I had the opportunity to take an in-depth look at The Art of Fred Gambino “Dark Shepherd” from Titan Books. I grew up a huge fan of these types of art books and I even tried to create my own when I was a kid. I always had a fascination with alien landscapes, spaceships, robots, and more. Dark Shepherd brought these memories back to me in full force and has my creativity juices flowing again!
It’s been about 15 years since his last book was released, but Fred Gambino is no stranger to the world of sci-fi art and design. He has worked on many big projects including movies like Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Ant Bully, and more. Gambino also worked for 6 years on the massive Battletech/Mechwarrior series of games, books, and more! He provided artwork to George Lucas that was featured in the Star Wars book, Visions, for which he created painting based on the distant relatives of the air-whales featured on Kamino in Episode II: Attack of the Clones! So Gambino is no amateur when it comes to this kind of work.
Dark Shepherd is broken down into a few different sections, each giving the reader a different look into this spectacular universe and Gambinos various other works. The book begins with the Dark Shepherd screenplay, allowing Gambino to introduce you to his diverse and colorful world. What I really like about this is that it gives the reader an insight to what they are about to look at. Sometimes I find art books to be all over the place and lacking a narrative, but not Dark Shepherd. Gambino shows off his skills in storytelling through words and his meticulous graphic designs.
Gambino wasn’t sure what his creation would become. A movie, a comic, a series of paintings, so he explored his options. Another great section, and my personal favorite being a big comic book geek, is a sample of the Dark Shepherd graphic novel. Gambino used this format to “define a style” and create an introduction to the world he was trying to share with the public.
Gambino’s art throughout Dark Shepherd and his other works is very diverse. From mechs, to kaiju, to steampunk robotic dragons; there are some of the most creative characters and monsters I have seen in one book. I would love to see a lot of these ideas come to fruition on the big screen! The cover alone is enough to intrigue any sci-fi fan, as the space station has a very “Metroid” monster feel to it. The characters introduced in the book are one of my favorite parts. By combining photography with digital art, Gambino has a great creative touch when it comes to giving the characters “life”. The realism is one of the aspects of his work that I can really appreciate, especially when they are surrounded by such mythological creatures!
Should you buy this book? Do you love science fiction? Do you love stunning art? Then YES. The Art of Fred Gambino “Dark Shepherd” is an amazing experience from cover to cover! Dark Shepherd is now available for purchase, you can find it on Titan Book’s official website or by visiting your favorite book store!
*A copy of The Art of Fred Gambino “Dark Shepherd” was provided by Titan Books for this review
<The Art of Fred Gambino: Dark Shepherd
Uniquely combining CG imagery with evocative digital paintings, renowned sci-fi artist Fred Gambino’s designs can be seen on the covers of books by the likes of Isaac Asimov, in films such as The Ant Bully and the Oscar-nominated Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, as well as video games such as F1 Race Stars, Epic Mickey and many more. Titan Books is to publish an up-to-date collection, containing exclusive concept art and excerpts from Fred’s multimedia project ‘Dark Shepherd,’ and an epic selection of his boldest and most brilliant work, reflective of his incredibly varied career.
Fred Gambino has worked as a diverse illustrator and artist, providing sci-fi book covers for publishing houses and high-profile concept art for a wide array of television programmes, films and video games. His clients include Penguin, Warner books, Little Brown, Thames Television, National Geographic, Scientific American, Leo Burnet, Der Speigel, DNA Productions, Paramount, Agent 16, Whizzkids, Lego, Mattel and AVP. This is alongside his own paintings and creator-owned multimedia projects like ‘Dark Shepherd’. Fred is currently based back in the UK working on various publishing and freelance projects.