Dave Stevens: The Complete Sketches and Studies & The Art of Doug Sneyd reviewed

Dave Stevens: The Complete Sketches and Studies

2011 IDW

256 Pages

$50 at your LCS

In the 2000’s Stevens put out 4 convention sketchbooks.  They were very nice as con sketchbooks went and are now very sought after.  ( I have 2-4, but have never been willing to fork over the money I have seen #1 going for–sometimes as much as $350!)  Well now IDW, a publisher that is really making a splash with more arty books lately, has put out a very nice hardcover collecting all four.  The volume includes over 100 additional pieces not previously included (some of which has been previously published in other volumes though) and has some limited notes from Stevens.  There is also an informative text intro.  This is a great looking book that showcases the art wonderfully.  The higher printing quality really reveals the art in a way the earlier sketchbooks failed to do.  The pages, while nice, are not over glossy, which can be hard on the eyes and make leafing through art books less enjoyable.  I have been a Stevens fan for many years and this book was a real treat to get.  The only thing I can complain about, is that I want MORE!  With the artists death in 2008 from Hairy Cell leukemia, there is a finite supply of material and it seems like the bulk of it has not been released unfortunately.  With that said, this is a fine addition to my shelf of art books and well worth the $50 cover price.

The Art of Doug Sneyd

2011 Dark Horse Books

248 Pages

About $27 on Amazon

The great slate of Playboy related collections continues with this fabulous book on one of the finest cartoonists of the last 50 years, in or out of Playboy.  On March 1st I reviewed Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons and found it to be everything that the artist deserved.  A funny, thorough look at this wonderfully off beat artist.  The packaging was outstanding and well worth even the current, higher price on Amazon.  (I bought it during one of the “Glitches” they have that makes something dirt cheap)  This book takes a look at Doug Sneyd, who has been bringing the funny, sexy women in cartoon form to Playboy since the 1960s.

While not as elaborate a collection as the Gahan Wilson book, this one is a very nice edition and shows off the works of this prolific cartoonist to their best possible advantage.  I really think a more complete or at least more prestigious, elaborate volume would be appropriate (and there was 2 other editions of this volume, one with a signed print, and a run of 13 with a slipcase and original work!  Oh how I wanted one of those!)  These pages offer a very nice look at the art of these cartoons and the print quality is far superior to what we have been used to in Playboy over the decades.  Included here is a section in the back of the book relating the actual process used and some general thoughts by the artist.  There is also a nice selection of personal anecdotes from Mr. Sneyd himself. There is a personal warmth and richness to the all too brief stories he relates, that is very much like Mr. Sneyd himself.  I had the extreme pleasure to meet him in 2010 at C2E2 and get a beautiful print of his signed.  He is clearly a very nice and personable man, an all too rare quality in many artists working today.   All of which makes this a very nice package for the money and something that anyone that enjoys cartooning and beautiful, funny women will enjoy.

As a bonus, here is a scan of my prized Doug Sneyd print for your enjoyment…

Sorry about the quality, my scanner is too small to get the whole thing (had to cut off the bunny ears) and I didn’t want to take her out of the frame and mat.

In an extra bonus,  I should mention another good art book I recently purchased.

NUDE: The Job of Figure Drawing

By Jim Silke this  is a very nice book that offers drawings, mostly by Jim Silke ( a friend and colleague of Dave Stevens).  While not of the high quality of the other volumes mentioned here, it is a well thought out trade paperback collection and worth looking into.  Silke has several books showcasing his pin-up girl art that anyone into this type of work would enjoy.

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