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  • John Landis and Rick Baker are two names we already know from the book I presented yesterday. Both are essential contributors to the subject of today's book.

    Michael Jackson: The Making of "Thriller"
    4 Days/1983

    Author: Douglas Kirkland

    Hardcover, 192 pages, dimensions: 29.3 x 26.2 x 1.8cm. Language: English
    Publisher: Filipacchi Publishing, release: 28 October 2010, ISBN: 978-1933231983

    The book has a lenticular cover where you see the normal Michael Jackson when you look straight at the cover. When you look from the side, you see him in zombie makeup.

    This is not a conventional "making of" book. There is very little text on the production of the music video itself. The author Douglas Kirkland was the set photographer of Thriller and so this is basically a photo book. There are texts from Kirkland and Nancy Griffin, a journalist, who was on set with him. There are also bits of information concerning the production of the music video from Rick Baker, Vincent Price and the producers of the music for Thriller.
    Kirkland delivers descriptions for a few of his pictures. The rest of the texts are small paragraphs of general comments on Michael Jackson by people from the music business, which seems a bit odd at first. But that's probably due to the fact that this book was published a year after Michael's death. So this book was clearly intended for fans of Michael Jackson and his music.

    I don't consider myself a fan of Michael Jackson, but I always liked his music. It's a pity there is not much "making of" information in this book, but it's a big format book and we get 192 pages of behind-the-scenes photographs from the shooting of Thriller, which is great. The pictures sometimes get a bit repetitive, as there are sequences of pictures from basically the same scene with only little differences. But Thriller was a milestone in music video history and it deserves to be thoroughly documented. Never before had there been such an elaborate and expensive video. It was immensely popular - not just with the music fans, but the horror fans, too. John Landis, the director and Rick Baker, the special effects make-up guy had changed werewolf movies forever with An American Werewolf in London. And they also worked together on Thriller to transform Michael Jackson into a werewolf/were-cat and a zombie. I still remember sitting down in front of the tube every time Thriller was on TV. I hadn't seen any zombie movie at that time and horror movies on the 2 TV channels we had back then were rare as snow in summer, so it really made an impression on me. This book managed to bring back some memories.

    Last edited by Homunculus1916; 29th October 2017, 11:22.
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    • The Essential Supernatural
      (Revised and Updated Edition)
      On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester

      Author: Nicholas Knight

      Hardcover, 232 pages, dimensions: 33 x 24.5 x 3.1cm. Language: English
      Publisher US: Insight Editions, release: 28 October 2014, ISBN: 978-1608875023
      Publisher UK: Titan Books, release: 28 November 2014, ISBN: 978-1783296781

      This is what the book looks unter the dust cover.

      I had already included a Supernatural book in the Halloween book show last year. It was The Supernatural Book of Monsters, Demons, Spirits and Ghouls, by no means a great book. I got it and it was rather disappointing. For this year, I have dug up a way better book. The original version of The Essential Supernatural from 2012 covered the first 7 seasons of the show in 192 pages. The Revised and Updated Edition includes everything up to season 10. Actually we are at season 13 with the show now and I'm not sure if it's over yet. So maybe there will be a "revised revised edition" in the future?
      It is a book from Insight Editions, which means it is nicely designed. It's also a big book and as with many Insight Editions books, there is extra stuff stuck in. There are bottle labels from the series, stickers, photos, postcards, a foldout map of their travels, a few in-universe Supernatural novel cover posters (from season 4). There was supposed to be an air refresher (for the car) included, but either that wasn't included in the revised edition or as I bought it 2nd hand, the original owner had use for it. I had a dead mouse in my car's engine compartment recently, so I could have used it well, and a Supernatural air refresher tree sure is a cool thing. What a pity!

