I didn’t buy the earlier Zelda book, Hyrule Historia, the English version of which Dark Horse had also published in the US. One of the main reasons that book had originally piqued my interest was because I had hoped it would contain some of the old instruction manual artwork; and it did, but it was reproduced at a very small size.
Enter Art & Artifacts: A tome of nothing BUT the official, original Legend of Zelda illustrations. I still wasn’t even sure I was going to pick up this book, until I saw it at Target for $27.99. When I grabbed it, though, and realized it was a massive volume boasting over 400 pages, it was a no-brainer. Although I must say that by page 15, it was already worth my money.
Boom-pow, there they are, kicking off the book right away with no BS. All those rad ’80s-anime-style illustrations from LoZ and Adventure of Link booklets, perfectly reproduced. But of course, there are like 400 more pages of artistic Zelda goodness to dive into after that!
Package and manual illustrations, sketches and preliminary art, original and redone versions — if it was official Nintendo art for Zelda, it’s in here.
And it doesn’t stop there — it also includes a full gallery of US and Japanese box art, logos, and pixel art too!
Finally, finishing off the book is a lengthy interview with a group of the illustrators who have been working on the Zelda series for some time.
There’s pretty much zero reason not to own this book if you’re a Zelda fan and an art nerd. Even at full price of $40, it’s more than worth it, considering what some art books can cost. Thanks to Dark Horse for bringing these Japanese works to US fans!