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The Art of Discworld

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The Discworld floats through space on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant turtle (once there were five elephants, but that's another story). It's a world bursting with magic, a land of contrasts and extremes, from the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork, the oldest city on the Disc (now ruled with an iron hand in a velvet glove by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari), The Discworld floats through space on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant turtle (once there were five elephants, but that's another story). It's a world bursting with magic, a land of contrasts and extremes, from the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork, the oldest city on the Disc (now ruled with an iron hand in a velvet glove by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari), to the ancient empire of Klatch, where there are fifteen words for assassination. There's the mysterious continent XXXX, or Foureks, about which nothing anyone has ever heard is really an exaggeration, the tiny kingdom of Lancre and the dark country of Uberwald, where things do go bump in the night. And then there are the inhabitants: the witches Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick (now a Queen, of course). There are wizards galore, Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully, the Librarian, Rincewind, the Bursar . . . there are the History Monks and the ancient Vampyre families. There are great heroes, like Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde, Sam Vimes, Captain Carrot and the men* of the City Watch . . . and there are the ordinary folk like Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Foul Ole Ron, the Igors . . . and there's Death. The Discworld might have started out in the imagination of its Creator, Terry Pratchett, but over the past 30 or more books, it has taken on a life of its own. Here, gathered together for the first time, is artist Paul Kidby's own voyage through the Disc, in glorious color and intricate black and white: a cornucopia of characters that have won the hearts of millions of adoring readers the world over: Here is The Art of Discworld. werewolves, zombies, gargoyles, dwards - in fact, menof the Watch are actually few and far between these days.


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The Discworld floats through space on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant turtle (once there were five elephants, but that's another story). It's a world bursting with magic, a land of contrasts and extremes, from the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork, the oldest city on the Disc (now ruled with an iron hand in a velvet glove by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari), The Discworld floats through space on the backs of four elephants standing on a giant turtle (once there were five elephants, but that's another story). It's a world bursting with magic, a land of contrasts and extremes, from the bustling metropolis of Ankh-Morpork, the oldest city on the Disc (now ruled with an iron hand in a velvet glove by the Patrician, Lord Vetinari), to the ancient empire of Klatch, where there are fifteen words for assassination. There's the mysterious continent XXXX, or Foureks, about which nothing anyone has ever heard is really an exaggeration, the tiny kingdom of Lancre and the dark country of Uberwald, where things do go bump in the night. And then there are the inhabitants: the witches Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick (now a Queen, of course). There are wizards galore, Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully, the Librarian, Rincewind, the Bursar . . . there are the History Monks and the ancient Vampyre families. There are great heroes, like Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde, Sam Vimes, Captain Carrot and the men* of the City Watch . . . and there are the ordinary folk like Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Foul Ole Ron, the Igors . . . and there's Death. The Discworld might have started out in the imagination of its Creator, Terry Pratchett, but over the past 30 or more books, it has taken on a life of its own. Here, gathered together for the first time, is artist Paul Kidby's own voyage through the Disc, in glorious color and intricate black and white: a cornucopia of characters that have won the hearts of millions of adoring readers the world over: Here is The Art of Discworld. werewolves, zombies, gargoyles, dwards - in fact, menof the Watch are actually few and far between these days.

30 review for The Art of Discworld

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    If you're not a fan of Terry Pratchett or the Discworld series of books, this particular edition will probably sail right over your head. If you are, well, it's more than just the art of Discworld. In the beginning, Discworld covers were done by Josh Kirby, who sadly passed away, handing the mantel on to Paul Kidby, whose similar yet independent style kept the Discworld spirit alive. This book features Kidby's work only, with sketches and finished articles alongside some never-before-seen If you're not a fan of Terry Pratchett or the Discworld series of books, this particular edition will probably sail right over your head. If you are, well, it's more than just the art of Discworld. In the beginning, Discworld covers were done by Josh Kirby, who sadly passed away, handing the mantel on to Paul Kidby, whose similar yet independent style kept the Discworld spirit alive. This book features Kidby's work only, with sketches and finished articles alongside some never-before-seen material that bring Discworld to life. It's also narrated by Terry himself, with little notations by Kidby, but it's Terry's words that make this book more than just an art one. He gives us insight in to his thinking of the characters we love and gives us a few books and people that have inspired him throughout his writing career to look out for as references ourselves. It's the ultimate dip-in-and-out book and the illustrations have so many little things to look for it can overtake your imagination for days on end. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jokoloyo

