Intron Depot 3 - Ballistics

With its first printing Apr 28, 2003, Intron Depot 3 is Shirow's latest collection of his works(though soon to be usurped by Bullets), and covers his sci-fi themed works from 1992-2002. For now, I don't have anything to show you from the book, as it would require scanning, and I can't bear to do that to my books, so I'm gonna have to wait for someone else to do so first. I will tell you what I can about it though. Before going any further, yes, it is bilingual and about the same size as Intron Depot 2(Thank you Toren Smith).

The first thing worth noting is how much of the book is Comic Gum Magazine covers(or vairants of) that have also been featured in his calendars over the past few years. Taking a quick count, 2 images were also in 1999's Rebirth, 10 in 2000's Millennium, 6 in 2001's Angel Star, 6 in 2002's Heroic, and all 13 in 2003's Thrilling. Between those images, and the variations/originals of them, about 2/3 of the art in the book is accounted for. This is great for those of you who have been unable to get ahold of the calendars, as it has much of the imagery in one place(with the bulk of the remainder in Intron Depot 1 & 2).

Out of the other 1/3 of of the book comes some interesting pieces. We see a couple more Griffon illustrations, one of which is completely 3-D rendered, but unfortunately lacks any impact. We also have some advertising pieces he did for Seburo and Moon Net Co, both of whom make firearms, something Shirow's always been fascinated with. Appleseed makes an appearance in here, with a few sketches, Shirow's modern depiction of Deunan, and the coverwork for Appleseed Hypernotes. He also snuck in a couple pages on Neurohard, giving a small rundown on what it was about, which I shall make an effort to write up soon here.

Taking up a few pages, we see a few membership cards Shirow was commisioned to create for a bookstore(chain?), along with quite a few variations on each version. And finally, most of the remainder is taken up by his Starship Police girls that seem to appear often on Gum Magazine covers. Unfortunately there are very few roughs in the book, though this is probably due to the fact that once he fills a sketchbook, he tends to throw it out, having torn out whatever he was going to keep and work on further.

All in all, this book doesn't showcase much new content for people who have been keeping up with Shirow's works through Gum Magazine or the calendars, but for those who haven't, it does a wonderful job filling in the gaps. As Shirow himself says, it is more a summary of his early digital days than a record of his transition from analog to digital(being that much of the book is processed roughs from 2001).

Even though it makes for a good glimpse at his design process, I am somewhat disappointed by the high amount of imagery in here that is simply variations on whatever the final piece turned out as. Preferably, I would have liked to see a larger variety of content in here and then have the CD version of the book(which I have a feeling has been, or will be, published) be filled with the image variations.