective time frames.  
          Rebus is almost completely devoid of text. Only three pieces, Procession, Willow Tree, and Rift offer a few written words to the reader as creative stories of narrative behind the pieces. Otherwise, the only words you’ll see are here are names of the art pieces, date of creation and materials used, in super minuscule, microscopic font. Not that I’m complaining though, Rebus is an art book foremost, and what I want are the paintings and illustrations taking centre stage. 

In terms of layout, most of the images are double page spreads or fully laid out on a single page. However, most of the images are not “full” bleed images. What I mean by this is, almost all of them have white borders, either because they don’t fill up the entire page or are purposely laid out to leave a half inch or so of white space to border the illustrations and paintings. Now, this would usually be less than optimal, but I didn’t even truly notice it until I had flipped through Rebus more than once. So, not only had the bits of white not bothered me, they were initially inconspicuous. Perhaps it’s because the book is so large, but this layout decision did not detract from the presentation. A minority of the images are displayed on half pages or smaller, but this again did not affect the overall quality of the layout.

Ending Notes
-  If you really just want ONE James Jean book in your collection, this is IT. It’s the “best” art book to get a sampling of most of his finished pieces. You won’t see many if any of his unfinished/sketch work or lesser known works that are present in the Process Recess series. You won’t regret getting this book
 - The really high score is intentional. Most art books are impressive, but they have one or two glaring faults that I cannot look past. However, Rebus is virtually flawless.

Final Rating
- Strongest point: Everything. James Jeans’ painting/sketches/illustrations are not only faithfully reproduced on high quality paper; the format is also large enough to do these artworks justice. On top of that, construction is impeccable. Quality, quantity, everything is above standard.
- Weakest point: The red foil gilded edges of the pages. Sure, it looks classy, but It rubs off far too easily.

9.9/10 <- Virtually Perfect 

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Hello Everyone!
I know updates have been sparse, but life has been busy so I haven’t had the chance to post more reviews. I’m sorry! I know you’re waiting to see more. ^^

However, while assisting Viel Books to make Junography available to a larger public, I realized many people are interested in Korean Anime/Manga inspired art books but have a really hard time acquiring what they want partly because of the language barrier but even more greatly because of the lack of sources.
Even without the language barrier, this has also been an issue with me since very few stores are willing to ship internationally, and if they do, the shipping prices alone are very expensive. D:
I’m hoping to help out fellow English speaking art book enthusiasts find some of these books with my own personal shopping service. 

Let’s be honest, Japanese books have become relatively easy to acquire due to the plethora of English catering stores online, but Korean books are still very hard to come by.
So let me help you. For a small fee I’ll take care of the business of finding the book you want, ordering, and Korean language correspondence. The only catch is, the source will have to be able to ship directly to you (to save on costs). I already know of a few places that will do this so rest assured if you don’t know any.
I’ll provide more concrete details if enough people show interest in my service. For now, this seems to be the cheapest available method that I can provide. 

Here’s an estimate:
                1. Customer finds a book he/she wants, it originally costs 30000w/$30 from the 
                    Korean seller.
                                2. I’ll require a full payment of the book ($30), plus shipping ($15-20 approx) and personal fee (most likely will be 30% on top of the entire order)
                                3. The book is ordered and shipped directly to you
                        4. You receive the book.

The whole process is designed to be simple. Unlike deputies: there are no hidden costs, no long turnaround times, no hassles of domestic shipping plus an additional international shipping charge, no paypal fees, just the ONE transaction fee will be charged. This fee will be 30% of your order (a minimum $15 or 30%, whichever is greater.)
The stores I use also ship using courier services. This means that in most instances, they will be traceable, and if all goes well, the whole transaction should take no more than a week.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you are looking for books that are out of print or rare. There may be additional costs and time required to get you these elusive items, but I'm always willing to take up the challenge. I'm a collector as well and I know how good it feels to finally find the book you have been tirelessly searching for!

