Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: A Game of Thrones in paint

The Podcast of Ice and Fire isn't exactly known for sitting on their hands, and besides having produced 108 episodes of their podcast up to date, they also participated in book projects like "A Flight of Sorrows", to which yours truly also contributed, and they made art books about A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings with help of the community that provide painted summaries of the single chapters. I had the possibility to read the first book, "A Game of Thrones in Paint", and I have to say, it was an interesting experience.


The clue is that different artists had one picture to sum up the respective chapter, and they all did it in grestly varying styles and with greatly varying interests. Some crammed their space with as many information as possible in order to get all important events, while others concentrated on total side aspects of a given scene (like Jenn Rose, the artist for Eddard V, who draw the Hound and wrote beside him: "We see the Hound for the first time...and also, other stuff happens") or brought in meta-commentary (like Tom, who drew a giant "You're gonna get raped" banner over Daenerys' wedding). For me, these pictures were the most interesting of the bunch, because they told you things about the story and the community. Sebastian Hapke, to give another example, drew a raven saying "Corn" and a juggling direwolf under a banner of "Westeros got talent". If you can look at that picture and instantly know what it's about, you know you're a ASOIAF geek. 

I often found myself laughing out loud while reading the book. There are many pictures in it that have a charming quality to them that isn't at all diminished by the often crude style in which they are done. So, should you be willing to invest a dime or two in stuff like this, you'll be pretty satisfied. You get a seventy-something pages opus of drawings from different artists, some you will like, some you will dislike, some you will adore. In the end, it's a greater effort to connect us with the books and the community, methinks. And that's worth something in any case.

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