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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feast Your Eyes on Some Excellent Minimalist Pop Culture Art!
To my shame, I've never been all that much of an art geek. Now, that isn't to say that I don't appreciate artwork because I do. I've been reading comic books and graphic novels for well over four decades, so I can look at some forms of drawing and painting and coloring, and I can certainly get jazzed about what it takes to put something like that down on paper for...
Published 22 months ago by E. Lee Zimmerman

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great little coffee table book.
No words. Just pictures. But a key for the ones that stump the viewer would be a nice addition to the book.
Published 20 months ago by Geoffrey Smith


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feast Your Eyes on Some Excellent Minimalist Pop Culture Art!, November 7, 2012
This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
To my shame, I've never been all that much of an art geek. Now, that isn't to say that I don't appreciate artwork because I do. I've been reading comic books and graphic novels for well over four decades, so I can look at some forms of drawing and painting and coloring, and I can certainly get jazzed about what it takes to put something like that down on paper for others to see, much less evaluate. But art museums and the like? I just never caught that `bug.' I couldn't say why. It could be that I just never understood the `inspiration' behind the successful artist; thankfully, Scott C's artwork in THE GREAT SHOWDOWNS isn't lost on me.

Clearly, Scott C is a film nerd, much like so, so many of us today. His particular obsession - even highlighted in his brief `intro' in this small coffee-table-style book - is conflict as depicted in film ... because, after all, what would the art of storytelling be without conflict? There's no film to be had without it, and Scott C - in all his grace - has latched on to some wonderful metaphors in his watercolor illustrations here. Quite a bit of his inspiration is drawn from truly great motion pictures - THE SHINING, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, DR. STRANGELOVE to name but a few - but one can see by perusing his illustrations here that he genuinely loves good film. And who doesn't?

It's his style that's immediately accessible that makes THE GREAT SHOWDOWNS such a winner as a collection. There's absolutely nothing highbrow about any of it. In fact, it's refreshing uncomplicated - almost crude scrawling, in some cases - given life through basic watercolors. And even though he's given new life and examination to moments of conflict, everyone - even inanimate objects - are brought to life with a slim smile. These are kid drawings, but they're done in such a way that they unquestionably bring out the kid in each of us.

And I think that's because movies - at their core - can be so universal. As Scott C reminds us in his intro, we experience them together - collectively - in their dark. We laugh at them together. We cry at them together. We cringe at them together. It's arguably the single-greatest collective experience left to the highly independent experience we call "life," and, with his clever illustrations, we're kind of reminded of those subtle moments, those memorable characters, that we all first experienced as a group in the dark. He's a truly remarkable artist - there's not a lot of flash and sizzle here, just some basic scribbling, colors, and those inescapable skinny smiles everywhere - and I'd encourage you to pick up and, seriously, enjoy this brief accounting of his work.

THE GREAT SHOWDOWNS is published by Titan Books. It includes a clever and brief - much like the artist's approach to his work here - foreword by Neil Patrick Harris, as well as an introduction to the work by the painter himself. For the record, the only thing that's missing here is a key - something that could identify precisely what film or program inspired the work - and I throw that out only as a suggestion should there ever be a second draft; for folks like me who, perhaps, haven't seen every flick rendered so winningly here, it would've been nice - even a bonus for using the neat li'l book for trivia contests - but it certainly isn't absolutely necessary. Without much effort, I think I recognized well over 90% of what's depicted here, and that's without even having seen some of the motion pictures.

HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION. It's a rare opportunity to peek inside the mind of a creative artist, but THE GREAT SHOWDOWNS - even with its brevity - shows the utter genius of Scott Campbell at work. His simple yet elegant watercolor illustrations cut immediately to the heart of conflict as seen in film - be it the Alien Queen facing off against a heavily-mechanized Ellen Ripley in ALIENS or the likes of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson threatening the smiling young punk from PULP FICTION. Who knows? If you look close enough, these paintings might even make you think about the film (the artist's original inspiration from his work) in a whole new light, and THAT is nothing short of an amazing accomplishment when measured up against the painter's preferred plainness. It's brilliant, and I'd encourage art fans, film nerds, and just plain good old-fashioned geeks to run out and pick up a copy today.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the good folks at Titan Books provided me with a review copy of THE GREAT SHOWDOWNS for the expressed purpose of completing this review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Cute Showdowns, October 31, 2012
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
This book is an absolutely adorable collection of Scott C's work. Scott takes on pop culture movies conflict in his adorable style - pitting hero against villain and i just love it. Plus you get an illustration of Neil Patrick Harris on a Unicorn. Who wouldn't want that?

This is an excellent coffee table art book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want his art as tattoos!, November 7, 2012
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
I think my title for the review says it all. Scott C's art is sooo fun and amazingly simple, that you cannot help but giggle a bit!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great little coffee table book., January 5, 2013
By 
Geoffrey Smith (Delmar, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
No words. Just pictures. But a key for the ones that stump the viewer would be a nice addition to the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Graet drawings!, June 17, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
This book is great, high quality drawings in a high quality material. I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in clever art and joy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Makes Se7en Somehow Adorable, February 24, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
If we were pitting the two books in this series against one another in a battle to the death, I honestly think that this first installment in the Great Showdowns book series would come out the winner. The book starts out strong, grabbing readers instantly on the title page by offering up a scene inspired by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows with Voldemort and Nagini on one side and Harry – wand at the ready – and Neville with sword in hand on the other.

An introduction by Neil Patrick Harris follows and Neil basically fanboys over Scott C. as much as I did. Except he some how makes it sound way cooler. After which we get a brief introduction by the author before we’re immediately thrown into a whirlwind of pop culture nostalgia.

Going into this book my only real concern was that I wouldn’t recognize a lot of the drawings. Online Scott C. includes a quote from every movie with each drawing so if you don’t immediately recocgnize them you can always google the quote and generall figure it out. Sadly, the book does not do this – possibly for copyright reasons? Who knows. But that was my main concern and it was completely unfounded. Some of the highlights of this book include drawings of the Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, Planet of the Apes, Aliens, the Shining, Starship Troopers, Jurassic Park, Tron, Star Wars, and the Wizard of Oz among so many more.

Some of the pieces are a little more diluted or raw than some of the stuff you’ll find on the Tumblr. That’s likely because this book seems to include a good amount of his earlier work from the beginning of the Great Showdowns series. They are still as awesome as any other and this book get a solid five stars from me. It’s fun, adorable, and its the kind of book you can share with anyone. I mean, seriously. It makes Se7en some how adorable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Small and without words, January 17, 2014
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
Excellent product. Didn't meet my internal expectations of an overlarge book. It was hardback. It does not come with explanations of scenes, or even a movie title. You might like than though, because it could be a conversation starter as a coffee book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing art, December 28, 2013
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
I love the way Scott paints the epic "showdowns"; he is so unique in his depictions. Only reason it is not 5 stars is because of its length (pretty short).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scott C. is the Man, December 12, 2013
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
Great book. A lot of fun and everyone gets a kick out of figuring out what movie is represented. Definitely worth it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money, December 6, 2013
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This review is from: The Great Showdowns (Hardcover)
Excellent book for a great price; this book works well for either a casual gift for somebody's birthday or other holiday.
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The Great Showdowns
The Great Showdowns by Scott Campbell (Hardcover - October 30, 2012)
$14.95 $12.56
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