Udon has been around for 14 years, working closely with Capcom to produce comics, art books, and video games and bring us closer to our favourite franchises. I’ve been a fan of Udon ever since Kotaku wrote a post about their first art book Udon’s Art of Capcom. It was big, bold, and showed that Udon’s artists could creatively meld our favourite world warriors, school fighters, and evils that go bump in the night. Now they’ve collected both Art of Capcom volumes and coupled them with a few more bits and bops from other art books to produce this massive volume; Udon’s Art of Capcom Complete Edition.
UDON’s Art of Capcom: Complete Edition (2014)
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Binding Reviewed: Hardcover (600 pages)
Yep you read it correctly. This volume contains 600 pages worth of art based on the world of Capcom. Forget the word volume, this is more of a tome. After a brief introduction from Udon chief Erik Ko, the book ceases to be a book and is more of a mini art exhibition. Each art piece fills the page in loving detail with text being reserved for the purpose of the piece and the artists name.
The book is split up into sections; Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, World of Capcom, and Udon’s video game work. World of Capcom is the most unique chapter as there are some fantastic mash up pieces, and shows love to other Capcom staples like Devil May Cry and Onimusha. The book can feel a bit Street Fighter heavy due to the bulk of Udon’s work being with that franchise, so spreading the Street Fighter pieces across the book would’ve been better to stave off fatigue.
From their comic book work to their more recent video game ventures, this tome covers the whole 14 years Udon has been working with Capcom. Followers of Udon on DeviantArt will be familiar with many of the pieces in here; including a personal favourite Omar Dogan‘s consistently brilliant work on the Street Fighter ladies. You won’t find many pre-2004 Capcom promotional material i.e. works from Akiman or Bengus as you’re better looking at SF 20 or SF 25: The Art of Street Fighter. This is a celebration of Udon’s dedication and love for Capcom, with each piece showing overwhelming passion for the respective series.
When it comes to price, Udon’s Art of Capcom Complete Edition is on the high end. It’s a premium art book; 600 pages and hardcover binding. Some stores like Amazon with discounts on the RRP makes the purchase a bit more appealing. Budding artists looking for inspiration may want to invest in this as a one off, otherwise tracking down a copy of the original Art of Capcom may be more fruitful as it contains tutorials and extra written content.
Overall I’m very happy with Udon’s Art of Capcom Complete Edition. I’ve been an avid follower of the canadian art studio and been itching for a chance to own a nice hardcover. If you’ve never picked up a Udon book then this is an all inclusive starting point. It’s got bits and pieces from all their Capcom work rolled into a nice big package, ready for the holidays.