I love artists' sketchbooks. I walk around at every con and snatch up as many as I can from all the artists whose work I know and love. I have hundreds of them and look at a few of them daily. The work that so many of these talents do inspires me to no end in my writing. But yesterday at Jim Hanley's Universe I found what may be my favorite sketchbook yet... Seth Fisher's Batman Snow/Tokyo Sketchbook. Simply put, it's brilliant.
The material contained in each and every sketchbook I've bought varies; some artists fill theirs with headshots, others with unused covers sketches, some with new stories and art, others with abstract drawing and paintings. This "new" offering from Seth was a collection of images takes right from his personal sketchbook from 2005, it seems. And it's a look not only at his art, but inside his head. This is one of the first sketchbooks I've collected that's truly given me a real look into the creative process of an artist whose work I love. It peels back the curtain for a nice long look into the mind of an amazing artist. The book clearly illustrates, literally and figuratively, just how Seth approached art and comics. From anatomy to perspective to motion, from the use of shadows and negative space, from architecture to character design, after reading this little book, I like to think I now have a better understanding of how Seth saw not only his work, but the world around him. And that says a lot given the book has no words in it.
As many of you know, Seth is unfortunately no longer with us. He died tragically in 2006, taken from us much too early. I had the pleasure of knowing Seth, enjoyed spending time with him, and always looked forward to catching up whenever we met. His death shocked and saddened me, as it did everyone whose lives he touched. However, it's good to know his family will be keeping his memory alive by making sure some of his unseen work will now see print. While this sketchbook reminds us of the genius we lost when Seth died, I like to believe it will also serve as continuing inspiration for so many other artist that open it. Seth would have wanted it that way.
To learn more about Seth and his work, and to find out how to get your hand on this Tokyo Sketchbook, visit www.floweringnose.com.