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Books We Love: The Best Fall Animation Reads

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

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Worldwide

Books We Love: The Best Fall Animation Reads

The Art of Invader Zim [Abrams Books, $35] Take a nice, long break from singing “The Doom Song” and get cozy in your invasion base to enjoy this welcome revisitation of one of the strangest, most rabidly enjoyed Nickelodeon cartoons of all time. Chris McDonnell (Steven Universe: Art & Origins, BoJack Horseman: The Art Before the Horse) is our guide through the history of indie comics artist Jhonen Vasquez’s big animated break. From the inception of the original 2001 series to last year’s Netflix movie Enter the Florpus, this all-access compendium delivers never-before-published artwork, photos and ephemera, along with exclusive interviews with Vasquez and key members of the crew across 240 beautiful designed pages. A must-have for any turn of the millennium “kid!”

Buy it on Bookshop.

The Art of Invader Zim

The Art of Invader Zim

The Garden of Words [Yen Press, $20] Acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai delves deeper into the story of his award-winning 2013 animated feature in this novelization, full of additional scenes and perspectives that reveal a whole new side to many of the film’s characters. The story centers on teenager Takao, who prefers to spend rainy mornings in the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen gardens rather than in class. One day, he meets a mysterious woman named Yukino skipping work in his peaceful haven, and an unlikely friendship blooms. A touching — but not sugar-coated — reflection on the struggle to find one’s path in life, which explores the dynamics of private connections and public expectations.

Buy it on Bookshop.

The Garden of Words

The Garden of Words

They Drew as They Pleased Vol 6: The Hidden Art of Disney’s New Golden Age [Chronicle Books, $50] Animation historian Didier Ghez’s landmark series chronologically retracing the creative evolution and great eras of Disney Animation wraps up with this final volume, covering the 1990s through the 2010s. Ghez’s extensive research into the Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives and private collections bring never-before-published artwork and behind-the-scenes stories to the page. The latest book, published in August, profiles artists Joe Grant, Hans Bacher, Mike Gabriel and Michael Giaimo, enriching our appreciation of blockbuster hits from The Little Mermaid to Moana and chronicling the studio’s dramatic shift from 2D to CG.

Buy it on Bookshop

They Drew as They Pleased

They Drew as They Pleased

The Art of Soul [Chronicle Books, $40] Find yourself in animated filmmaking heaven with this guide to the making of Pixar’s new original. This comprehensive 168-page hardcover reveals the behind-the-scenes story of this unique movie about a music teacher’s disembodied soul (Jamie Foxx) tasked with training a reluctant soul-in-training (Tina Fey) while trying to get back to Earth and pursue his dreams. Original artwork, illuminating details and exclusive interviews bring life to Soul‘s afterlife, with a foreword by Fey and introductions by director Pete Docter and writer Kemp Powers. Soul and its 2020 sibling Onward are also included in the new, expanded edition of The Art of Pixar colorscripts collection, out the same day from Chronicle. [Oct. 20]

Pre-order on Bookshop.

The Art of Soul

The Art of Soul

Be Gay, Do Comics [IDW Publishing, $25] This massive queer comics anthology from The Nib is packed with dozens of tales from the LGBTQIA expeirence — from personal stories to historical flashpoints to cutting satire about modern gender and sexuality politics and the evolving fight for equality and representation. The 250+ page tome (also available on Kindle and comiXology) features work by more than 30 incredible indie cartoonists, including Hazel Newlevant, Joey Alison Sayers, Maia Kobabe, Matt Lubchansky, Breena Nuñez, Sasha Velour, Shing Yin Khor, Levi Hastings, Mady G, Bianca Xunise and Kazimir Lee.

Buy it on Bookshop.

Be Gay Do Comics

Be Gay Do Comics

My Neighbor Hayao: Art Inspired by the Films of Miyazaki [Cernunnos, $30] Celebrate one of the most inspiring and influential living legends of animation and see the worlds and characters he’s created through fresh eyes with this enchanting tribute, compiled by Spoke Art Gallery. Page through loving commemorations of Miyazaki’s whimsical sense of adventure, deep reverence for nature and championing of strong female characters, created by more than 250 artists/fans in an array of media — from painting and prints to sculpture and embroidery — which attracted more than 10,000 visitors to Spoke’s exhibitions in San Francisco and NYC. [Oct. 6]

Pre-order on Bookshop.

My Neighbor Hayao Miyazaki

My Neighbor Hayao Miyazaki

Steven Universe: End of an Era [Abrams, $35] The eagerly anticipated follow-up to his bestselling Art & Origins, Chris McDonnell returns to Beach City to reveal new concept art, storyboard, background paintings and exclusive interviews with the creative crew behind Cartoon Network’s Emmy-winning series. This installment covers season four through to the critically acclaimed finale, “Change Your Mind,” and beyond — with a special focus on creator and showrunner Rebecca Sugar’s elaborate lorecrafting process. [Oct. 13]

Pre-order on Bookshop.

Steven Universe: End of an Era

Steven Universe: End of an Era

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