Thursday, December 4, 2008

All Colour But The Black, The Art of Bleach Impression

The Art of Bleach
Every time I write about a manga I mention, no matter how brief, the art and design style. The reason I do this is because fantastic art can stand on its own even without a strong story. This is one of the reasons you’ll see artist paired with writers, especially in US based comic companies. Tite Kubo is one of those rare exceptions, mostly seen in Japan, who has an art style that melts the eyes and is mixed with a story that is as exceptional as any manga that has come before. I’m referencing Bleach of course, and while Kubo has create other works (Zombie Powder) Ichigo and crew are just the best of what he has to offer.

Like Naurto, One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist before it, Viz has released a new art book for Bleach titles All Colour But The Black, The Art of Bleach, and it is as beautiful as one expects and then some. This book takes the cover art, promo art and holiday art from the first nineteen volumes of the Bleach manga and offer them up on glossy pages, full color along with creator notes. This is truly a perfect buy for any Bleach fan and more, which I’ll get to in a minute, but first what is this book made of …

  • The Cover – Of note because the slip cover is pretty, but underneath there is a pretty sketch of various characters.

  • Foldout Poster – Double-sided with Soul Reapers on one side and the main ‘crew’ on the other. It’s a shame it’s folded, would look great framed (but that is what the lower priced poster-zine is for).

  • Content – Made up of Prismatics 1, Direct Rays and Prismatics 2, this is the bulk of the art.

  • Storyboard – A quick page that shows the storyboards for a specific chapter, 181.

  • Captains – Not the name of the section, but this shows non-color pics of each captain along with a note. Interesting to see into the mind of each character.

  • Index – The best section as it gives notes from Kubo into each piece of art in the Content sections. Looking into the mind of a master, it’s a rare treat.

Besides fans of Bleach this book truly appealed to the artist in me. The style, clothing, color choices, moods of the art offer great inspiration. I found myself sitting and sketching out many of these images just for fun. Seeing the progression of the characters, you can tell earlier art, is also of note, gives hope to new and aspiring artist that the more you work the better you can get. Overall this book will go perfect on fans shelves and is worth the look, and since it only covers up to volume nineteen there is more sweetness to come.

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