    The blending of art and narration gives this book a good pleasure. A perfect coffee table book to accompany an enjoyable coffee time for Discworld's fans. This book is for fans of Discworld, and presenting the arts from Paul Kidby. Not only just the art, but also the narration by Pratchett gave some insight of the author himself about the characters and setting of Discworld. I like the part where Ankh Morpork grew in Pratchett's mind.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    I picked this up on my anniversary used book shopping spree and do not regret it. This collects a LOT of Paul Kidby's art, both the rough drawings and the finished pieces, along with Terry Pratchett's commentary on the characters and where they came from. There are a lot of delightful behind-the-scenes tidbits, like how Carrot got his name from a builder's apprentice with red hair whose nickname was Carrot, or how Vimes was never meant to be the main character in Guards! Guards!. I only wish for I picked this up on my anniversary used book shopping spree and do not regret it. This collects a LOT of Paul Kidby's art, both the rough drawings and the finished pieces, along with Terry Pratchett's commentary on the characters and where they came from. There are a lot of delightful behind-the-scenes tidbits, like how Carrot got his name from a builder's apprentice with red hair whose nickname was Carrot, or how Vimes was never meant to be the main character in Guards! Guards!. I only wish for the impossible, which is that it could cover the entirety of the Discworld series--Pratchett writes of the Ankh-Morpork City Guards that "there are no vampires in the Watch," because Sally hasn't come along yet. Oh, and that they'd included the painting of Greebo as a human. Mmmmm.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebeccah

    Paul Kidby's art feels like the way I've always pictured these characters in my head, but now get to see brought to life by someone who actually has talent. It is obvious he loves the works he is illustrating, and the commentary by Pratchett provides wonderful details to characters I've followed over the course of almost 40 novels. Who knew that most of my favourites, Vetinari, the Librarian, Nanny Ogg, and even Death were never meant to be in more than a scene or two!? This book is a must-have Paul Kidby's art feels like the way I've always pictured these characters in my head, but now get to see brought to life by someone who actually has talent. It is obvious he loves the works he is illustrating, and the commentary by Pratchett provides wonderful details to characters I've followed over the course of almost 40 novels. Who knew that most of my favourites, Vetinari, the Librarian, Nanny Ogg, and even Death were never meant to be in more than a scene or two!? This book is a must-have for anyone who loves Discworld. And for anyone who doesn't love Discworld, the only possibility is that you haven't read it yet, so do yourself a favour and get reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Geert Daelemans

    A must have for Discworld fans You know that feeling of browsing through old holiday snapshots? That melancholic feeling of those great times of the past. Those little moments that are still carved into your brain, hopefully never to erode away. Well, that is exactly the sentiment you experience when browsing through the Art of Discworld. That is, if you are one of those many people who have read quite a few of the Discworld novels. Have you never read one of those? What are you waiting for? Skip A must have for Discworld fans You know that feeling of browsing through old holiday snapshots? That melancholic feeling of those great times of the past. Those little moments that are still carved into your brain, hopefully never to erode away. Well, that is exactly the sentiment you experience when browsing through the Art of Discworld. That is, if you are one of those many people who have read quite a few of the Discworld novels. Have you never read one of those? What are you waiting for? Skip the Art of Discworld (for now) and start reading the books! Paul Kidby is arguably the best artist to ever try envision the wonderful world and characters of Terry Pratchett�s Discworld. The incredible amount of details he puts in the drawings make you want to study them again and again, each time discovering new aspects. The most noteworthy pieces are the depictions of the Great A�Tuin, Death, The-ook-ook-Librarian and of course Nanny Ogg�s cat Greebo. Accompanying the excellent reproductions are the comments of the big chief Pratchett himself and to a lesser amount Paul Kidby�s remarks. Terry Pratchett reveals some of the creative processes behind the conception of many of the beloved characters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hester

