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Any cinephile worth their salt knows that Karina Longworth is doing God's work with her podcast, You Must Remember This, which does deep dives into stories of the golden age of Hollywood. Longworth is turning into the top film historian of her generation and this book takes a close look at the women in Howard Hughes' world, painting a warts-and-all picture of one of cinema's most infamous filmmakers.
One of my most compelling reads of the year is this page-turning expose by the late Michelle McNamara of one of the most successful serial killers of all time. She almost single-handedly reignited this string of killings and sadly passed away before she could see the fruits of her labor, which is the arrest of a likely suspect in these decades old killings. Not for the squeamish, but even the squeamish will be pulled into her meticulously researched world that goes to great lengths to make the Golden State Killer's victims more than just statistics, but real, fleshed out people.
Todd Fisher lost his sister and his mother within a very short time span. We lost cinema icons, but he lost family. Fisher put his memories of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher down in this memoir. Along with never before seen family photos this tribute is sure to bring a few tears to the eyes alongside some laughter as we get an insight into the day to day life of Hollywood royalty.
Harold Ramis' impact on the childhoods of anybody born between 1970 and 1990 can't be understated. As a director, writer and actor he brought so much joy to the lives of everybody and his legacy continues to this day. Now here's a deeper insight into the man by his daughter, Violet Ramis Stiel.
Dave Itzkoff left no stone unturned in this massive 500+ biography of the late, great Robin Williams. Here he paints an accurate, warts-and-all picture of a great man, his vices, struggles, successes and everything in between.
This hard-hitting expose finally uncovers the truth about this living monster. (Checks notes) Oh, never mind. Fred Rogers was a living saint and despite my cynicism wanting to believe he had a basement full of child laborers stitching grandpa sweaters and comfy shoes together the more you find out about him the more you realize he was the embodiment of the best of us.
I usually try to avoid overtly political books here, but whether you're a lefty like me or a right-leaning brother or sister I hope we can agree on a biography of a first lady, especially the first African American first lady, is worthy of consideration this holiday season. Michelle Obama's memoir chronicles her journey through life all the way through her time in the White House where she had the goddamn nerve to try to give vegetables to school children. Thanks, Obama.
Rod Serling was one of the most fascinating genre minds in the last 100 years. The Twilight Zone alone would be enough to cement his legacy, but he also created Night Gallery and wrote the script for Planet of the Apes. This book takes a look at the man via his personal correspondence, unproduced works and speeches.
This is the 50th anniversary of the release of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 so of course we have a big, thick book dedicated to the evolution of Arthur C. Clarke's story into the classic film that influenced a whole generation of visionaries.
This book tackles the Middle Earth slice of Peter Jackson's filmography, from Fellowship to Battle of the Five Armies. Pushing nearly 600 pages, this book is packed with new interviews with Peter Jackson and his inner-circle of LOTR collaborators to give you a definitive history of events in bringing Tolkien's masterpieces to the big screen.
Can't leave Middle Earth just yet. John Howe is one of the men responsible for how you picture Tolkien in your mind's eye. His artwork not only inspired readers of the books for years he was also brought on to practically design the entire movie series as well. Howe compiled many of his concept sketches here as well as some of his book art and new paintings and sketches to take the reader to every corner of Middle-Earth.
The only book on this list that name-drops your humble Gift Guide author... that I'm aware of, at any rate. I haven't read Gary Busey's crazy-ass book so maybe I pop up in there somewhere even though my total interaction with Gary Busey is that I saw him cheering a football game at a sports bar in Santa Monica one time. Anyway, Don Coscarelli finally put pen to paper and told his story, how he directed a movie for a big studio before he was 20, the success of Phantasm and all the way through Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-tep (where I come into the story) and John Dies at the End. The man is the epitome of an indie director and there's a huge amount to be learned by young up and comers with this one.
Love him or hate him, there's no question that David Lynch is one of a kind. He's a true cinematic artist who doesn't give a sweet damn about what anybody thinks about his art. Room to Dream is his autobiography so if you wanted to get an idea of what makes Lynch tick this is your best bet.
