Monday, April 13, 2009

More AA4A books?

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.

More AA4A books? Well, why not? Especially when you can get Knight and Hultgren for about $20.00 together at Amazon.
I suspected earlier that if anyone was going to cover non-mammals in an AA4A book, paleoart legend Charles R. Knight was the one to do it. I was right. Sort of.

He has a chapter on birds, which is very nice. He has shorter chapters on other animals. There's lots of information here... but not many illustrations.

This is all you get for reptile anatomy. And it's fairly typical for the book. Instead of diagrams and illustrations, you get loads and loads of text:

It is a bit of a disappointment, although the drawings are nice. I should note something about the text, and this has hit me in the Calderon book too (which I read more of recently): The text is very dated. I don't just mean "no longer scientifically accurate" dated but also "antiquated language that may throw you off" dated. Take a shot when Knight calls some rather innocuous animal or other a "brute" and/or "dumb animal". (It took me a while but I think I finally figured out that the old phrase "dumb animal" doesn't mean "not as smart as a human" but instead means "can't talk like a human". The reader is invited to cringe along with me at the unfortunate implications.)
So what's the book that came in the same box got to bring to the table? I've never even heard of Ken Hultgren. He's probably just going to cover horses again and...

Well, he'll probably just do another chapter on dogs, right?


OK, if you haven't gathered by now, this book blew me away. He does not discuss the nuts and bolts of anatomy at all, really. But by the end, you don't care. The things you will learn about action and animation more than make up for it. I highly recommend it.

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