One of Top Cow's lasting legacies in the comic world is the studio Marc Silvestri founded to nurture young artists. Today's top artist lists are filled with alumi of the famous Top Cow 'Pit'. "The Art of Top Cow" is a massive collection that combines The Art of The Darkness, The Art of Witchblade, and The Art of Marc Silvestri into a single tome, complete with select additional pieces rendered by some of the best artists to have graced the pages and covers of "Top Cow" titles.
Mine's the paperback version and it's really huge and thick. This 320-page volume collects some of the best works from Top Cow. You'll see art from Witchblade, The Darkness, Cyberforce, Aphrodite, The Magdalena, Hunter-Killer, Universe, Weapon Zero and other smaller titles.
If you read Top Cow comics, you should know of the high quality of art. The illustrations are reproduced brilliantly and in high resolution showing all sorts of detail down to the minute brush strokes. There's no commentary but every illustration is credited. Some of them also come with the pencil sketches and layout before the inking stage.
The impressive lineup of artists whose work are featured, just to name a few, are Marc Silvestri (who drew the cover), Michael Turner, David Finch, Frank Cho, John Cassaday, Greg Horn, Jim Lee and many more. The work from them are really top notch -- the colouring, line art, design, etc.
I think there might be some duplication of work if you have other Top Cow art books, which I don't. The book description says that it combines The Art of The Darkness, The Art of Witchblade, and The Art of Marc Silvestri, together with additional work from other artists. If you don't have the other books, this volume is pretty much the collectors edition.
Recommended to all Top Cow and comic art fans.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Top Cow Rocks!2010/2/19
No doubt about it, this book is filled with tons of artwork by many, great artists of Top Cow. With 300 plus pages of pictures, this book is pretty thick and will not disappoint. I bought the paperback version, which, to my dismay, came in the mail with the corners of the book bent and the ream a little torn. Nonetheless, I waited a while for this to get here, so I'm going to keep it as it is. Regardless, this book will keep you coming back to it again and again. From The Witchblade to The Darkness, this book covers several of Top Cows past and current comic books.
There aren't descriptions for the images, only captions detailing who creating the artwork. No big deal because that's all I care about anyways. They made a wise decision not to fill it up with text and let the images speak for themselves. It would have been interesting to read the insight of some of the artists, but that might have made this book even thicker.
I have a feeling that within a few years, they're going to make a second volume after this ones huge success. Do not pass up this book, especially at the awesome price on Amazon!
Bursting at the seams with yummy Top Cow goodness2009/11/20
I have to make a confession... I am new to the amazing artistry that is Top Cow. However, after seeing the paperback version in a local bookstore, I was immediately hooked.
The hardbound edition is even more collectible and worth the small premium in my opinion. This is truly a compendium of some of the finest illustrations I have ever seen together in one volume. You'll find yourself going through this collection time and time again, marveling over the exquisite detail and luscious colors on each page.
Yes, there are a few pencil drawings, but if they weren't amazing enough on their own, you get to see them colored in breathtaking fullness on the next page. That visceral transformation alone is worth experiencing time and time again.
You may think I am being over generous in this review, but there is no way I can adequately convey the visual bliss you will experience once you get this massive tomb in your hands.
I can truly say I have fallen in love... with a Cow
Picked this up today2011/1/3
I usually get my books on Amazon, but I had seen this in my local Borders and had a 50% off coupon plus another $5.00 in Borders Bux that they gave me. This is a beautiful book and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of comic book art. I don't own The Art Of Marc Silvestri, The Art of Darkness, or The Art of Witchblade, so I would have gladly paid more for this book if I had to. The prints are very high quality, most of them are full page prints, and there is a good variety of artwork. I hope they do a part 2, I will pick it up immediately if they do. Just a bit of extra information, this is a "gallery" type of art book, not a how-to draw book. A couple of the artists whose work is featured here have how-to DVD's through the Gnomon Workshop, and you can find those DVD's here on Amazon. The Gnomon DVD's are some of the best in artist training, search Amazon or go to thegnomonworkshop.com for more information.
Just a plug to Amazon, even though I got this book elsewhere I did recently order Exodyssey with artwork by the Steambot Studios team, and Art Models 5. Amazon shipped immediately and I got the books literally the next day, even though I chose 2-Day shipping. Good job Amazon!
I highly recommend Exodyssey to fans of concept art and science fiction themed art, FYI.
Art books FTW!
This Cow is Top of the Heap!!!2010/1/7
Dax S. Torres
This is how an Comic Art Book should be done! I have been very disappointed by similar releases by Marvel where they only scanned the cover of a comic and not shown us the (and this is the phrase) virgin images (sans logos, text, bar codes, etc). This amazing over sized (and very heavy) book is filled with images from all of their major books, and several of their minor ones.
The only entry not present that I really missed was Lara Croft's Tomb Raider but I'd wager this is more of a licensing issue with Square Eniox Europe (formerly Eidos Interactive) than an oversight but the images are sorely missed.
I highly recommend buying the Hardcover as it is a good savings and superb format!
PS: I received the Witchblade version as opposed to the Darkness cover thumbnailed here. There are apparently 2 covers, you are not getting the wrong book (FYI).