Any Michael Caine book gets an automatic inclusion. His stuff is always great. He's always been a tell-it-as-I-see-it type and has over half a century's experience under his belt to boot. His book on acting is a must read for anybody, but especially those who want to be actors or directors. This memoir spans his entire career, with stories and advice gleaned from his work, life and everything in between.
Sally Field's memoir, In Pieces, is an honest look at the life of a top actress that found her initial fame in the 1970s when Hollywood was being turned upside down. One of the things that knocked the industry for a loop was the gangbusters success of Smokey and Bandit, so Field was at ground zero. She had a hell of a career that's still going and now you can read all about her insights learned along the way here.
Olivia Hussey may be most famous for playing Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet, but she will always be the heroic lead of one of my favorite horror movies, Black Christmas, to me. I'd read this book just for stories about the making of that movie, but her life is way more interesting than just being in an early slasher film. She knew and/or worked with The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Anthony Perkins, Christopher Reeve, Olivier and so many more. The book promises to be an open, honest and at times brutally raw document of a talented woman who made her mark on cinema.
Shatner's written, like, 478 books. This is his latest, a memoir filled with stories of his fascinating life lived in the shadow of James T. Kirk.
Billed as a “Sortabiography” Python lynchpin Eric Idle puts down some life highlights in this book. I love it when performers get to the “I don't give a fuck who I offend” stages of their career. Idle's not an incendiary guy, so don't expect him to put the entire industry on blast, but he's certainly going to put down his thoughts truthfully and with great wit. And probably some sacrilegious jokes to boot. So double win!
A memoir by Gary Busey can be many things... just about anything, really. I honestly have no idea what to expect from this one, but I do know one thing for absolute fact: it's going to be an entertaining read. He promises a book filled with personal stories from the making of his most iconic movies, private life stories, including his battle with cancer, and a ton of personal photos. Maybe also instructions on how get off the grid and become a sperm farmer. You won't know until you read it!
Who doesn't need a little pep talk from time to time? How about some uplifting words from our preeminent wordsmith, Lin-Manuel Miranda? That's exactly what you have here, a little book filled with positivity from Hamilton's mastermind. Not a bad way lift your spirits, eh?
This takes you behind the scenes of Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs. See production photos of the stop motion puppets, read interviews with all the creatives involved and see just how they put that flick together.
If only the Baudelaire children had access to Amazon they could have avoided so much heartache! But life has it out for them Baudelaire kids and make no mistake. Lucky for you, though, you can get your hands on the Incomplete History of Secret Organizations. It will save you from Count Olaf and also provide you with an insider's look behind the scenes of all three seasons of Netflix's Lemony Snicket series.
James Cameron gathered a killer's row of genre filmmakers and talent together for his show, the Story of Science-Fiction, but if you don't have cable never fear! You can read a lot of the insight into the science fiction genre gathered by Cameron from his contemporaries like Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and, of course, George Lucas.
Adventures in Amity compiles everything you could ever want to know about Universal Florida's now extinct Jaws ride. From the spiel script to rare photos of the development of the attraction to storys from those that designed and created it. So much Jaws theme park goodness here!
With The Rock making a Jungle Cruise movie it's probably time for you brush up on the original Disney attraction. If you can't afford to take the vacation, this is the next best thing! The booklet captures all the bad dad jokes and the story being told on the attraction... probably minus a lot of the racism. Probably.
Considering the new Poppins film is out this year the good folks in the publishing industry decided it was high time to release an illustrated gift edition of the original PL Travers novel. Maybe time to read the original text if you haven't already and high time to revisit it if you have and it's been a minute.
I was lucky enough to spend an evening at the abandoned Six Flags outside of New Orleans. With Nicolas Cage, no less. It's a long story, but it was one of the flat out creepiest places I've ever seen. Thankfully Seth Lawless recognized how terrifying abandoned amusement parks are and compiled this photo book that documents them.
Yes, dearies. The Art of Troma. Covering 40 years of the most depraved, sick, hilarious, disgusting, ill-thought out cinema! Pro-tip: don't gift this to any Disney Execs or they might find out James Gunn wrote Tromeo & Juliet and re-fire him from any MCU movies.
