Dark Horse has released details on their forthcoming biography of Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano. Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy is a 328-page hardcover history of the legendary artist written by French video game historian Florent Gorges. The book covers Amano’s career from his earliest work in the late ‘60s to the present. The book will be available on its own and as part of a limited edition slipcase edition that includes a second, 96-page sketchbook of drawings Amano created while touring Paris. The limited edition set also includes a blu-ray featuring interviews and live drawing videos with Amano, as well as two prints of Amano illustrations and a signed card from the artist himself.
With a career that spans fifty years, Yoshitaka Amano’s work in animation, video games, and comics is known around the world. He was a character designer on the first six Final Fantasy games, and has provided paintings and illustrations for every game in the series. He is also the co-creator of Vampire Hunter D, among many other illustrated novel and animation projects. In the U.S., he has worked with Neil Gaiman on 1999’s Sandman: The Dream Hunters graphic novel, as well as 2002’s Wolverine and Elektra: The Redeemer miniseries with Greg Rucka.
A preview of the Limited Edition, as well as additional details about the biography and Amano’s work can be found in the full press release below. Both editions of Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy land in stores in October.
MILWAUKIE, Ore., (May 3, 2018)—Dark Horse is thrilled to reveal details from the upcoming Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy. Author Florent Gorges (The History of Nintendo, Vol. 1: 1889-1980), one of France’s leading video game historians, sets out to explore the 50 years thus far in the career of legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy).
Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy is a beautiful celebration of the life and imagery of Japan’s master of fantasy and science fiction art! This handsome, landscape-style hardback contains nearly 400 illustrations and photos from the incredible career of Final Fantasy designer Yoshitaka Amano. But Beyond the Fantasy covers far more than just the famous game series. Amano’s artistic journey goes back to his first job in 1967—age 15, working on Speed Racer! From animator to illustrator, to internationally exhibited painter, this biography is a look not only into the work of Amano’s life, but the influences, techniques, philosophy, and family that have nurtured it.
The Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition is a must-have for any Amano fan. Its three colors, black, red, and gold, are designed to evoke Amano’s own favorite hues—and his father’s traditional lacquerware craft that influenced him from childhood!
The black slipcase of the Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition contains not only the same 328-page gold hardback biography from the regular edition, but also the elegant red 96-page Yoshitaka Amano—Paris Sketchbook, a landscape-style softcover with French flaps. The Paris Sketchbook follows Amano through the famous city in a photo essay, collecting the sketches of the people he made along the way!
Besides the gold and red books, the Limited Edition also contains a portfolio with a region-free Blu-ray (subtitled in English) featuring almost three hours of talk and interviews with the creator and the documentary makers, containing bonus information and archival images not in the biography. You’ll walk with Amano through the streets of Paris, shop with him for drawing supplies and art books, and experience a “live draw” in his studio, showing Amano’s exact technique from blank sheet to finished Vampire Hunter D painting! A mini-lithograph of the painting and a Final Fantasy illustration is also included in the portfolio—and finally, the Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition features an individually signed card from Amano himself!
The Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy hardcover is 328 pages and retails for $49.99. The Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy Limited Edition is 424 pages total and retails for $149.99. Both editions go on sale October 10, 2018, and are available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop.
Praise for Yoshitaka Amano:
“Amano is an artist for the next century…He has taken all that he has learned from anime, from American comics, from a hundred traditions, and he moves forward with it, scaling the wall between fine art and illustration, between East and West, between yesterday and tomorrow. Amano is a storyteller. His paintings are stories. His mind is magic: and here he gives us a kaleidoscope of images to take us into the future, to teach us about our past.”—Neil Gaiman
“Amano originally developed his highly stylized imagery in the service of anime and video-game design, but its influence today is unarguably visible in the ‘Superflat’ cosmos of Takashi Murakami, Mariko Mori, and a handful of other Japanese artists who have lately risen to international stardom…While the majority of Western artists who employ the imagery of popular culture do so through appropriation, Amano needs no source material other than his own.”—Artforum International
“Amano’s art is amazing; it seems to move on the page in a musicality of ink so that the eternal tension between creation and destruction seem to dance.”—Sacramento News & Review
Joe Grunenwald is a writer and editor living in the Pacific Northwest. He’s taller than a lot of people but not as tall as some people.