The Art of Love Death+Robots chronicles a mash-up of animation genres and styles

Review by C.J. Bunce

Director/producer Tim Miller’s dark genre anthology showcase Love Death+Robots has netted 11 Emmy Awards so far.  The series plucks short stories from science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and adapts them using a director and creative team from across the entire industry of animation.  Bring them altogether with visual effects house Blur Studios and the broad variety of artwork behind all three seasons of the show are an introduction to the myriad methods of expression available to the 21st century animator.  Landing in bookstores everywhere tomorrow, The Art of Love Death+Robots is writer Ramin Zahed’s latest behind the scenes tour of a TV series, and for Love Death+Robots, it’s all about concept art and futuristic style.

Other than being a collection of animated shorts, the series’ key difference from past anthology series, like The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, Ray Bradbury Theater, Amazing Stories, and Black Mirror, is the R rating.  In The Art of Love Death+Robots readers will find creators of all backgrounds and portfolios, artists, CG experts, cinematographers, and editors, with more than a few happy to use their skills with a story beyond something they created for Disney and the typical animated film audience.  Using the word “mature” to describe its themes, which often as not is an excuse to add the immature components for shock value (sex, violence, profanity, etc.), the series has allowed for a completely different flare for its audience.  For most episodes the difference between the content in Love Death+Robots and The Twilight Zone is only the language.

Creators who have amassed street cred for their video game intros, designers for animated series like Tron: Uprising, and Academy Award nominated directors have all contributed to the series.  But what pulls viewers in is the cutting-edge animation.  Here there be monsters, robots, dystopian visions, war, suspense, fantasy and adventure episodes that would have fit nicely in Amazing Stories, and much more.

The Art of Love Death+Robots provides pages of inspiration and imagery for all 35 short films in the series.  Readers can challenge their own perceptions of the techniques behind each episode, whether via 2D, stop-motion, anime, or scarily lifelike 3D visual effects.  The source of the story and key leads offer inspiration for their approach, and the author notes effects company and producer Blur Studios’ contributions.

Series creators Tim Miller and David Fincher have released loads of concept art, character studies, costume sketches, paintings, vehicle designs, and storyboards, including some double-page spreads highlighting some of the most eye-popping series visuals.  As a plus, the book also includes final cut images, which often don’t make it into movie and TV art books.

Here are more layouts from inside The Art of Love Death+Robots:

Love Death+Robots the anthology series is a must-see for anyone interested in the latest in 21st century animation, and The Art of Love Death+Robots is for any fan of the series, futuristic artwork, and studio production.  The Art of Love Death+Robots is available today for pre-order here at Amazon, arriving in bookstores everywhere tomorrow from publisher Titan Books.


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