Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross

Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross

by Alex Ross, Chip Kidd
     
 

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THE EISNER AWARD-WINNING, NATIONALLY BEST-SELLING MYTHOLOGY IS HERE IN PAPERBACK, IN AN EXPANDED EDITION WITH 32 NEW PAGES.

Mythology returns, in a newly expanded paperback edition of the book Entertainment Weekly awarded a grade of A, saying: “Alex Ross brings to his work an unparalleled sense of the real. His heroes–both

Overview

THE EISNER AWARD-WINNING, NATIONALLY BEST-SELLING MYTHOLOGY IS HERE IN PAPERBACK, IN AN EXPANDED EDITION WITH 32 NEW PAGES.

Mythology returns, in a newly expanded paperback edition of the book Entertainment Weekly awarded a grade of A, saying: “Alex Ross brings to his work an unparalleled sense of the real. His heroes–both super and mortal–have weight; they exist in space, and that space is affected by them in ways never before seen on the page.” And so here they are, the incomparable cast of the DC Comics universe: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, the Green Lantern, and the rest of the Justice League as you’ve never seen them before. Mythology brings together the best loved comic characters in the world, brought to life by Alex Ross, one of the most astonishing young artists working in the medium today. The award-winning designer/writer Chip Kidd and photographer Geoff Spear have teamed up to create a book like no other, with an introduction by M. Night Shyamalan, the acclaimed director of The Village and The Sixth Sense.

Ross has often been called the Norman Rockwell of comics, and this book reveals not only his lifelong love of these classic superheroes but also his vision: Mythology takes you into the studio for a behind-the-scenes look at his fascinating creative process. The combination of Ross’s dynamic art and Kidd’s kinetic design makes images from his most memorable stories–including Kingdom Come, Superman: Peace on Earth, Batman: War on Crime, and Uncle Sam–soar off the more than 300 pages.

The new material centers on Ross’s startling new comic book series, Justice, including sketches, preliminary art, prototype figures, and more. Mythology is a book in which every page explodes with the power of the icons it celebrates.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Alex’s unique style combines the best of the fantastic and the real, creating a world where myths walk and leave tangible footprints in the sand.”