For the hardcore film fan/film student in your family is this collection of essays from the notoriously cranky filmmaker Paul Schrader that takes a look at what he calls “slow cinema,” studying the masters like Ozu, Bresson and Dryer. A smart man who knows filmmaking at a core level examining the masters is cinephile catnip.
Part art book, part making of, Bojack Horseman: The Art Before The Horse gives you in-depth interviews with the talent involved, documents how they bring this crazy show to life and also includes all the art of stuff, like sketches, storyboards, concept art, etc.
A book that celebrates the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons!?!? Holy shit, I bet there's some massive nostalgia bombs in there. I grew up right smack dab in the middle of this era, so I'd have reruns of the old stuff to watch as well as the new eps of stuff like Masters of the Universe and the Ninja Turtles and still young enough to enjoy the early '90s onslaught of stuff like Pinky and the Brain and Animaniacs. Great idea to pull a book together that covers this era with interviews with those involved.
Christmas and horror go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Hell, the most beloved Christmas story of all time has three ghosts in it! Blumhouse is in the book publishing game with this one, collecting a bunch of Christmas-themed horror stories from authors like Bubba Ho-tep's Joe Lansdale, Scott Smith and Kelley Armstrong. New short fiction that puts the “Jesus Christ!” back in Christmas.
The Adventure Zone is one of my favorite podcasts. It's a D&D campaign run by three brothers and their slightly slow father. The thing is all four of these dudes are funny as fuck so the twists and turns these campaigns take are both surprising and hilarious. And almost always a bit dirty. Here There Be Gerblins takes the first quest of their first campaign and makes it a comic book! Join Taako (who is an elf that is great at cooking and is searching for the ingredients for his magical namesake), Merle (played by Papa McElroy, a dwarf healer who ends up taking a ridiculous amount of damage all the time) and Magnus (a human warrior with a thirst for blood and a knack for rushing in) on their adventures with this book. Vol 2 is coming soon, so read up!
Stephen King's latest is a hell of a read... at least so far. I'm about 200 pages into it and am hooked enough to resent having to put it aside while I finish this guide. It's about a murdered boy in a small town and the man the local police think did it, his friendly little league coach. It's a slam dunk case. Witnesses saw the boy get into his car just before he disappeared. His DNA is all over the body. The only problem is Terry Maitland was out of town when the murder happened and has dozens of iron clad alibis to prove it. So what the hell happened? See, it's got a hell of a hook! I'm just as excited to find out as you are!
This I did read. Know why? Because it's essentially a novella. It's a small book with big print that barely manages to break 160 pages. It would be the centerpiece story in a short collection from King, but they've decided to release it as its own book. More power to them, but it's a pretty slight, tight read. It's about a heavy set guy who starts losing weight. He doesn't look any different, but the weight is dropping. Then he notices that the scale never goes up even if he's holding a 10lb dumbell. Something supernatural is going on. Will it stop? What happens if it doesn't? That's the story being told. Like I said, slight, but with King's typical attention to character detail.
By the Gods, it's the Art of Assassin's Creed Odyssey! The artists behind the game take you through the concept art, sketches, paintings, renders and everything inbetween, commenting all the way so you know just how much went into the creation of this big ol' AAA game.
This year marked the end of an era. Seems that internet walkthroughs and video game message boards have finally killed the Prima guide. They're going out of business, but not before putting out a couple guides for two of the high profile open world games of the 2018. First up is Red Dead Redemption 2. The guide will walk you through all the missions, let you know where the best hunting is and other tips and tricks along the way.
And Fallout 76. I've collected the Prima Guides for every Fallout game starting with New Vegas, so of course I ordered this one, too, even before I knew it was one of Prima's final releases. This hardcover edition breaks down the giant West Virginia map by region/difficulty and walks you through all the main quests and side quests if you want the help. There's also a fancy bookslip edition that comes with some nifty swag, like coasters, art prints, post cards and a double-sided map poster. That one runs you $70.29, but you can get the regular hardcover version for much less if you don't want all the bonus stuff.
You've played the game, now you can make your own Blamco Mac & Cheese, Yum Yum Deviled Eggs and perfectly preserved pie. I've actually had some of the items made from these recipes and they're legit good.
A complete look at the evolution of Mario over the last 30 years, from Super Mario Bros to Super Mario World 3D and everything in between. A must have for any Nintendo super fan.
