***This article originally ran in the December ’20 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 305)***
STUFF TO READ
The Art of Wolfwalkers [Abrams, $40] Expertly guided by animation author and lecturer Charles Solomon, the beautiful 220+ hardcover takes use on a behind-the-scenes journey of Cartoon Saloon’s latest stunning triumph of 2D. Filled with exclusive hand-drawn sketches, paintings, interviews and digital renderings that showcase the studio’s unique artistic style (400 color illustrations!), The Art of Wolfwalkers is brought to life with exclusive commentary and interviews with cast and crew, including directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. It’s the next best thing to running away to the ancient Irish woods with your own wolf pack. [Nov. 10]
Pre-order on Bookshop.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Art of the Animated Series (Second Edition) [Dark Horse, $40] Marking the 15th anniversary of this show which has inspired legions of fans and a generation of animators alike, this deluxe tome is a gift to us all. Series creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino themselves take readers by the hand to reveal hundreds of pieces of concept, design and production art from their hit show. The second edition boasts new cover art by Konietzko (with an extra-special cover treatment), eight pages of new material, all-new introduction by award-winning Avatar comics writer Gene Luen Yang, beautiful slipcase, gilded edges, ribbon book marker and an exclusive collectable lithograph. A great excuse to practice your wallet-bending powers! [Nov. 24]
Pre-order on Bookshop.
Drawing and Life Lessons from Master Cartoonists [Yoe Books, $50] Eisner-winning comics guru and former creative director of Disney, Nickelodeon and The Muppets Craig Yoe delivers another compelling and inspiring look at the history and personalities behind art form’s most iconic panels. This unparalleled hardcover collects never-before-reprinted cartooning courses from the likes of Charles Schulz, Winsor McCay, E.C. Segar, Joe Shuster, Dan DeCarlo and many more inkpen rock stars, offering eye-opening beginning and advanced lessons in drawing and writing comics, as well as encouraging life coach tips taken from their own journeys to success. The perfect pick-me-up for visual storytellers feeling that winter wind-down. [Nov. 10]
Pre-order on Amazon.
Over the Moon: Illuminating the Journey [Titan Books, $50] Blast off on an incredible behind-the-scenes journey with this hardcover companion to Glen Keane’s highly anticipated feature directorial debut. Leonard Maltin (Of Mice and Magic), one of the world’s most respected movie critics, is our scrivener guide through beautiful full-color reproductions of character, background and viz dev artwork for the Netflix Original. Readers will also discover how dedicated the team was to creating an authentically Chinese modern fairytale, visiting inspiring locations, sampling moon cakes and working with incredible artists — like fashion designer Guo Pei, who created the goddess Chang’e’s jaw-dropping costumes. No rocket required! [Nov. 10]
Pre-order from “Bookshop.
STUFF TO WATCH
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 2 LE [Aniplex, $160 BD] This RightStufAnime.com exclusive is the ultimate way to prepare for the smash hit Demon Slayer movie to hit NorAm next year. Directed by Haruo Sotozaki and produced by studio Ufotable, Vol. 2 (eps. 14-16) continues the adventures of kindhearted young Tanjiro in Taisho Period Japan as he continues his quest to become a mighty demon slayer and restore his possessed sister. The Limited Edition includes a bevy of exclusive bonuses, illustration card set, special booklet and three soundtrack CDs featuring music by Go Shiina. [Nov. 24]
Pre-order on RightStufAnime.
Marona’s Fantastic Tale [GKIDS/Shout! Factory, $29 BD] Anca Damian’s poetic, visually compelling and life-affirming movie about an optimistic stray dog and the many humans she has loved throughout her life won over festival juries and audiences all over the world when it debuted last year. Now, you can adopt this sweet story boldly animated as your very own. The Blu-ray/DVD combo offers Marona in both the French version with English subtitles and the English dub version, along with an interview with Damian, Q&A from the Animation Is Film festival, art gallery and trailers. [Nov. 10]
Pre-order at the Shout! Factory Store.
Sonic the Hedgehog Limited Collector’s Edition [Paramount, $25 BD] Relive the lightning-speed action of one of the year’s biggest blockbusters with this new LE release, featuring exclusive artwork and bonus movie poster collectible cards. In addition to the tale of Sonic stirring up planet Earth and facing down the evil Dr. Robotnik, fans can enjoy commentary by director Jeff Fowler and the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz, deleted scenes, bloopers, “Speed Me Up” MV and more behind-the-scenes featurettes. [Nov. 24]
Pre-order on Amazon.
Steven Universe: The Complete Collection [Warner Bros., $90 DVD] Originally announced for December, the early arrival of this beautiful set proves that good things happen when you “believe in Steven!” This ultimate 15-disc “Storybook” set features custom art on every page by Chromosphere. Inside, you’ll find every episode of Rebecca Sugar’s six-time Emmy-nominated series, plus Steven Universe Future and the smash hit Steven Universe The Movie — gem-fusioned with hours of all-new bonus content including animatics, mini-isodes, commentary, Steven Universe The Movie sing-a-long, and more. We could all benefit from the love and positivity beaming from this GLAAD Media and Peabody Award-winning masterpiece right now. [Nov. 3]
Pre-order at WB Shop.