01/11/2008. Contributed by Phil Jones
pub: Gollancz. 26 page softcover calendar. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-575-08320-2.
check out website: www.orionbooks.co.uk
Well it's that time of year again when you think bloomin' 'eck what do I get people for Christmas. Well fear not if your loved ones or fiends, I mean friends, are Discworld fans then this could be a good port of call. For the Terry Pratchett fan who has, well all of his output to date so to speak then the annual Discworld calendar is a good option as said gifts go.
Anyway enough waffle, is it any good? Well, generally, yes. Especially if you enjoyed last year's effort, I mean publication. It's produced along similar lines with various artists, of which some will be well known to the Discworld fraternity. Paul Kidby artwork is one of said artists who has done numerous book covers and diaries maps and the like, all pertaining to Discworld universe. Stephen Player will also be familiar with artwork for 'The Illustrated Www Free Men' and conceptual art for Sky One's blockbuster two-parter 'The Hogfather'.
For those who bought last year's TP calendar some of the artists will also be of the familiar variety having done some lovely pictures of Discworld artiness for 2008's affair. New on the scene is Angelo Rinaldi bringing the totally number of artists to eleven. So who gets two months pictures to go at? Well it's Stephen Player and basically it's because the two pieces of artwork are linked. One is a self-portrait taken with the Mortar16SLR and the following month is a view from within the Mortar16SLR. Very clever and I have to say the internal view is the better of the two.
So with all these artists bringing their interpretation of Discworld to the table is the artwork any good and does it capture Terry Pratchett's wonderful Discworld? Well yes and no. Some definitely leap out at you and immediately say, yes that's Discworld or that's how a character should be. Others I'm afraid could be general artwork and don't feel especially linked to Discworld. Unfortunately, one of these is the new boy Angelo Rinaldi. The artwork is lovely - sort of classical scene but doesn't quite capture the necessary. 'The Opera Ghost' by Jackie Morris is another that doesn't feel in any particular way linked to Discworld. I have to say as well I didn't really like the picture itself too much neither.
The rest, though, are generally impressive pieces of art and really do capture the spirit. I love 'The Last Continent' by David Frankland and his limited use of palette colours providing an almost silhouetted Aussie feel. Death makes an appearance along with some of The Watch, Rincewind and various other characters. The artwork covers quite a few books and some are just general to the Discworld universe.
So, overall, especially if you liked lasts year's calendar there's a good chance you'll like this one. It's varied so if you don't like one month's offering there something new for the next. The artwork is very good and I think there's plenty to enjoy even for non-Discworld fans.
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