During Comiket 76 Ryo Ueda released a compilation of the Touhou art work that was done primarily for C-CLAYS titled Tonbo. Considering the pieces in this collection were only previously available on more expensive items like stick posters and CDs, it's great to finally be able to have it all in one place. Only interested in the pictures? Skip the reading and click here for a slide show of all the images.
Tonbo (蜻蛉) is hard-cover, A4 size and opens long-wise, creating a very unique presentation for all the illustrations. Since a lot of the illustrations were originally stick posters, this format is perfect because the image are able to be presented in full, without being too small to appreciate the details.
Even the index page at the beginning of the book has been done in a unique way; the text for the information about each image is printed on a piece of see-through rice paper, and it matches up with the page of image thumbnails underneath.
The sections are arranged by year, 2006 through 2009 with the newest illustration at the front of the book and the older ones at the back. Also, the first two images in the book (pictured above) are both new and exclusive.
And even though it's hard cover, this book is so well bound that you can open it all the way, and see the images in full without losing any of the image to the binding. It's really impressive, especially if you've seen hard cover art books done the wrong way. You can see in the photos that the pictures line up perfectly from page to page.
The content is really spectacular, mostly because each piece of art work was essentially being sold on its own in the first place, as posters or CDs and the like. So none of the images feel like filler.
Even though the art work is arrange in time order, Ryo Ueda's illustrations from as far back as 2006 are still as beautiful as the ones from 2009. I think Reimu Hakurei and Youmu Konpaku show up the most in this book. I wonder if Ueda's picked his favorites, or if they're just most popular among the fans?
The book ends with the 2006 illustrations from Comiket 70 and 71. I really have to say, I found most of the older works to be my favorites, though everything is top notch. Tonbo is 70 pages long, of which 54 pages are in color. The monochrome pages are just for the sketches behind the illustrations in the book and an interview (amusingly titled "Long Interview") with the artist himself, Ryo Ueda. Books like this really can change your opinion on doujinshi, when you see how high quality a self-published collection like this can be.