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Up close with The Last of Us journal by Insight Editions

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While video game-themed journals aren't uncommon, noteworthy ones are hard to come by. The last one that caught my eye was a petite Pac-Man anniversary Moleskine sent by Namco at the end of 2010. The conundrum with these fetching notebooks is that they're almost too nice, great to own but well made enough that you don't want to write in them. The latest such book comes from Insight Editions and is a licensed product themed on Naughty Dog's The Last of Us.

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The journal's main conversation piece is the embossed symbol on the front cover, representing the game's resistance group, the Fireflies. Could it have been the kind of notebook that the rebel group used? Sure, if you ignore the obi-strip, the inner cover artwork, and the game introduction on the back page. So it's more of a commemorative work than something that a Firefly cosplayer would use. The obi-strip simply displays the game logo, practical for easy spotting in bookstores. The artwork is made up of two detailed concept art pieces from The Last of Us, minus Joel and Ellie. The journal's most useful parts include the elastic that keeps the book firmly closed, a thin cloth bookmark, and a back pocket to store small documents. Its textured, leather-inspired cover is distinctive enough to the touch that you should have little trouble fishing it out of your messenger bag or handbag. Most any merchant carrying this journal should be selling it for about $16--a good deal if you're looking for a 192-page blank journal that's compact but too large to fit in your pocket.

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