    When I was young, my mother was very disturbed that in second grade, I was still reading picture books rather than chapter books. My father read my brother and I part of a chapter book every night, and I liked pictures. I was pressured away from picture books, only to become an art history(and math) major in college. Sometimes, kids do know what is best for them. I do, however, now LOVE chapter books. Reading is one of my great joys in life, especially reading Terry Pratchett books. So imagine When I was young, my mother was very disturbed that in second grade, I was still reading picture books rather than chapter books. My father read my brother and I part of a chapter book every night, and I liked pictures. I was pressured away from picture books, only to become an art history(and math) major in college. Sometimes, kids do know what is best for them. I do, however, now LOVE chapter books. Reading is one of my great joys in life, especially reading Terry Pratchett books. So imagine my delight at a Terry Pratchett picture book, illustrated by the incredible Paul Kidby! While his visions of Terry's characters don't always match mine(the Sam Vimes in "Where's my cow?" is closer to my mental image), he is an excellent artist. Sometimes, he paints a person or place and I just go "wow"! The Librarian, Vetinari, Death, Granny Weatherwax, Mr. Wuffles, Detritus, Rincewind, Mustrum Ridcully, Carrot, Nobby Nobbs--all rendered perfectly alive. I wish there had been more pictures of Lady Sybil and Agnes Nitt. To make it even better, Terry gives his commentary on each picture, including how he thinks the characters should look.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brenton

    Why on EARTH have I not been reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series all my life?? The simple commentary by the author and illustrator in this volume alone had me laughing out loud on nearly every page, and so Pratchett's actual novels must be brilliant and hilarious. Paul Kidby's "realistically cartoonish" style of drawing and painting must lend itself extremely well to Pratchett's satirical fantasy, and my only complaint about the volume is that there wasn't nearly enough of his art in it, Why on EARTH have I not been reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series all my life?? The simple commentary by the author and illustrator in this volume alone had me laughing out loud on nearly every page, and so Pratchett's actual novels must be brilliant and hilarious. Paul Kidby's "realistically cartoonish" style of drawing and painting must lend itself extremely well to Pratchett's satirical fantasy, and my only complaint about the volume is that there wasn't nearly enough of his art in it, especially given that both men made mention of many more caricatures of characters that were not present.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Res

    Just as I pictured them: the Librarian, Lord Vetinari, most of the Watch, Greebo. Better than I pictured them: Sam Vimes, swamp dragons, Tiffany and the Feegles, young Nanny Ogg, Angua, Ridcully. Not quite as I pictured them: Old Nanny Ogg, Granny Weatherwax, Carrot. Distressingly absent: Greebo as a human, Lady Sybil.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Neville Ridley-smith

    This is great. And not just for the art. I mean, the art is good and all but it's the text that's of equal or even more interest. Text is split up into plain font and italic font, plain written by Terry and italic by Kidby, although Kidby's comments are few and far between - it's mostly Terry's writing. (Which makes sense - Kidby communicates through the art.) Aaaanyway, so Terry gives a great bunch of background info about the development of all the characters and places and his personal This is great. And not just for the art. I mean, the art is good and all but it's the text that's of equal or even more interest. Text is split up into plain font and italic font, plain written by Terry and italic by Kidby, although Kidby's comments are few and far between - it's mostly Terry's writing. (Which makes sense - Kidby communicates through the art.) Aaaanyway, so Terry gives a great bunch of background info about the development of all the characters and places and his personal influences. It's fascinating stuff. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    BellaGBear

    What can I say: I love the discworld and I love Josh Kirby. If you do not love/like any of those this book is not for you. This book gives nice background information of the discworld with sketches and drawing by Josh and an explanation by Pratchett. I bought this for inspiration for a discworld art project I am working on and the inspiration I get from this book is great! so recommended for everyone who loves discworld and likes to look at pictures.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A brilliant book full of wonderful artwork by Paul Kidby and a lot of well written accompanying information about the artwork by Terry Pratchett and how ideas became a reality. This is a brilliant addition to the Discworld and a must read if you are a Terry Pratchett fan.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Carroll

    Loved the art and concepts and even moreso the indepth back story of the artist and Terry himself. It's a great read, although it's not really a book or story. The art is really amazing if you think about how it's made. There were some spelling and grammar mistakes, though.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda-Jean Wendel

    Beautiful illustrations with very interesting tidbits of info!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)

    This was interesting. I like some of the art work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Geoffery Crescent

    Paul Kidby's beautiful art coupled with PTerry's musings on character development. What more could you want? Of course if you've never read any Discworld this is all by the by, in which case why are you reading it? Unless, as Terry points out in his introduction, you've mistaken it for a copy of, 'Help I'm Not A Celebrity: Get Me An Agent.' Gods, but Terry was great and I miss him terribly. The hardest part of reading this books is in seeing how many of his unfinished ideas will never make it to Paul Kidby's beautiful art coupled with PTerry's musings on character development. What more could you want? Of course if you've never read any Discworld this is all by the by, in which case why are you reading it? Unless, as Terry points out in his introduction, you've mistaken it for a copy of, 'Help I'm Not A Celebrity: Get Me An Agent.' Gods, but Terry was great and I miss him terribly. The hardest part of reading this books is in seeing how many of his unfinished ideas will never make it to page. I almost considered knocking off a star for how it made me tear up. But I didn't. So there. SQUEAK.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jacobmartin

