James Jean is an illustrator, most famous for his work on Fables. Since I rarely read American comics, I actually learned about him through one of my teachers at SVA, Stephen Gaffney, who teaches figure drawing. Interestingly, James Jean’s figure drawings do remind me of Stephen Gaffney’s figure drawings, but I digress…

This book (248 pages) collects sketches from his moleskine sketchbooks (which you can see on his site). It’s a very well made hardbound book, with even a die cut on the cover. Graphic Designers or book designers may enjoy this book just because of its design, nevermind the content. But for those of us who are interested in the guts of the book, here’s what’s inside: pencil sketches, portraits, nude models,a few photographs and some color work. I like the that the sketchbook isn’t edited, you can see the “mistakes” in the drawings. One tiny pet peeve of mine is how he layers drawings on top of one another. Sketches overlap each other making it a bit hard to decipher certain drawings. Also there are a couple of x-rated drawings of women.

This book is a good addition to any sketchbook library. Although I would obviously not recommend it to minors, or people easily offended.

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