I have to admit, I don't usually like convention exclusives, especially when they don't offer a new reading experience such as variant covers, prints or bookplates. However, in this case, I have to admit that I was amazed by The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo 2010 art book.
The book offers as much as 67 different takes by as much different artists on a particular theme. This year was Sci-Fi Adventures, much to my delight since I greatly appreciate the genre. This is a departure from previous volumes as they were exclusively centered under a ''western'' theme. Pencil sketch, inked piece, painting, digital media; there is a lot of diversity in each artist’s approach, which gives a very nice and diversified look to the book. It is always interesting to see and compare how artists choose to portray the same theme in very different ways and compared to similar projects, very few pieces, such as Dale Keown's, feel out of place. The selection of artists is also breathtaking, ranging from industry professional (Bruce Timm, Greg Horn, Eric Powell and many more) to more local (but as skilled!) talents.
The book in itself is also one of the reason I greatly appreciate it. When I first saw it on the Expo Web site, I was expecting something smaller and not as impressive. What I got instead was a very well-designed, professional-looking and oversized hardcover art book. It is very similar to what you would expect from the European format.
If you have the chance to attend the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo or know someone who does (like I do), I strongly suggest you buy a copy of this art book next year. It is so far one of the best convention exclusives I have seen.