      The content of the book might be a condensation of the Supernatural: The Official Companion books by the same author. But I'm not sure about that. There are Companions for season 1 to 7 and the books are smaller and b&w pictures mostly, with only a small color section.
      The Essential Supernatural is a full color book full of pictures from the series and behind the scenes. The book is divided into chapters for the seasons of the show. For each season, there is a summary of the story, and articles on certain aspects of the production, story details (important characters and places) and series mythology (like demonology, kinds of otherworldly beings, killing methods..).
      The "making of" articles are on set design, props, writers & producers, visual effects, prosthetics and makeup, the car, costumes, graphic design and the motels – noteworthy, because the set designer had to come up with 100s of different hotel rooms for the show.
      For season 10, there's only an extensive preview and photos and no story details or behind the scenes stuff, obviously because at the time of writing the book, season 10 was still in production.

      I've only seen a single episode of the show until now, and that one was about a killer who shapeshifted into the Universal Monsters, a oktoberfest and the Winchester brothers in lederhosen. It was hilarious. I did avoid the story details mostly, but the book definitely makes me want to watch the whole show.

      A glimpse of a Winchester guy in lederhosen can be seen in the costumes section (see below).

      I have still 2 books left. Tomorrow you will see one of my favourite artbooks - as beautiful as horror can get! And for the Halloween evening there will be something that really might make you shriek and vomit! Something really disgusting, not SFW, I promise!
      Last edited by Homunculus1916; 30th October 2017, 11:34.
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      • The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad

        Author: James Wyatt

        Hardcover, 240 pages, dimensions: 28.6 x 25.4 x 2.5cm. Language: English
        Publisher: Viz Media, release: 5 July 2015, ISBN: 978-1421587806

        I remember when all this started. It was during the 1990s. A few of my sci-fi and fantasy loving friends went crazy over this new trading card game, Magic: the Gathering. They played it like mad. Magic: The Gathering was introduced in 1993. It was basically a battle of mages with the cards representing their spells, summoned creatures and such (a very crude description). It was very successful and after that, every other franchise hat its own card game, too - including Lord of the Rings. I didn't care much about playing cards, but I always was eager to check the wonderful art on my friend's new Magic card decks. My only complaint was this gorgeous art was kind of wasted on these stamp sized pictures on the cards. So it's great to finally have these books in decent size and quality now. I hope they do this for their older cards, too.

        I got my copy used, cheap, because the dust cover was missing, so below is a picture of my naked copy and the first picture is what it should look like new.

        The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad was the second of the new art books published by VIZ Media. The first one from VIZ was Zendikar in January 2016. I have no idea what took them so long to realise this was a great idea. There had been one artbook done for Magic before: The Art of Magic: The Rath Cycle in 1998. The difference is the new books are full-fledged lore books as well. The problem with artbooks for lush fantasy universes is that it's a rather unsatisfying experience to just watch the pretty pictures without much accompanying text. See the Gwent - Art of the Witcher Card Game review - the meager descriptions didn't satisfy me, nor is it much help for someone who doesn't know the underlying fantasy universe and, propelled by the art, wants to know more. As a lore book, The Art of Magic: The Gathering is done way better than, for example, The World of the Witcher.

        The Art of Magic: The Gathering - Innistrad does (nearly) everything right. On the first page, you get a crash course on what Magic: The Gathering basically is and how it all connects together. Then you get the complete history of the world, which is basically a nightmare of gothic horror, where people lived, protected by angels and in constant danger from vampires, werewolves, demons, ghouls, necromancers raising the dead and evil cults calling shapeless things from beyond the stars.. and to make matters worse, then the angels went mad.

        The only thing that’s missing for me is some insight into the artists work and the creation of the specific artwork. I know, this wouldn’t really work well with this lore book approach, but it’s something I’d really like to see, maybe in a separate book. The art is so great. The artists would really deserve to get more attention.

        The author, James Wyatt, is a game designer for Magic: the Gathering. He is one of the people who, for creating the card sets and their mechanics, created the laws and the lore for these worlds. So he was definitely the ideal person for creating these books. In the end of the book, there is a chapter on how creating such a card set works - another great asset.
        What's so great with this book is, besides the incredible art and all the crazy history details, the fact that anyone without any prior knowledge of Magic in general or Innistrad in particular can enjoy this book!

