Steven Uni­verse: Art & Ori­gins

Uni­ver­sal apeal From the maker of Ad­ven­ture Time, Steven Uni­verse has be­come an­other cult hit – and now it’s spawned this in­for­ma­tive art book

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Get an in­sight into the gen­e­sis and mak­ing of this quirky an­i­mated show, cre­ated by one of the writ­ers of Ad­ven­ture Time.

Launched in 2010, Car­toon Net­work’s Ad­ven­ture Time proved adult car­toons didn’t have to be ei­ther rude or satir­i­cal to be pop­u­lar. They can just be daft, child­like and sur­real.

In 2013, a for­mer writer and sto­ry­board artist on the show, Re­becca Sugar, cre­ated a sim­i­lar car­toon called Steven Uni­verse. Now in its fifth sea­son, fans will be over­joyed with this book about the art be­hind it.

You can feel the maker’s de­vo­tion sing through the Q&As, which re­veal how the show is put to­gether. These are ac­com­pa­nied by a huge and en­tic­ing ar­ray of con­cept art, pro­duc­tion sam­ples, early sketches and sto­ry­boards, with use­ful and in­for­ma­tive cap­tion­ing through­out.

So on one page, you find in­tri­cate guides to the ink­ing and con­struc­tion guides to lead char­ac­ters. Then on an­other, you get Re­becca’s key draw­ings of Ruby and Sap­phire’s makeup em­brace from the episode Key­stone Mo­tel.

All in all, the whole book feels a lot like Steven Uni­verse it­self: colour­ful, off­beat, slightly crazy in places, but ul­ti­mately a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that leaves your heart a lit­tle bit hap­pier.

Art & Ori­gins has a level of deep-dive de­tail we’ve rarely seen in sim­i­lar TV tie-ins.

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