Released earlier this month by Titan Books, The Art of Regular Show is a large format (11.4” x 8.9”) 160 page collection of animation stills, sketches, storyboards, and commentaries that chronicles how the show originated and the eccentric cast that inhabit it. Beginning with a series of short films creator JQ Quintel produced during his junior and senior years at CalArts (Naive Man from Lolliland, 2 in the AM PM)—both of which were done in 48 hours—The Art of Regular Show reveals how these rough proto-characters evolved into the Pops, Mordecai and Benson that we’ve come to know in the series today.
From there, the book breaks into 1-3 short overviews of each cast member with commentary from a variety of individuals including Quintel, Paula Spence, Sean Szeles, Calvin Wong, Minty Lewis, Mark Hamill and more. While most of these are personal reflections on the characters, there are a few revealing tidbits. One was the fact that much of the animation team initially thought Skips was an ape/gorilla (his original color scheme even had black fur) including voice actor, Mark Hamill! (EDITOR’S NOTE: Skips is actually an Yeti.)
Another fun bit of trivia was the fact that Quintel is a hardcore Sega fan and, in fact, will often request that references to other consoles like Nintendo be replaced with something Sega-related. Quintel is also quoted as leveraging 80s nostaliga as art direction, “you’ve got to get it to look like (a combination of) Predator and Sylvester Stallone from Rambo.” I can’t recall offhand if a creature like that actually made it on the show, but it sounds AMAZING! I DO remember, however, Carl Weathers making multiples cameos as the “God of Basketball.”
Aside from those nerdy little nuggets, the book also includes brief overviews on the park itself, family members, supporting good/bad guys, music from the show and the rampant 80s influence (technology, culture, fashion). As a bonus, ever though it makes total sense for an art book, The Art of Regular Show ends with a series of “How to Draw” sections that cover detailed breakdowns for Mordecai, Rigby, Pops and Benson. Admittedly, it’s a fast read, but there’s enough visual content to please any fan of the show or aspiring young animators out there. Easily justifiable at the default cover price, this book is a steal at 45% off on Amazon (just saying).
OUT OF 5
The Art of Regular Show definitely lives up to it’s title, delivering loads of finished stills, sketches and “how to draw” guides. I wish it a little more of the concepts that were rejected, but there’s still some great insight thanks to commentaries by the production team and voice actors. A great addition to any Regular Show fan’s collection.
+ Embossed cover – nice!
+ Loads of artwork/sketches
+ Fun bits of trivia
– Lack of rejected concepts