Their movie Robots was wrapping up, but eleven artists from Blue Sky Studios were just getting started on another group project: Out of Picture Volume 1. They
would each write and illustrate their own short story; the freedom was theirs. The results
have been compiled and published in this single book, a volume to make the eyes wonder and the mind speculate.
The stories range in length from four to ten pages. A few are told without words, while some contain quite a few. All but one story are in color, and all have a different style and appeal. Jack be Nimble has been found dead in
"Four & Twenty Blackbirds" by Greg Couch, his candlestick replaced by dynamite. The doctor in Daisuke Tsutsumiís story uses an unusual treatment method to deal with a patientís repressed memories.
"Newsbreak" is wordless but very easy to interpret by focusing on the main characterís actions and eyes.
Even though itís nighttime and the only illumination comes from the television screen and the street lights, this story had some of the most vibrant colors. My two favorite stories in the book are
"Yes, I Can" and "Around the Corner." "Yes, I Can" is the story of a dragonís wish for wings, and
"Around the Corner" is a story illustrating good advice.
Thirty-nine pages at the end of the book are devoted to The Development Gallery. Here, readers
can see outtakes from all the artistsí stories. Each artist provides two to five pages of layout decisions, close-ups, or rough sketches. Following
The Development Gallery is a two page Biography section, with a group picture as well as background and personal information about each contributor to this book. The artists loved making this book
and have plans for a second volume to release in 2008.
While I wish that a few of the stories were longer and that some gave more information about the storyline,
this is a beautiful book to look at, and I would recommend it to readers who have an interest in art or graphic novels.