PRE-ORDER, December 7th. Prima's not done yet. They also have this Super Smash Bros guide that'll break down a bunch of strategies for the different characters on the different maps. Since there's roughly 374,000 characters you'll need a book to keep them all straight.
For you Pokemon players out there, here's a guide for both the Pikachu and Evee versions of Pokemon Lets Go. Walkthroughs, map breakdowns, hints, you name it. You can catch them all, as they say.
Celebrating the history of the home gaming console is this book which is a photographic journey of all the home consoles ever made, giving you a spec breakdown, game lists (and art!) and accessories. Sure to a be trip down memory lane for us olds out there.
Pixar doesn't mess around with their Art Of books and the Incredibles 2 book is no exception. Take a look at storyboards, concept sketches, colorscripts and production art that all went into the blockbuster animated sequel.
Take a look at the Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story. If you want, that is. Nobody's forcing you to do nothing. Calm down, dude. The book has tons of production paintings, concept art and sketches. Wonder if it's possible to discern between the two visions of the movie looking just at this art? Guess the only way to tell is to flip through it, eh?
For the MCU's 10th birthday, we have this neat hardcover book filled with interviews, articles and easter egg spotting from Iron Man to Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Another 10 year Marvel Studios book, this one showing props, wardrobe and key sets up close and person, with notes on the detail that went into everything you've seen on screen since the first Iron Man.
This isn't a new book, but it may be new to you. This graphic novel is a great introduction to the Carol Danvers we're going to meet on screen next year. If you wanna be ahead of the curve a little bit start here.
If you want more Carol Danvers material then this is a good next step, compiling 432 pages of Ms. Marvel comic book goodness.
Oh, boy, Reddit's gonna be pissed about this one. If you've ever called someone a “soyboy” unironically then skip on past this one. It's about Star Wars and girls. This book is all about the women of Star Wars, entirely written by and illustrated by women and non-binary contributors. Takes a look at women from all over the galaxy, from the big names like Rey to the lesser known, like Ursa Wren.
This is the owner's manual for a YT-1300 starcruiser, much like the one that would have been in the Millennium Falcon's glove box when Lando first owned it. It breaks down all the different compartments, cabins, storage and mechanics of the ship in case the owner runs into any trouble. Thankfully that'll never happen, but it's good to be prepared.
They do this with every Star Wars Saga film, rewrite it as if William Shakespeare were the original author, adding theatrical monologues to all the players and all that jazz. William Shakespeare's Jedi the Last: Star Wars Part the Eighth is a novelty, but a fun one.
The only single creative mind to have a bigger impact on Star Trek than John Eaves is Gene Roddenberry himself. Eaves is a production designer, model maker and illustrator and has designed just about everything Star Trek since The Final Frontier. All the Next Gen stuff you love, like the Borg ship, came from him. This book is all about that dude and how his work shaped Trek throughout the years.
A book filled with newly unearthed photos from the production of the original Star Trek series that serve as a unique insight to the making of one of the most influential sci-fi stories of all time. These photos are also used to reassemble deleted scenes and give us candid moments with the cast.
Billed as the definitive oral history of the making of The Wire, this 350+ page book documents HBO's game-changing crime drama with interviews with all the major players giving a peek behind the curtain of The Wire.
As you can tell by the cover, this is a book dedicated to telling you everything you need to know about the making of Caddyshack. Conservative guess is that the word “cocaine” appears no less than 700 times in this book. Gonna be worth it for the Chevy Chase stories alone, I think...
A new look at the making of Wizard of Oz, one of the most enduring films of all time. The movie is going to stay relevant at least until it's 100thbirthday and that's amazing. This book uncovers new archival material, interviews, notes, etc from the making of the movie and the road to bringing it to the big screen.
The official Behind the Scenes of Stranger Things book is here. Worlds Turned Upside Down takes you into the creative process of the first two seasons of Netflix's huge original series that took the world by storm. Get rare behind the scenes stills, prop photos, set detail breakdowns, the whole nine yards. Super cool release.
