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Book Excerpt: ‘BoJack Horseman: The Art Before the Horse’

Arriving  September 4th, 2018, from Abrams Books comes BoJack Horseman: The Art Before the Horse, by Chris McDonnell (Steven Universe: Art and Origins). Featuring a foreword by series producer and production designer Lisa Hanawalt, as well as an introduction by series creator and executive producer Raphael Bob-Waksberg, this book will the THE official behind-the-scenes companion the cult-hit series that The New Yorker calls “one of the most emotionally ambitious and goofiest series on television”.

Part oral history sourced from original interviews with the show’s cast and crew, part art book—including sketches, storyboards, and background paintings—this book will trace the show from conception to post-production, covering the development of production designer Lisa Hanawalt’s inimitable aesthetic vision, as well as the moving parts—direction, writing, casting, animation, and music—that come together to form this uniquely bleak, emotionally potent, very funny show.

Below, check out a look at this beautiful new book.  All images are from Bojack Horseman: The Art Before the Horse, by Chris McDonnell © Abrams Books, 2018.  Used with permission.

Early concept drawings of BoJack Horseman by production designer Lisa Hanawalt


Initial concept drawings of Lenny Turteltaub by Lisa Hanawalt


Development drawing of Princess Carolyn by Lisa Hanawalt


Additional concept art created by Lisa Hanawalt for the presentation pilot

Character designers must consider how each character looks and also how that character relates to the others. Some related groups of characters are designed simultaneously, such as the Clown Dentists, Ralph Stilton’s family, and Hollyhock’s eight dads.


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