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Pocket Fantasy Art

1/12/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Pocket Fantasy Art edited in the USA - or Buy Pocket Fantasy Art edited in the UK

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Pocket Fantasy Art edited by Martin McKenna. pub: Ilex. 320 page illustrated pocket-sized square shape softcover. Price: GBP10.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-905814-99-2.

check out website: www.ilex-press.com



The sub-titles of books often reveal more about the content than the selling point title. In the case of ‘Pocket Fantasy Art’, it’s ‘The Very Best In Contemporary Fantasy Art & Illustration’ which means it has a lot to live up to.

My initial reaction came from it being a very small book. Indeed, I’m wondering where am I going to put it on my bookshelves once I get around to putting some up without losing it. Then again, as the title suggests, it isn’t supposed to go on a bookshelf but slipped into your pocket so you can have a fix of art when you’re off to work to cheer you up in the winter months. Mind you, a lot of this art comes from the bleak end of the fantasy spectrum as well, so maybe it would be best to think in terms of at least my reality isn’t quite so bad after all.


My initial reaction came from it being a very small book. Indeed, I’m wondering where am I going to put it on my bookshelves once I get around to putting some up without losing it. Then again, as the title suggests, it isn’t supposed to go on a bookshelf but slipped into your pocket so you can have a fix of art when you’re off to work to cheer you up in the winter months. Mind you, a lot of this art comes from the bleak end of the fantasy spectrum as well, so maybe it would be best to think in terms of at least my reality isn’t quite so bad after all.


In many respects, seeing the art at such a small size allows you to admire the scene more than the brushstroke although I should point out that many of the artists here do rely on computer graphics software than the traditional methods of using a brush. With larger sized books, I usually get an inkling to get doing painting that way myself but with this book it was more to just look at the pictures. I should point out that each one has a caption with the artist explaining what the painting is about and what and how it was achieved so you budding artists can come away with an inkling of what was involved. There is also an index pointing out all the artists’ websites so you can look up any personal favourite and see more of their work. As such, you get a great deal out of this book.


As per usual, I’ve tried to include a representation of the art within but on a budget of five pictures they can’t possibly be fully representative of the contents. I don’t think you would be dissatisfied with what you get with this book and bearing in mind the time of year, it’s also a neat present to give a fantasy fan without costing the middle-Earth to buy.

GF Willmetts



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