JW Rinzler made some of the absolute best Making Of books with his thorough Star Wars books. Now he's moved on to Planet of the Apes and that should make all the movie geeks reading this smile ear to ear. If he brought the same amount of attention to detail to this book as he did the Star Wars ones this'll be a must-own for any self-respecting genre geek.
Based on what I've seen, this is a treasure trove of behind the scenes still from some of the best action movies of all time. The only issue I have with this complete visual history is that they seemed to have included a few generic Bruce Willis action movies after Die Hard With A Vengeance. We all know that was the last Die Hard movie. I guess these other DTV-looking pieces of junk are bonus chapters? Curious.
This Is No Dream chronicles the making of Rosemary's Baby from Ira Levin's book to the development, production and legacy of the resulting film, with tons of rare behind the scenes stills to boot.
This Making Of Solo: A Star Wars Story book is from the VFX point of view, for obvious reasons. A true Making Of book would be a little... tender... for those involved considering just how rocky that production was. We're probably a couple decades away from getting the true, unfiltered story on how everything went down on this one, but in the mean time there's this Lucasfilm sanctioned account of how the VFX were developed to bring Solo to the big screen.
I had an odd habit as a kid. I was really into scrapbooking my movie-going adventures. Every weekend I'd ride my bike to the movie theater and keep my stub, then I'd cut out the movie ads from the local paper to go along with them. I really wish I'd kept this habit up all through my adult life, but for a three year period I was OCD about it. So this book collecting newsprint genre movie ads from the 1980s is so far up my alley it might as well be in my driveway.
Analog Nightmares takes a look at the ultra-low budget horror movies shot on VHS. Starting in 1982 with a movie called Boardinghouse the VHS self-made movie became a phenomenon, usually among the independently wealthy who thought they were the next Spielberg. As you can imagine most of these are hot trash, but they can also show an enthusiastic purity of vision. In other words they might be bad, but at least they're honest. This book examines the movies, the filmmakers and the series of events that led to this boom
Fango is back and you can support a real honest to god in your hands magazine by pre-buying a year's subscription. I did and the first issue was everything I wanted it to be. Set visits, deep dives into overlooked horror, editorials and even the letters section. A horror lover's dream and perfect gift for the gorehound in your life.
This is crazy. It's a pop up book, but like one of those super high end ones that makes it look like the opening credits of Game of Thrones when you open it. Like, you build yourself your own Hogwarts simply by opening this book. It's like... magic! (Yes, I know it's corny, but I couldn't help myself).
Another pop up book, this time from the world of A Nightmare Before Christmas. See Halloweentown and Christmastown come to life through the magic of intricate paper engineering! This stuff never ceases to amaze me, but then again I am perpetually 11 years old at heart.
I love this. So, this book compiles all the Walt Disney Studios personal Christmas cards sent out, going all the way back to the beginning. Designed by the key artists at the time these things are more than your standard Seasons Greetings churned out by a company, but a creative documentation of the world's most famous creative studio as it rose to power. You even get a dozen reproduction Christmas cards to send to your most cherished loved ones.
From high end publisher Taschen comes this in-depth look at Walt Disney's Disneyland, how it came to be and the inspirations for many of the park's details. Includes an incredible amount of in-progress construction pics. Enough to make any season passholder smile ear to ear.
Take a look at the history of Mickey Mouse and celebrate one of the world's most famous icons with new artist's interpretation of Disney's mascot.
The fourth volume in the They Drew As They Pleased series by Disney. This series focuses on the artists at the heart of Disney's golden era and this one gives us insight into the processes of bringing such classics as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to life.
To get us all ready for the return of Mary Poppins this month Disney released this book that takes a look at the history of the character, going back to the PL Travers books and hitting not only the famous Disney film, but also the stage musical and Saving Mr. Banks as well.
William Stout is one of our best fantasy artists and now he's got a nice big art book to prove it! Okay, he's had books out before, but this one is by far the fanciest. Over 300 pages of his best stuff, from poster prints to concept art to commissions, doodles and everything in-between.
Here are the movie posters for all of Ray Harryhausen's work. I guess because he was the top effects guy of his time it makes sense that all his movies would have the best movie posters. The man wasn't making dramas, he was making monsters and that's what people were paying to see, so of course all his designs ended up on the posters. Very cool.
