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Mythology
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About 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.

Reviews

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.

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.

Ross redraws all the DC Comics heroes-and comes up with a 100,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"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

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