If you’re interested, please send me an email to: yo.jenn[@]gmail.com

Happy collecting everyone! :D

“I've had a very lovely experience with your book-ordering service and would be glad to see other people be able to obtain books with it. I'll definitely be inquiring here first if I see other Korean artbooks that catch my fancy.” – Emi H. (Feb, 2012)  

"I've purchased books through Jenn's service a few times now, and have always been very happy with both the books and the purchasing process. Emails were always replied to promptly, and she managed (quickly!) to find distributors of the books I was seeking each time at reasonable prices. Commission fees are very reasonable considering that the books I've bought - Poppic illustration 'magazines' - would otherwise be completely unavailable to me (living on mainland US), and she is always polite and friendly during the process. I would highly recommend her service to anyone searching for elusive Korean art books!" - Emi H. (Sept, 2012)

“From what my father told me the book arrived in perfect condition and there was no custom charges. Thanks for helping me get this book. If I need another Korean book sometime, I'll get in touch with you.” – Alex B. (Jan, 2013)

:: Not an art book but still a Korean Order ::
"Just want to let you know that I received them today 03.07.13 and they are all so freakin cute *_*
They look WAY better in person and those totes are HUGE!!!! same goes for the Trump cards.
I was thinking they were playing cards size but nope ^^a
Love everyone of them minus one of the long note books ^^ Just cause the other 2 had the same prints of the cover on inside but still love them ^_^" - Sarina V. (Mar. 2013)

"We're very happy with this service and the art book that we received - it was a very simple process. The art book was also handled well and packaged very safely! Thank you very much again!" - Adam (Mar. 2013)

"I appreciate the excellent work you have done, getting me the Toxic volume 1. I will definately be using your services again." - Candy M. (Apr. 2014)

"To anyone looking to purchase Korean Art Books but know how difficult it'll be to get their hands on a particular one; use Jenn's service. My book arrived in perfect condition and it's also only been a few days since I placed the order. She's always very quick to respond to messages not to mention we were exchanging emails even during the holidays. I would definitely use her service again and recommend it to anyone wanting to buy a Korean books they know they can't get elsewhere." - Sanchai S. (Dec. 2014)

"Hi Jennifer: I just opened my package, and I felt like I just closed an important chapter in my life. I owe it all to you Jennifer. Thank you for everything you do! I am very pleased with my art book." - Dushon R. (Jan. 2015)

"Just received a wonderful art book from Korea. The process was fast and painless; the service was personable and responsive. Hoping to purchase again at some point! Thanks!" - Stephen K. (Feb. 2015)

"Got my hands on another artbook I don't think I'd ever be able to obtain unless I traveled to Korea. My sincerest gratitude goes out to Jenn; she even managed to get it signed with almost my entire name (haha, it's all cool though) by the artist himself!" - Sanchai S. (Mar. 2015)

"Hey Jenn, Just wanted to say the BIGGEST THANKS for offering this service. I love the Blade and Soul artbooks you sent me, and just how awesome of a seller you are. Really appreciate everything, and definitely recommend it to anyone who is wanting to get some artbooks from Korea! Sincerely, Ryan" - Ryan C. (Mar. 2015)

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Hey there everyone!

I've decided to hold a mini contest in thanks to the people who visit my blog. ^^

It will be held from June 5th Until July 10th. Sorry I know the window is fairly long but my site still is small! ^^;;

It's fairly simple. 
Please reply back in a comment to this thread what your favourite KOREAN art book is and why (a few sentences atleast please!) Any art book is valid as long as ONE or more Korean artists are present in the book. 

For example, Apple 2 from Seoul Visual/Udon is my favourite because......
I haven't decided how I will judge the entries BUT most likely it will be based on the quality of the response or just at random.

To the winner...
I will present the exclusive TOXIC mouse pad done by the illustrious Kim Hyung Tae/HTK. This was graciously given to me by Seoul Visual Works. And you can expect book reviews from this publisher soon! I need to get crackin! XD

Contest Rules
1. EVERYONE can participate. I don't care if you live as far as Sierra Leone, West Africa. You're eligible! However, I'll only be sending this mouse pad via regular airmail, so if it's lost I can't help you there! D:
2. ONE entry per person. I don't want multiple entries please.
3. Please be sure to include your email with your comment. Either with your ID or even manually is okay (but be sure to write us (@) to prevent spam). It would be a shame if I couldn't contact the winner!!!!

Good Luck Everyone!!!!

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