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Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 2,940
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Subj: Re: Thoughts on Alex Ross?
Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 at 09:55:42 pm EDT (Viewed 120 times)
Reply Subj: Thoughts on Alex Ross?
Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 at 02:43:00 am EDT (Viewed 11 times)

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A pivotal comic figure of the 90s. Lapped up his stuff with everybody else in my teenage days.

I loved and still love his work on MARVELS. His photo-realistic art goes perfectly with the story of a photojournalist.

Everything else. . .I've grown sour on. From Kingdom Come to his prestige Dini Treasury editions.

Here's the thing. . .his super-heroes are really unappealing to look at. They're all old, fat, and bloated. They look like cos-players who could use a few sit-ups and a GasX; not the superhero they're supposed to be. And often Alex Ross gives the heroes his own face!

It's the difference between making Superman (or any other superhero Ross has drawn) look realistic vs making Superman REAL. Ross does the former. I look at Ross work and say, "That Batman scene looks realistic, but that's not the real Batman."

Super-heroes are NOT real guys. They are superhuman forces of nature; and if they stepped into the real world as THEMSELVES they would not look like a fat guy in a suit! Difference between the Real and Super Real (or Greek ideal).

It's not his technique that I quibble with; the man obviously has talent and can draw things photo-realistically like no one else. My problem is with his execution and vision. His realistic looking superheroes are NOT how I picture my fave superheroes looking if they stepped out of the comic pages and into the real world. How he draws them are not how they looked in his beloved silver/bronze age, either.

Don't get me started about his ABOMINABLE Earth/Paradise/Universe X nonsense!

I guess the first stuff of his that I saw was Terminator: The Burning Earth from NOW. It wasn't as polished as his later stuff but I thought it was fantastic. But that was compared to the hit-and-miss art of the previous series. I wonder if he was basing his pictures off models like he did with the superheroes?

Then of course Marvels which I thought worked quite well. Yes, they looked like cosplayers. I thought that was kind of the point, what if these characters existed in real life, what would they look like? They would look ridiculous. But it was still great stuff.

I think the problem is that he got so popular that they let him have a hand in the stories and maybe he wasn't as good at that? I don't know how much influence he had on Kingdom Come. I liked that book, as an Elseworlds, a dark future that you didn't want to see come to pass. I think Ross has a good sense of page layout and pacing as well as drawing good figures. But it sold so well that DC started steering their real books towards that future and I didn't like that at all. Still the followup The Kingdom by Waid without Ross was better than Ross' followup Thy Kindgom Come without Waid.

Pretty much everything else I've seen from Ross is covers. He does a lot of covers for books that he doesn't draw the guts for. I like most of them, but I didn't like his endless run of JSA covers with one character over black. That's more of a criticism of that type of cover than the art. I prefer a cover to tell you something about the story inside the book rather than just be an unrelated poster. I also like editorial blurbs and word balloons on my cover but I think those have gone the way of the dodo.

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