        Some additional reading: Creating the Art of Innistrad, an article on the Wizards of the Coast website.
        Last edited by Homunculus1916; 1st November 2017, 10:09.
        Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


        • So here comes the final Halloween stuff. As I said,

          it's gory material, so be warned, skip it if you don't want to see something disgusting!

          If you have seen the movie(s), you know it's not meant to be taken serious though.

          Grindhouse: The Sleaze-filled Saga of an Exploitation Double Feature

          Author: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez

          Hardcover, 256 pages, dimensions: 28.6 x 22.2 x 2.2cm. Language: English
          Publisher US: Weinstein Books, release: 1 April 2007, ISBN: 978-1602860148
          Publisher UK: Titan Books, release: 25 May 2007, ISBN: 978-1845763596

          This is the "making of" book for the Grindhouse double feature film from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Later on, both movies were published in extended stand alone versions, but initially this was released as a 1970s style grindhouse double feature with fake trailers in between.
          Planet Terror is my favorite from these two movies. Tarantino's Death Proof suffers from too much talking, which is typical for Tarantino, and I generally like his stuff, but this time it's too much. Maybe it's too much girls, if there's such a thing. Planet Terror definitely has more meat.

          After introductions by both directors and a discourse on what grindhouse is, the book starts out with the screenplay for Rodriguez's Planet Terror, which accounts for about a third of the book. It is heavily illustrated with pictures from the movie and also includes extra character information. So it's more than an easy filler. The Death Proof screenplay is not contained in this book. It is sold as a separate book, if anyone wants to read it. But that's something I really don't need.

          The other thirds contain the making of stuff for both movies and the fake trailers. The focus, of course, in on the special effects, the gore, and stunts, but the whole process of making these movies is pretty much covered in great details. I don't have many books with such great pictures of how the guts, mutilation, and mutations were created, both physical and digital stuff. There are also some storyboards and concept art, but it's mostly behind-the-scenes pictures. At the end of the book, there's a collection of poster art and lobby cards, even for the fake Machete movie.

          The most striking feature of this book is its design. It's the same battered 1970s look from the movies that has been applied to the styling of the book and it looks really great. There is really crazy stuff in this book, but the sickest material is for Eli Roth's "Thanksgiving" trailer. I didn't include that in the pictures and I don't remember seeing it in the movie. Maybe it's just my brain protecting me from that weird shit. But that's the difference between a brief shot in a movie and something you see in a "making of" book: you can linger on such atrocities as long as you want. Cheers!

          Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


          • Hullo chaps!

            I don't know if many heard about the upcoming Bodleian exhibition next year, but I have just noted the cover image has been released for the accompanying volume to the exhibition! Named 'Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth', and edited by Catherine McIlwaine, there will apparently be three formats available: a paperback for €35.00, a hardback for €50.00, and a collector's edition for €375.00, limited to 500 copies and signed. According to, it will be available as of June 2018, with pre-orders being taken.

            Standard Edition Hardback
            416 pages, 259 x 237 mm
            ISBN: 9781851244850
            Publication June 2018

            Here are the details regarding the exhibition:

            And here are links for the various volumes on

            And a link to the standard hardback on the Bodleian Libraries site:

            Click image for larger version  Name:	l_tolkien_maker_middle-earth_hardback.jpg Views:	1 Size:	64.9 KB ID:	93642
            Last edited by Earl.Haig; 10th November 2017, 23:18.


            • Originally posted by Earl.Haig View Post
              Hullo chaps!
              I don't know if many heard about the upcoming Bodleian exhibition next year..
              Hi Earl.Haig!
              This sounds very interesting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I hadn't heard of it, neither the exhibition nor the book. I don't have much literature on Tolkien and his writing (what a shame), so I think I will get it. The standard hardcover will do, I guess.

              Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


              • Interestingly, since first I posted this morn, the limited collector's edition is now listed at €450.00 on Standard hardcover for me I think haha.

