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Author Topic: Show Ross a bit of love...  (Read 3929 times)
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Criadoman
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« on: July 07, 2007, 04:18:25 PM »

Ok, I know we've all talked about the "static" quality of Mr. Ross' paintings and what not in other threads, but let's take a bit of a peek at what he does exceptionally well.

And that is his paintings of the good Captain himself.  There are certain images that seem to burn themselves into my memories when I think of certain heroes.  It's a Shuster Superman, a Perez Wonder Woman (Peters a close second), a Marshall Rogers' Batman and... an Alex Ross' Captain Marvel.

Typically, when I've seen Cap taken on by other artists, they always tend to lean very heavily towards either a CC Beck interpretation or a "Shuster-fied" version of Cap.  However, with Ross, he really nailed the whole "Fred Murray" angle and produced a very intense and expressive Cap - the best interpretation I think I've ever seen (with Gil Kane's "Distant Fires" Elseworlds tale interpretation in second).

His "Power of Hope" was also very good.

I can see a point about the difficulties of a painted comic, and there is a loss of impact in a painted comic than there is in traditional inks - no doubt.  Painted "realistic" comics do lose their impact, particularly in action sequences.  I don't think one can particularly fault the artist as much as the subject matter though.  For instance, the final battle scene in Kingdom Come.  Although I felt Ross was very faithful to what something would look like Armageddon but ultimately it was somewhat uncomfortable to view - mainly in terms of the realism of the carnage, the colors, etc. which basically muted to a marked degree the impact of the images, but that could have also been intended.  As a comparative, get an idea of the classic "Adam and God" image by Michaelangelo and then get an idea of what the same would look like with Kirby.  Subtle realism would be replaced by hyper-extended hands, Kirby-bubbles crackling between Adam and God and impact or explosion lines and the next panel, Adam BURSTING into the Garden of Eden.  Chuckle if you will, possibly you see what I mean.  One better suited to Vertigo, the other to Marvel or DC mainstream.  So, that Armageddon scene, and much of KC, might have been better suited to traditional work than painting.

This is also why I believe Ross was so perfect in Marvels.  The story wasn't so much the action as it was based on a normal man's view of the action and his own emotions.  It's easy to show superheroic action, but it takes a real artist to demonstrate subtle and common human emotion.

So, Marvels was a beautiful thing.  Ross' and Dini's one shots of Supes, Bats, WW and Cap all marvelous pieces to me.

Also, you know, if you compared Ross' Marvels to DC's Kingdom work, his DC characters do look a lot more mythic and powerful.

Just a few points.
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"If I print "She was stark naked"--& then proceeded to describe her person in detail, what critic would not howl?--but the artist does this & all ages gather around & look & talk & point." - Mark Twain
jamespup
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2007, 06:07:00 PM »

I'm always gratefl to Ross for portraying my favorite characters as looking like people I've seen before, or similar.

Kirby's Sistine Chapel?   EXCELLENT !
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Permanus
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2007, 11:06:04 PM »

I've been critical of Ross in the past, but I actually like his art, and he certainly gets kudos for remembering that Cap is Fred MacMurray.

Little anecdote: I'd never really thought about the resemblance between Cap and MacMurray until I came across a mention somewhere last year - I don't know how I missed it, because I've seen Double Indemnity seven trillion times. So the same day, I was talking to a friend who knows nothing about comics but is a great film buff, and I decided to try him on, and quickly sketched the C.C. Beck Captain Marvel face on a scrap of paper. "Fred MacMurray," he said. "What's your point?"
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2007, 12:58:39 AM »



"Captain Marvel himself was based on the actor Fred MacMurray, who was known as a pretty down-to-earth guy." - C.C. Beck

"At that time, Fred MacMurray was a very popular actor and I used him as the basis for Captain Marvel. He had kind of a slanted forehead, wavy hair, and a big chin." - C.C. Beck

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Criadoman
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2007, 05:44:50 AM »

You guys are wonderful!
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"If I print "She was stark naked"--& then proceeded to describe her person in detail, what critic would not howl?--but the artist does this & all ages gather around & look & talk & point." - Mark Twain
jamespup
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 07:55:11 AM »

"Heck", if i was a bit more financially well off, I'd show my appreciation by buying his art

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