    This is the kind of book you can really get into - find out what your favorite Discworld characters look like when not drawn on the Josh Kirby covers. But I like the Josh Kirby book covers, so the mileage of that statement may vary. I really liked this book because it shows you as an artist that you don't have to put illustrations into the actual novel for the illustrations inspired by a fictional work to, well, work, because a pictorial image is like a visual short story that conveys a message This is the kind of book you can really get into - find out what your favorite Discworld characters look like when not drawn on the Josh Kirby covers. But I like the Josh Kirby book covers, so the mileage of that statement may vary. I really liked this book because it shows you as an artist that you don't have to put illustrations into the actual novel for the illustrations inspired by a fictional work to, well, work, because a pictorial image is like a visual short story that conveys a message about an idea in its own right. A must read for illustrators and Discworld fans alike, as you'll learn something either way about the aesthetics of Discworld and illustration design itself.

  17. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    If you enjoy any Discworld book you'd love this. The art is wonderful, just like his older novel covers which have always been my favorite to own. So flipping through this is very nostalgic. The sections on death and the night watch are standouts for sure, but then again everyone has their own favorite characters. This is also fun to share with people who havent read any of Pratchetts novels, it gives a good background without too many 'spoilers'. all i can critisize is that i wish it were longer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Really more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It's not just the art of discworld, Terry Pratchett also writes about each of the characters profiled and gives a background on how he came up with the character and the story line, who influenced it, what charities and in one case a brownie troop encouraged him and made him an honorary member. He's just a delightful man that writes wonderful, funny science fiction. This isn't the book to start with if you've never read him, choose any Discworld Really more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It's not just the art of discworld, Terry Pratchett also writes about each of the characters profiled and gives a background on how he came up with the character and the story line, who influenced it, what charities and in one case a brownie troop encouraged him and made him an honorary member. He's just a delightful man that writes wonderful, funny science fiction. This isn't the book to start with if you've never read him, choose any Discworld novel and fall in love.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria D

    Strangely enough, I acquired this book before I had read any Discworld novel. I just really enjoyed the art, so I bought it. Nowadays, after every finished Pratchett's book, I page through it with great pleasure. Mind you, some characters look far from how I imagined them. But still, this book captures some essential spirit of Pratchett's world.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Georgene

    For fans of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, this book is a hoot! It is filled with drawings of most of the major characters in the series and many of the minor ones as well. The descriptions of the pictures are done by Terry Pratchett and sometimes by the artist, Paul Kidby. I found myself laughing over the descriptions and the puns therein. A very enjoyable, if bulky read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    I enjoyed the characters, and their world and hope I get the chance to read the story again and/or to read more within the series. My Rating System: * couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    Excellent drawings of many discworld characters and settings. The picture of the Watch is a particular favorite, as is Great A'tuin. The drawings are of such high quality, and often spot on to my imaginings of the characters. Plus the notes are great fun.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kitten

    The Art of Discworld is an absolutely beautiful, visually arresting collection of sketches, portraits and paintings that are inspired by Terry Pratchett's series. Highly recommended for artists, especially those who are fans of the Discworld series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Beautiful artwork, many characters exactly as I see them in my head. Added narrative by TP adds to the flavour of each image. Separated into different Discworld areas it really impresses how big that Universe is.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A little much for newbies to Pratchett, this is a treat for true pratchett fans. Though its hard to reformulate your own internal pictures of the characters, the illustrator is dead on with a lot of the portrayals. Definately one I pined after for a long time!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Herbert Smith

    For any fan of Discworld, Paul Kidby's illustrations are a must. He has the rare skill of taking the characters from the page, and getting them exactly like the one in your head, only better. From the Librarian to Granny Weatherwax to Rincewind to Death, all are just perfect.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Ángel Vilela

    Lovely pile of illustrations, but be aware of some spoilers!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    I must own this book. I think the library is likely sick of me checking it out so often.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rocky Sunico

    A beautiful art book and a witty Who's Who guide for the crazy stomping ground that is Discworld.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Flowerpower89

    Great for looking at characters.

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