June 30, 2008

Japanese Edition - Official Art Book

God bless the internet!  I recently discovered a rare item which I've been able to procure from eBay.  Several years ago a limited edition Japanese  Tomb Raider - Official Art Book was released covering mostly the Angel of Darkness game.   Fortunately, the auction had a "Buy it Now" option so I didn't have to fight the poachers until the bitter end.   I was lucky enough to look through the book in London a few months ago compliments of Daniel and Chris from Planet Lara. I was careful not to spill my pint on it or worse, drool.   It is a lovely collection and I hope it makes the trip from Japan safely to my door. Fingers crossed!

James Kenny, concept artist from Angel of Darkness, went through about 100 of the images with me in Dublin (his present home) and clued me in on several new factoids.  At least, new to me.  A large majority of the AOD imagery in the art book was not even appropriate for the final game release.   According to Mr. Kenny, Core had developed a 3 part game storyline and most of the concept work in the Japanese art book was focused on Lara's adventures that took place after the storyline contained in the released game.  So our intention is to include this in the Dreams and Visions version and to clarify what those images are and the extended story.    

Exciting stuff! 

June 17, 2008

Dreams and Visions Press - Art of Tomb Raider

In the summer of 2007, Dreams and Visions Press released the impressive Art of Ralph McQuarrie compendium.   Many of you know Mr. McQuarrie's work through the original Star Wars Trilogy.   His work literally changed how contemporary cinema craftsmen approach the filmmaking process.   With a limited pressing (only 2000 copies world wide) the book was critically received by fans and artists alike. It contains simple pencil sketches to completed matte paintings and encompasses a large volume of Ralph McQuarrie's work.  A definite collector's item.   
After working with LucasFilm to complete the volume (does it get any more prestigious than that?)  Dreams and Visions Press set its sites on its sophomore release.     As a witness and mild participant throughout the process of the McQuarrie book creation (ask about Ralph's wife's shrimp sometime) and a massive fan of the Tomb Raider franchise) I sarcastically, but hopefully suggested to Stan Stice (owner of D&V) "The Art of Tomb Raider." Granted, I had selfish reasons for wanting Ms. Croft to be his next project.    His response was not what I expected.  Thank goodness.   While attending the Star Wars Euro Celebration in London, Stan arranged a meeting with Eidos.   Reluctant at first, and rightly so, I understand Eidos gets a ton of licensing queries, from the outrageous to the ridiculous: race horses, ladies pants, et al.   (Not really sure about the TP)  However, once the folks at Eidos got a hold of the Art of Ralph McQuarrie book, the meeting was on and by September of 2007, verbal commitments were in place.   

The Art of Tomb Raider would be Dreams and Visions Press' second effort.