Nimona and Ballister Boldheart hugging art from art book.

Netflix Makes ‘Nimona’ Art Book Free Online

This year Netflix released a monument of a film with Nimona. The story follows a disgraced knight and so-called “monster” who team up to solve a mystery—one that could put them in the good graces of the futuristic-medieval world they live in. Adapted from a graphic novel by N.D. Stevenson, the story was in development hell for years. Before Netflix picked it up, Disney censored its more overtly queer elements before canceling the project altogether. Now, just a few weeks out from 96th Academy Awards nominations announcement, Netflix is providing another gift to fans. As part of what might be the studio’s For Your Consideration campaign, it released a 350-plus page Nimona artbook.

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Nimona art book showing color themes for different parts of the story.
(Netflix / various artists)

The book begins with a forward by Stevenson, statement from the film’s directors, and opening scrolls reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts of old. The book features pages breaking down the process of developing the story, design, characters, FX, environments, and materials. It ends with the cinematography and the “look” of the film. Books like these serve as both eye candy for those who just like gazing at amazing art and a guide of sorts to help artists understand process. Even those who don’t want to go into TV/film or games can better understand how a particular frame came to life. All of this is helpful, but the 3D renderings in their rough form are especially instructive. This is almost like a massive sketchbook, but organized and created by a large team instead of a single artist.

If Stevenson’s announcement tweet is any indication, the Nimona art book might only be available online for a limited time. So don’t wait to check this out—even if you intend on buying the physical book. This online book features things that wouldn’t work in a physical book, including embedded process videos and accessibility features like enlarged text and zoom. Also, as you flip (or swipe) through the book, composer Christopher Beck’s score plays in the background.

Ballister Boldheart character art from Nimona art book.
(Netflix / various artists)

Nimona Artist Aidan Sugano told Cartoon Brew this book is similar to the film’s style guide, a.k.a. the film bible. Additionally, Sugano shared that he and the team of Nimona artists who put the book together worked to make it look like a DIY ‘zine crafted by Nimona herself. Directors Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (also Sir Nicholas Brun and Sir Troy Quartermane, respectively) left a note to readers: “If you take anything away from this book, we hope you’ll see that by pencil, brush or stylus, all of our artists flexed the most creative muscle of all—their heart.”

(via: Cartoon Brew; featured image: Netflix / Aidan Sugano)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.