I love Italian film posters. They go big, they go with crazy painted art and they always command your attention. This book takes a look at some of the best Italian movie posters focused mainly on the Spaghetti Western subgenre that exploded after Sergio Leone made history with A Fistful of Dollars. Gonna be some beauts in this one.
It's been a minute since Alien Covenant came out, but Titan has put out this nifty book that delves into David's descent into madness, telling the story through the amazing pencil sketch art you see in the background in the movie. Here you can take a close, detailed look at each piece and see the amazing artistry that went into these things that you barely get a glace at in the finished film.
Before Stanley Kubrick was one of the best directors of all time he was an accomplished photographer. At 17 he joined up as a photographer for Look magazine and took a huge amount of photos around New York. He was essentially Peter Parker without the spider powers. This book brings together over 300 images captured by young Kubrick, many of which have never before been published.
Film critic Andy Nayman takes on the gargantuan task of examining the entire filmography of the Coen Bros, from Blood Simple all the way to current. It's always a good idea to take hard looks at living legends and it'll also always be interesting to see what themes emerge when you look at a body of work on the whole.
Yes, it's a book about the Legend of Zelda... an encyclopedia that covers a bunch of really cool, insightful stuff from the game, I'm sure. But never mind any of that shit. Look at the cover! And you know what's even more badass? It has a slipcover that looks exactly like the black plastic NES cartridge holders all the olds reading this remember. That is the reason to pick up this book. Everything inside is gravy as far as I'm concerned.
The Art of Magic the Gathering: Concepts & Legends is a 200-ish page book chock full of art and lore from the insanely popular Magic the Gathering card game. Nerd levels are off the charts for this one, so you know you're reading the right gift guide.
Professional nerds Sam Witwer and Kyle Newman had a hand in this incredibly geeky visual history of D&D. Alongside Michael Witwer and Jon Peterson they created this giant, 448 page shrine to the art, history and legacy of Dungeons and Dragons. This one should be high on the list of any self-respecting geek this holiday season.
God of War was nothing if not wonderfully designed. Dark Horse makes sure you know all about the work that went into it with this Art of book. See how Kratos, Atreus and all the mofos they kill along their journey were developed!
At nearly 200 pages this Art of Spider-Man: The Game could essentially just be all the cool costumes you could unlock, right? I mean, I'm sure there's tons more, but even if it was just that it'd be worth the read.
PRE-ORDER, December 18th. My most anticipated Art of Book left in the year. No matter how the movie turns out (it's going to be awesome) the visual look of Spider-Man Into the Spider-verse is a marvel. Seeing how they came to the design choices they did is going to be worth the price of this book and then some.
Some people love this movie, some people... don't. That's fine, more movie left for those of us who dig it. The art of book has a lot of ground to cover here. So much visual density in every location, both digital and real life, that this thing could probably be 2000 page if they wanted it to be. Thankfully it isn't, but that just means what's there is the cream of the crop.
Disney never skimps on their Art Of books. With Ralph and Vanellope unleashed on the whole internet that gives us a lot of settings to process. Thankfully we have this book to break everything down for us! Ain't that nice of them?
Usually these Art Of Marvel books focus on one single movie, but not with this one. No, ma'am. No, sir. This one covers the entire MCU with a focus on the exact visual train tracks that lead Infinity War. If you want a more focused MCU Art Of book... well, I got a few below. This one will run you...
Aw yeah. Art of Infinity War takes a close look at the visual evolution of the last Avengers film, from script to screen. Tons of concept art, paintings, production stills, behind the scenes shots and interviews with the filmmakers.
As big and epic as Infinity War was I must admit the MCU Art Of book I'd read first this year would be Black Panther. So many visual feasts on display in that movie I have to imagine the design phase of pre-production resulted in some incredible pieces. Especially when it comes to any and all things Wakanda.
Still got one more MCU Art Of book for you. Ant-Man and the Wasp barely snuck in there. I had to include it though or else the Baba Yaga would come for me and I don't fuck with no witches.
PRE-ORDER, January 1, 2019. DC isn't messing around. There's no Making of Aquaman book over here and an Art of Aquaman book over there. Nope, it's all in one, bay-bay! Having not seen the movie yet I am only confident of one thing: James Wan and his team designed the living shit out of it. So much stuff going on in those trailers. Gonna be lots of material for this book.
