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"

                One of my favourite Korean dongin artists out there, her art is instantly distinguishable and even in her earlier days I was always left wondering and anticipating her full colour art book. For a comic artist it's evident that her true skill shines in her colour works, which isn't as common as you'd think with artists in this industry. I have to say with all things considered,  I'm satisfied with the result.

Basic Stats
Title: AQUA: Kine in Aqua Illustrations 2003-2009
Author/Artist: Lee, Sun Young (Kine)
Publisher: Self (Private Publication)
Pages: 160 pages
Dimensions: 21.5 x 29.5cm :: Soft cover with Dust Jacket
Date of Publication: Jan. 2010
Retail Price: 15000 won

*I have to apologize for the quality of some of the photos. I did quite a few retakes and some aren't as clear as they should be.


                With many doujin/dongin releases you can't achieve the quality of a professional commercial release due to financial constraints or the lack of availability of options. I'm satisfied that this book doesn't suffer from this common issue and looks as good, if not better than many commercial books. The format is a nice ample A4 and the overall build quality of the book itself also appears to be great. The spine is strong, and the glossy dust cover is also a fine detail in terms of the finish. Usually, I can't help complaining about soft cover art books, but the dust jacket does add enough protection for this to be a minor issue in this case. I must say though, that the strongest detail of this art book is the paper quality. I absolutely adore the paper and it is one of the finest examples I have ever seen. It's not very fancy or innovative, but a heavy weight matte card stock just is "discreetly" perfect for the job. There is absolutely no reflecting or bleeding through the pages and it feels so nice to just flip through leisurely without having to worry about bent or damaged pages. I don't mind it at all if some details appear to be a bit dull due to the lack of gloss. It is quite simply put, one of the best possible paper types for art book use.
                Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the slipcase the book came with. It's pretty with its metallic gold inlay, but the cardboard is too thin and it feels flimsy. Also as you can see, the glue is already coming off one of the sides and it's falling apart. A nice attempt to include a slip case that can house the book, but the quality prevents it from being very useful.

                From what I can tell the artwork is a collection of every previously "published" piece since 2003 until 2009, which is a six year period. Like I said, I haven't been able to find any unreleased or new pieces and everything has been available in some form before (i.e. buttons, bookmarks, calendars, posters, donginji, etc).. not that that is a bad thing. Just don't expect any surprises. The book is roughly two thirds of original work and a third of fan pieces from various fandoms. The art is also ordered chronologically from newest to oldest.  Her original works consist mostly of the ones featured in her calendars and shopping bags but many have also been previously printed as other goods and even promotional materials. The fan artwork is mostly Bleach and Naruto orientated but you'll see a scattering of others as well (Prince of Tennis, Reborn, Black Butler, etc)
                I have no problems with the selection included since it is diverse and collects pretty much everything,  but the best point is the presentation. This art book is printed in my favourite way, full page bleeds or double page spreads. You will see minimal white in this book since almost every image fills the entire page. Aside from the title, a brief afterword, and publishing notes there are absolutely no words in this art book. You get as much art as you possibly can. Interviews and commentaries are nice but nothing beats pure unadulterated art work. 

Ending Notes
-  The quality of the release for a dongin art book. For the most part the quality is fabulous. The paper being the best part.
- The price is cheap by North American standards
- Her gorgeous colour works are represented true to their original form

Final Rating
- Strongest point: The cardstock matte paper. Not only is this perfect for displaying the images, the paper quality adds heft to the book to make it appear very thick.
- Weakest point: The slipcase. It's cheap and easily comes apart. 


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