–Paul Levitz, President and Publisher, DC Comics

bn.com
What if Batman, Superman, the Flash, and all the rest of the DC Comics heroes really existed? They'd look just the way comics legend Alex Ross draws them in this gorgeous coffee-table art tome. The gifted Ross reimagines the cast of DC superheroes as morally complex characters deeply affected by the events of life. In addition to Ross's amazing hyper-realistic paintings, Mythology includes an original Superman and Batman story by Chip Kidd and a retelling of Robin's origin by frequent Ross collaborator Paul Dini.
Most of us wanted to be superheroes; Alex Ross wanted to draw them. Ever since he was a little tyke in Lubbock, Texas, he dreamed of splashing his cosmic-sized fantasies across the pages of comics. In Mythology, superfan Chipp Kidd pays tribute to the DC Comics master who transformed our conception of hyper-real legends. Graced by full-color illustrations throughout its 320 pages, this expanded paperback edition includes 32 new pages of superheroes art.
USA Today
If America's superheroes have a Michelangelo -- or even a Norman Rockwell -- it would be Alex Ross, the 33-year-old Texan whose paintings and graphic novels majestically bring to life the make-believe characters of childhood. — David Colton
The New York Times
Some say Mr. Ross's portraits of superheroes make them incredibly hunky. His Wonder Woman is easy on the eyes, too. But everyone seems to agree that his real accomplishment is making superheroes more real than anyone has ever before — filmmakers included. Working almost entirely in gouache, Mr. Ross, 33, gives the same kind of earnest photorealism to portraits of well-known superheroes that Norman Rockwell gave the faces of doctors, letter carriers and firefighters. — Frank DeCaro
The Washington Post
The book is both a tribute and exploration of the Alex Ross aesthetic. Critics who thought there was nothing left to mine in the dubious pop-academic exploration of comics are taking another look at Ross's superheroes. — Hank Stuever
The Village Voice
Mythology closes with a bang. Co-written with Kidd, "The Trust" is an eight-page roller-coaster ride of terrific, economical storytelling and propulsive visuals. For the general reader, who knows little of Batman and Superman's long, prickly history, the concise dialogue (kept to a minimum to free up the art) provides all needed backstory. Ross launches the Man of Steel through the air like a titanium missile, Batman trailing behind on the Batrope, the silken cord making graceful arcs and taut diagonals that seamlessly knit the action together; the backgrounds hurtle by. Colors are vibrant and expositional, subtly defining aspects of each character and scene. A work of art, "The Trust" ends too soon, but it ends right, a reminder that comic books, like baseball and rock 'n' roll, are one of America's joyous gifts to the world, created for the young but with reverberations for the ages. — R.C. Baker
Publishers Weekly
With art that looks like a hybrid of Norman Rockwell and Jack Kirby, artist Ross has become the preeminent painter of superheroes of his generation. This lavish coffee- table tribute puts him into a pantheon as exalted as the superbeings he depicts. The son of a preacher and an illustrator, Ross was always captivated by superheroes, but it wasn't until he discovered the use of live models in art school that he was able to realize his visions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest. Like Rockwell, Ross uses photographs to set up lighting and staging-a process documented in a section at the end of the book-and like Rockwell, he favors otherworldly lighting effects that somehow serve to make his figures more realistic. Like Kirby, he has an innate belief in the iconic power of superheroes that gives them a dimension far beyond the usual four-colored adventures. Whether in Kingdom Come, a renowned tale of the twilight of the superheroes; his own oversized stories written with Paul Dini; or countless posters, covers and commissions, Ross's vision of beings so powerful they verge on arrogant will make viewers glad they don't exist in the real world. Kidd's text is laudatory but never cloying, and the book includes numerous studies, sketches and photos to show Ross's method. While collectors and fans gush over Ross's output, the sheer weight of pictures of every superteam in DC's universe does become somewhat numbing by the end. Still, the immense power of Ross's best images cuts through any clutter, and this volume deftly showcases just that. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This coffee-table hardcover, marvelously designed by Kidd (Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz) and showcasing some of the best work of multiple award-winning painter Ross, is one of the most visually rich books about comics ever published. Ross's magnificent paintings of some of the most famous superheroes ever created-Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other DC stars-are amazingly lifelike and at the same time manage to compellingly capture the essences of these fictional characters. Included here is artwork from some of Ross's most famous comics, including Kingdom Come and the six-book tabloid-sized series written by Paul Dini that concludes in November with JLA: Liberty and Justice, along with paintings done for posters, limited-edition prints and plates, and book and magazine covers. Also featured are conceptual sketches, penciled layouts, photos of some of the live models so crucial to Ross's work, and even a charming selection of Ross's childhood artwork, plus two previously unpublished stories. Ross's earnestness, love of the characters, and immense talent shine through on every page. This collection is not to be missed by any fan of Ross or of these characters, and it is essential for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/03.] Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This is a coffee-table tribute to the work of the cartoonist. Kind of an odd blend of Norman Rockwell meets Saturday morning cartoons, Ross's gouache painted art glows on the pages. Interspersed with quotations by the artist and those who know him, Kidd's sparse text takes readers on a brief tour of Ross's childhood to his early days in advertising and comic books, finally ending with the limited series "Kingdom Come" (Warner, 1998), which combined hyper-realistic artwork with unusually complex storytelling. The book not only displays samples of finished works but also includes sketches, photographs of live models, and comic art dating back to the 1930s. For a humorous touch, Kidd includes samples of Ross's childhood art, with pieces ranging from rough copies of comic covers to endearing sculptures of Batman and others made out of construction paper. Ultimately, Ross is an artist who quests to reuse and redevelop classic characters like Superman and Wonder Woman and elevate their stories to a level more sophisticated readers can enjoy. High goals, but this man makes it work.-Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375714627
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/08/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
392,568
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Alex Ross has produced more than 1,500 pages of comics material in less than fourteen years–an extraordinary body of work that has earned him every major award in the industry. Ross was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1970 and eventually settled in Chicago, where he attended the American Academy of Art. Among his best known books are: Marvels, Kingdom Come, Uncle Sam, Earth X, Superman: Peace on Earth, Batman: War on Crime, and JLA: Liberty and Justice.

Chip Kidd is the author and designer of Batman Collected and Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz. His book jacket designs for Alfred A. Knopf helped break new ground in the field from the late 1980s to the present. The Cheese Monkeys, Kidd’s first novel, published in 2001, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Geoff Spear has photographed for numerous publications, including Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Newsweek, and The New York Times. His images have also appeared in national ad campaigns for AT&T, American Express, Citibank, and IBM. His photographs for Batman Collected were chosen for the American Photography annual of the best of 1996.

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