Shane Black's Predator is half of a great movie and half of a head-scratcher, but screw it. The half that's great is enough for me to dig it for what it is. This book takes a look at the design aspect of the flick, from the Predator ships to the various creatures, weapons and costumes of the flick
If 80% of this book is trying to make some goddamn sense of Johnny Depp's wardrobe and makeup as Grindelwald I'll eat a shoe. Not literally. Don't hold me to that, but you know what I mean, right? I felt the movie was a big, pretty mess but at least this book focuses on the big, pretty part.
When I was a young kid I began collecting the Marvel Masterpieces cards. Something about Joe Jusko's style, bringing comic book characters into a photoreal space, grabbed me. Keep in mind this was when the only live action Marvel movie anything was Dolph Lundgren in a trenchcoat calling himself Punisher. It was a big deal for me to see the characters this way. Not long after that I found Alex Ross and was immediately enamored with his style. He's done great work in the DC world, but it was his Marvels series that really me a fan. Here's a book of Ross' art that collects his Marvel pieces in one fancy big hardcover book.
Speaking of Joe Jusko, why did nobody tell me he did a NEW Marvel Masterpieces card line in 2016?!? I still cherish my hard-case protected foil insert cards from his initial run. I remember thinking those things were going to be my retirement. I bet they're worth all of three bucks all put together now. But still. You guys let me down. This book, on the other hand, didn't. It took all his 2016 Marvel Masterpieces art and put them together in one place.
We Spoke Out is about how for a long time the only way the youth was educated about the atrocities of the Holocaust was via comic books. Time and time again you find out stories about the comics industry stepping up to the plate to fight the Nazis, both during WW2 and in the decades after. This book details how authors and artists wielded their powers for good. A perfect gift for any comic book or history fan in your family, unless that fan is Mel Gibson's dad or Alex Jones.
This book is kinda creepy, I'm not gonna lie. It's called Anatomy of a Metahuman and it's not kidding. We see inside Superman's head, they break down Swamp Thing's plant particles and we see what Cheetah's ribcage looks like. I didn't say it wasn't interesting! It's just creepy is all. Interestingly creepy, then.
Adding to the deluxe Absolute series is this 30th Anniversary Edition of The Killing Joke, one of the best Joker stories ever told. In fact the word on the street is this book is one of the inspirations for that weird Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie being made right now. Anyway, the book is hardcover and slipcased and all that fancy stuff.
The cleverly titled Beastie Boys Book is a history of, you guessed it, The Beastie Boys put together by band members MikeD and ADROCK. If you ever wanted an insight into the trials and tribulations of that group as they rose to stardom this is your book. Does it answer the age old question of why you can't take a little cat nap on your way to Brooklyn? Buy it if you want to know!
The book of the Guide. Taschan brought it's museum quality insanely detailed approach to the original Star Wars trilogy, unearthing new photos and chronicling the development of the most influential series of films in the history of cinema. Their Kubrick book is still something I recommend to people and that came out, like, 58 years ago. 600 pages of Star Wars minutia, y'all. It's gotta be a hell of a companion piece to Rinzler's Making Of books.
Taschen also has this in-depth heavily researched book about... Mickey Mouse. 500 pages dedicated to the most famous rodent of all time! Disney gave Taschen the keys to the archives, which results in some incredible illustrations being included here, including the very early versions drawn by Uncle Walt himself. A must for any Disney fan.
At over 850 pages, this Omnibus gathers together Amazing Spider-Man 296-329, which is the big run of David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane. These were the hot new Spidey books when I was growing up so I'll always have a fondness for McFarlane's Spidey art. It's also the run that introduced Venom, for what it's worth.
This is the super fancy-pants edition of Creating A Champion, the Zelda: Breath of the Wild making of/art of book. It's hardcover, slipcased and comes with a print of the Champions photo Link hangs on his wall, a map of Hyrule PRINTED ON CLOTH and even a glass replica of a spirit orb. Oooooo, shiny things! The book itself contains interviews, sketches, production art and all the stuff you'd expect in a companion book like that.