Woosh! A look at Lorin Wood’s “spaceship sketches from the couch.”
There is something seriously wrong with San Diego Comic-Con these days. As I was walking through the show a few years ago I overheard someone ask a very simple question:
“Where are the comics?”
That was a fair question, and every year I look around the convention and am amazed at how much of the real estate on the exhibit hall is devoted to movies, toys, television, costumes, and all kinds of other stuff that is not comics.
Fortunately, some of the other stuff at the show is still artwork. Whew! I was starting to get worried that artists were a dying breed at San Diego Comic-Con, but I made my way through the crowd of Star Wars fans and eventually found the artists and, on one quieter side of the show floor, I found the Design Studio Press (website, Twitter) booth.
Design Studio Press, if you’ve never heard of them, publishes so many amazing art books that I have to force myself to pay very close attention to the ever-growing stack when I shop at their booth each year. Several guides, sketch books, and looks at the work of various artists makes this a dangerous booth if you love artwork . . . and if you’re a fan of cars, space ships, robots, and mecha then you really have to watch the stack. Gotta protect the credit card from all of the awesome books!
While gathering books last night at the booth I ran across Woosh! by Lorin Wood. Subtitled “Spaceship Sketches from the Couch,” immediately caught my eye and just had to go home with me. And the combination of Wood’s fabulous spaceship artwork with the $11.95 price tag made buying this book a pleasant decision; that’s insanely inexpensive for an 80-page book of spaceship sketches!
Lorin Wood (website, Twitter) is clearly someone I should meet and spend time with. Reading the few scattered bits of text inside Woosh! tells me that we come from the same generation and have several of the same cultural touchstones, but right now all I’m going to care about is simply how incredible this work is. If you’ve ever loved concept artwork and spaceships then you must own this book!
Star Wars Fan Art!
It was while flipping through Woosh! at the Design Studio Press booth that I realized this book was far more impressive than I had first imagined. In addition to several pages of great spaceship designs, Wood also offers up designs inspired by Star Wars. In the opening to the chapter of Star Wars fan designs, Wood states:
“These drawings are simply the expression of my boyish fandom for Star Wars and all the designers and visionaries who helped bring those films to life while ruining mine — for the better.”
In this chapter of Woosh!, Wood presents concepts for alternate ships including the X-Wing, Y-Wing, TIE Fighters, and even several Star Destroyer designs. Each is inspired and amazing — the Star Destroyer concepts are my favorite works in the chapter — but I’m left with a single question for Wood: Where are the B-Wing concepts?
More Than Star Wars
Now don’t let my diving face first into the Star Wars chapter in Woosh! make you think the book begins and ends with Lucas’ creation. Several pages in the book are spent on spaceships completely imagined by Wood, and every single image is a glorious treat that makes me hope he continues these “sketches from the couch” and offers us a new book next year. Seriously, the content combined with the price makes this a fantastic buy . . . and I want more!
The Work of a Master
Finding Woosh! at San Diego Comic-Con last night was one of those instances that reminded me of why this show can actually be fun. I was completely unaware that this book was being created, and the chance to stumble across such a fabulous collection of artwork leaves me with hope that San Diego Comic-Con is still a great source of the new and unexpected. With so much of the convention dedicated to “Hollywood blockbusters,” it’s easy to overlook the artwork; Lorin Wood’s book gives me the strength to jump back into the crowd today when the exhibit hall opens to a larger audience.
Thank you, Lorin, and I hope that this new book is not the first of your “sketches from the couch.”