                There is also to be a smaller paperback released concurrently with 'Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth', named 'Tolkien Treasures', also by Catherine McIlwaine, the Tolkien Archivist at The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

                144 pages, 196 x 196 mm
                ISBN: 9781851244966
                Publication June 2018

                Here is a link to the paperback on the Bodleian Libraries site:

                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by Earl.Haig; 11th November 2017, 16:08.


                • To get off the stick and start posting again, a little update on the two Middle-earth related books that were announced a year ago. Both got a nice cover image in the meantime:

                  John Howe's A Middle-earth Traveller has been slated for 4 October 2018.

                  Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson & the Making of Middle-earth was slated for May, but as of now, 16 October 2018 is the new release date.

                  Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


                  • I am definitely getting those, probably from TheBookDepository.


                    • How many of these books do you have Homunculus ?


                      • I pre-ordered the hardback version of Tolkien: maker of Middle-Earth on Amazon for €40. So cannot afford that collectors edition But I will be going for that John Howe and Peter Jacksons ones instead


                        • I will definitely get them all, the Baudelaire book , the John Howe book, and the book on Peter Jackson.

                          Originally posted by finarfin View Post
                          I am definitely getting those, probably from TheBookDepository.
                          I checked them out occasionally, but most of the time, prices are not that great - at least for the things I looked up.
                          If you want to avoid Amazon, it doesn't help either, as they belong to the Amazon empire. The are just Amazon with another banner.
                          For me, the real advantage of Amazon is to see marketplace offers of used copies on the same page as the new books. That often helps to save some money (of course not for pre-orders). And you can get most out-of print books rather easily.

                          Originally posted by Nocturno The Dark Shadow View Post
                          How many of these books do you have Homunculus ?
                          Already too many, some would say. But not nearly enough if you ask me ;-) One thing is certain: I will never run out of books to review. It's just time that's the limit.

                          I mostly collect books on movies, games, comics, art (predominantly fantasy and sci-fi) and design, artists, creativity, history (of course including warfare). I'm addicted to books on movie posters, historic photography, history paintings, cg animation, computer game history.

                          I have nearly all of the Middle-earth movie books and everything else Weta was involved, but I'm still lacking on general Tolkien secondary literature.

                          Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


                          • Can we see pictures of your whole book collection or isn't that possible ?


                            • Originally posted by Nocturno The Dark Shadow View Post
                              Can we see pictures of your whole book collection or isn't that possible ?
                              My main library (I like the sound of that ) is basically a hallway stuffed with IKEA Billy bookshelves, rather narrow, so it's a challenge. I love to look at pictures of other peoples libraries and want to be able to identify all the books in it. I will try to make a few useful pics where this is possible. The downside to this location it that all the "landscape" formatted artboooks don't fit into the Billys, so I had to get extra shelfspace in the living room for them. And I'm already running out of this space again .

                              Also coming soon: a review with pictures of The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049
                              Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


                              • This seems to have gone a bit under the radar. Without the review on Parkablogs, I wouldn't have noticed that there is an artbook for Final Fantasy XV a.k.a. the Playstation "boy band" game from 2016, that is now released for Windows, too.

                                The Art & Design of FINAL FANTASY XV

                                Author: Square-Enix

                                Hardcover, 220 pages, dimensions: 23 x 40 x 2cm. Language: English
                                Publisher: Cook & Becker, release: 20.12.2017, ISBN: 978-9082457667

                                The book is published by the Dutch company Cook & Becker who are specialised in art prints and art books. If you are interested in video game art prints, check out their website (among other things, they have Witcher game and Gwent art).
                                There were special editions of the artbook, but they are already sold out. The standard edition, that is an impressive book in size and quality itself, can still be ordered on their website. Americans can conveniently order the book at The book is nearly the same ginormous "widescreen" size as The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049, just a little shorter in height. But it will give you the same headaches in finding a bookshelf big enough to accommodate such a tome.

                                Here is the information from the publisher:

                                This beautiful coffee table art book showcases the art and design of the FINAL FANTASY XV universe, which spans both the hit game FINAL FANTASY XV and the movie KINGSGLAIVE. The Art & Design of FINAL FANTASY XV is published by Cook & Becker. This official artbook has been created together with key members of the FINAL FANTASY XV art team at Square-Enix, who gave detailed insight into their vision for the FINAL FANTASY XV universe.

