Bruce Timm is good, yo. Not great, but really good. And his new book, Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm, is a worthy purchase for long time fans and new ones. It's obviously a departure from the kinda stuff we're used to seeing him do for Warner Brothers Animation, but it is strong. I had a few problems here and there as my opening line implies, but overall, I'm glad I plunked down my dollars.
Published by the steady and sturdy Flesk Publications, Timm’s tome is a 304 page, full-color, “t & a” extravaganza. Lots of ladies; not a lot of clothing. And that’s actually one of my issues. Playboy Magazine got it right years ago by posing their models with props: shoes, boots, belts, outfits, placing them in environments — what have you. Parlor tricks to elevate the fantasy. They figured out early on that you’ll bore your reader to tears if you just shoot a naked woman.
“Here you go, guys, she’s naked.”
Don't get me wrong, Timm doesn't go for bawdy or lewd. And he draws elegant female characters, for sure. He just didn’t put a lot into some of the set-ups. For my taste, there are way too many shots of girls who are simply, disrobed.
That aside, I have to agree with Adrian on Timm's approach: his color game is always on-point. He made gorgeous choices in the book as far as palette is concerned. Bruce is one of the few guys out there that can make local color come off with real mood and intent.
The introduction for Naughty and Nice was written by the ever humble Jim Steranko and it’s about what you would expect. The word “babe” is used to no end. (As a matter of fact, I think babe is in his title!) Still, it was probably smart for Timm and Flesk to get a nod from a guy like Steranko. This isn’t a book exploring strong, capable women as equals in our society; it’s good girl art. A tip of the hat to an era-gone-by (kinda like Steranko himself).
Overall, I recommend this one. Flesk does a solid job with their art books, and Bruce Timm, despite my crits, has the goods.
**I meant to review Timm's book earlier this year when it first came out (lazy). And I borrowed the pic above from Parka Blogs. Hope they don't mind.