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Transformers: A Visual History Book Review


“Transformers: A Visual History” is a wonderful celebration of the franchise’s art.

Penned by Jim Sorenson (who also provides an intro), “Transformers: A Visual History” is, well, exactly what the title suggests. This is an art book that covers the history of the franchise in all its mediums. The book is divided into sections with each section accompanied by a written piece summarizing the history of said topic. The 5 sections include toy packaging from numerous eras, comic books (from Marvel to IDW), animated series (G1, “Beast Wars,” “Transformers: Prime,” etc.), video games (from all generations of systems) and finally the live-action films. Given that this is an art book, each section includes a plethora of images including package art, illustrations, licensing art, concept art, line art, DVD cover, card art, promo poster, comic cover and panel art, lithograph, promo art, pencil sketches, location art, character designs and renders, toy designs pages, screenshots, development art, backgrounds, and storyboards. Each art piece contains an artist credit while some images also contain a quote. Lastly, the book contains a foreword by Ken Christiansen who talks about his love of “Transformers” as well as his involvement with the enduring franchise along with acknowledgments to close it out.

Clocking in at 408 pages, this hefty oversized hardcover book (which also has a pricier limited edition version) is a visually striking overview of all facets of the sci-fi franchise. Naturally, TF fans can pour over pieces of their favorite Autobots and Decepticons along with beloved characters such as Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream, Optimus Prime, Scorponok, Unicron, Arcee and so many others. More than that though, this is simply a love letter to the franchise as a whole. It’s clear so much work went into compiling this book as there’s a veritable wealth of archival pieces on display from concept art to rare development art.

On the subject of the art, it is often cited that a picture says a thousand words and that is definitely true for some of the images on display. The shiny, vivid two-page spreads in particular are nothing short of jawdropping. The Generation 1 mural and “The Covenant of Primus” pieces are but a couple of the highlights within these pages.

If you’re a casual fan or are new to the world of TF, this book also serves as a good primer on learning character names and recognizing who each of the bots are!

Overall Thoughts: Roll out to a book store and pick this book up. You won’t regret it.


December 19, 2019 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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