Over the years, I’ve failed at collecting a wide variety of things. I tried stamp collecting for several years in my teens, which proved unfulfilling. It was also a waste of much needed drawer space. More recently I attempted a sword collection, which too turned out to be a fruitless endeavor. Leaving me with precisely one and a half replica swords. The only thing I have managed to successfully collect over the years has been art books.
It started with the original Ace Attorney book of game art I received when I was eleven and, despite it being only available in Japanese at the time and therefore entirely indecipherable to me, I was hooked from there on out. In the decade since I’ve gathered enough that if my bookshelf were to collapse in the night the weight would most certainly kill me. From The Song of the Sea Artbook, which I’ve wrote of already,to Steven Universe: Art and Origins, they all sit pride of place. But one still evades my clutches.
The Art of Mulan
Compiled by Jeff Kurtti, The Art of Mulan is a sizeable 194 pages of concept art and character design from Disney’s 1998 classic. It contains full colour reprints of some of the extensive layouts from the film. But wait there’s more! It also contains initial sketches and storyboards too. The book provides a look into the inner workings of the film’s conception and is truly fascinating.
Of course, as is the case with many fascinating things, it comes with a price.
I’ve been scouring the internet for several years for a good deal. No joy yet though. I can’t seem to find even a second-hand copy within my price range. Since the book was initially released 20 years ago, new copies are dwindling and go for £200 pounds minimum on Amazon. I’m sure I’ll one day manage to get my hands on the book.
But for now, to the detriment of my collection, it remains a must have for the future.