In celebration of Ultra Jump Magazine's 10 anniversary, UJ has released an art book collection of magazine covers called Ultra Graphics 1999 - 2009. The covers for the magazine have been drawn by everyone from Range Murata to Oh! Great and Aoi Nanase. But the presentation for this collection does leave a little something to be desired.
First off, just getting a book with this many famous artists in one place is exceptional. But in truth, not all of the cover art is featured. Ultra Graphics 1999 - 2009 is organized by year, with the oldest covers at the front of the book.
Since the magazine started in late 1999, only two issues were published and so both covers are pictured. But the year 2000 section has only 10 illustrations, out of which only two of the illustrations are cover art works. And it goes on this way for the rest of the book.
Since I don't collect or read Ultra Jump magazine, it was great seeing more illustrations from series like Gunnm (Battle Angel Alita) and art work from Betten Court. There's plenty of illustrations by Oh! Great, all from Tenjho Tenge of course :D
I was also surprised to see that Range Murata has done so much art work for the magazine, even though he didn't have a comic running in it. The 10th Anniversary issue of Ultra Jump has a new Range Murata illustration on the cover, so they've come full circle ^^
One of the other downsides is that the book is only B5 size, smaller than the normal A4 size for most art books. The art work for the most part is also presented on half a page, with very few full page illustrations.
Another artist that I was surprised to see art work from was Hyung-tae Kim. I'm sure avid fans have already seen the two illustrations in this book, but they were new to me!
Miwa Shirow was another heavily featured artist in the book, with Ultra Jump cover arts from DOGS/Bullets & Carnage. Aoi Nanase also made an appearance, and although most of the illustrations are not related to a manga, there is one from Puchimon. There are also several illustrations by Yu Itoh, with his Imperial Guards (Koukoku no Shugosha) series.
Oh! And there's art from Okama, because Cloth Road runs in Ultra Jump as well. The ones I point out are just my personal favorite from this book. Who are your personal favorites in this collection?
I do think this book is quite expensive for what it is; it retails for ￥2362, but it's small and a lot of the images are tiled. Also, the book is 112 pages long, of which 96 are in color. But the black and white is just for the thank you page and index. Maybe a lot of the costs went to the artists, because it sure wasn't in the production of this paperback book.
In the end, I think it makes a better archive than art book. I wasn't very familiar with most of the publications in Ultra Jump magazine, though I did recognize most of the artists, so it expanded my horizons in that aspect while looking up information for this post ^^