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Review: ‘The Art of Pokemon Adventures’

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The Art of Pokemon Adventures
By Satoshi Yamamoto
Viz, $24.99

Pokemon Adventures is an all-ages manga that hews pretty closely to the Pokemon video games, so this handsome art book should have plenty of appeal to those who love the games as well as the comics.

Art of Pokemon AdventuresAll the art in this book is by Satoshi Yamamoto, who has been illustrating the manga for the past 20 years, and his style has stayed pretty consistent. Basically this is page after page of drawings of the characters and the Pokemon, most of them done for front and back covers for the Japanese editions. A few were never used, while some were released in Japan only. As with most manga art books, there are notes in the back of the book stating what each drawing was used for, and in this book, the notes also give the names of the Pokemon and human characters. In addition to finished drawings, Yamamoto has included rough sketches, character studies, and a few odds and ends such as contest entries, and there is a short black-and-white Pokemon Ranger manga at the back of the book that has never appeared in English before.

Most art books are simply pretty to look at, and this one definitely qualifies, but for those who want to go a little deeper, the inclusion of the sketches and character studies allows the reader extra insights into the creative process. One thing that really jumps out as one leafs through the cover images is the importance of the human characters—the Pokemon are always there, true, but the humans are usually larger and more centrally placed, dominating almost all of the images.

Viz has done a nice job of production, especially given the reasonable price of this book. The trim size is a generous 8 1/4 × 11 5/8, and the book has several fold-out pages as well as a glossy dust cover. The paper is bright white and the images really pop off the page.

Like the manga, this art book is kid-friendly and lighthearted, and it should provide plenty of entertainment for casual and serious fans alike.

Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

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