                                Readers can expect a carefully curated collection of art, drawings and designs that tell the story of the Kingdom of Lucis, and show the love and dedication that went into creating the world of FINAL FANTASY XV. The selected art ranges from pencil sketches to elaborate renders and digital paintings. These include never-before-seen artwork and screens made specifically for this art book. What shows is the detail and craft that went into designing a world in which the designers wanted to merge realism and fantasy, and draw attention to the emotional bonds between characters.

                                The Art & Design of FINAL FANTASY XV spans 220 pages and is printed in full color on a beautiful silk paper. Next to the regular edition, the book is also available as a special Limited Edition.

                                The Limited Edition comes with an alternate cover, as well as a Chocobo-yellow collector’s box and 2 exclusive, hand-numbered FINAL FANTASY XV giclee art prints. The first 500 Limited Editions books also come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by members of the FINAL FANTASY XV art team.
                                This is what the special edition looks like:
                                Last edited by Homunculus1916; 7th March 2018, 11:16.
                                Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


                                • Tomb Raider: The Art and Making of the Film

                                  Author: Sharon Gosling

                                  Hardcover, 176 pages, dimensions: 30.7 x 28.4 x 2cm. Language: English
                                  Publisher: Titan Books, release: 20 March 2018, ISBN: 978-1785657603

                                  With the new movie, simply titled Tomb Raider, coming to theatres this week, it's also time for the inevitable "making of" book. It seems to be the usual mix of behind the scenes coverage with a good deal of concept art and pictures from the movie thrown in. Don't expect anything too in-depth. The movie is said to follow the plot of the 2013 video game of the same name that started the Tomb Raider reboot with a younger Lara Croft.
                                  As there is an artbook for the 2013 game, it will be interesting to see the differences in concept art between the game and movie. I've always been a fan of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft and their digging through ruins, temples, and tombs while avoiding traps and deadly animals. Recently, I started to play the follow-up game Rise of the Tomb Raider, because of the wonderful (mostly underground) scenery. While I hate the climbing,
                                  jumping and especially the forced rushing through the levels, with the help of a certain young jump&run expert (coincidentally also by the name of Lara), I managed to see these spectacular and beautifully designed locations. I was glad I already had both artbooks for the reboot games. This way I was able to study the concept art for the locations in peace and without being under fire. This is the reason I also really like to see final production pictures for both, games and movies, in such books. The game artbooks feature a much greater coverage of the distinct locations then an "Art and Making of" book can do, yet I still felt the coverage was very limited for my taste. So I don't mind another book covering basically the same stuff at all. I just hope it's good stuff.

                                  I must admit, I'm not a big fan of the choice of Alicia Vikander for Lara in this movie. She may be a fine actress, but with facial expressions like the one on the book cover, she doesn't really work as Lara Croft for me. But there's still room for the new film to be an improvement over the Angelina Jolie movies.

                                  Author Sharon Gosling has already produced a few nice entries to my collection: The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful, and Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film. She also wrote a number of Stargate and Battlestar Galactica companion books and co-wrote Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films.

                                  Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!


                                  • And we have a cover for The Fall of Gondolin, edited by Christopher Tolkien!

                                    ___Tolk. The Fall of Gondolin by L. Todd, on Flickr



                                    • The Bodleian now has snaps of the 'Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth' Collector's Edition and it is a beauty!


                                      web_pages_for_collector_s_edition_print2 by L. Todd, on Flickr

                                      web_pages_for_collector_s_edition_print1 by L. Todd, on Flickr
                                      Last edited by Earl.Haig; 17th April 2018, 06:13.


                                      • You are totally correct Earl.Haig, it is absolutely stunning, as are all the various items that come with it. What a collectors edition this is!!


                                        • Originally posted by Minuialwen View Post
                                          What a collectors edition this is!!
                                          It really is! It is beautifully bound and designed (and has my favourite Tolkien drawing as the cover inset). Oh to have deep pockets!