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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon March 30, 2010
I would say this book is as good as Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, his other art book featuring his paintings.

In this book, we see the groundwork he lays for those paintings. There are sketches storyboards and layouts, character designs, covers and hand scribbled notes. Many of the sketches, like various iterations for covers, are appearing from the first time. And it's not really all black and white, there are a few pieces painted quickly with colour for quick colour tests. I've to add that the scans are really good also, showing off the marvelous shading and grain.

You get to see the final pencil stage, before shadows and paint are added, as he focuses on the contours and surfaces. The usual powerhouse cast of DC characters are all in: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, and many more. But it's not all character art. There are also design sketches for the Justice Batmobile, logo designs and concepts he did for a literacy campaign (which shows Batman hanging from a stone gargoyle from some skyscraper while reading a book).

The drawings look really quite different without the colours and I could barely recognise to compared with the original paintings from his previous book. But make no mistake, the same flair and realism is still there on every page. You can still see the intense attention paid to the detail of musculature, composition, lighting, facial expression, drapery and mood.

There's also commentary by Alex Ross himself, in addition to the hand scribbled notes. He talks about his designs, the creative process and on why some ideas just didn't make the cut.

Highly recommended to fans and comic artists.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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on April 7, 2010
I was really looking forward to this since first hearing about it. This really is an excellent companion to any of Ross's other books , being that this book is mostly pencil renderings with a few colored works. It also gives Alex's own personal insight on a lot of the projects that did and didn't make it past the proposal stage. That to me is really some of the coolest stuff because this might be the only real chance to see some of that work that isn't going anywhere. (Alex's rework of Captain Marvel) . If you are a fan of Alex's work or concept ideas in comics, then you should pick this book up !
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on December 22, 2015
More than the finished works themselves, the sketches our favorite artists produce are often sought after more than the published masterpieces given to the public domain. We all just want to know, "Is he or she REALLY that good?!" In the case of Alex Ross, the answer is a resounding YEEEESSSS!!!!! He's got it in spades, and I actually went through this book in one evening: I am on a mission. It is quite easy to take the masters for granted; you know, the ones that you are willing to pay the BIIIIIGGGGG! bucks to own what they create. Here, you discover even more why Alex Ross is truly R.O.U.G.H.~~Re-defining Our Understanding of Great Hands~~and you'll appreciate his outstanding ability even more. The book explains that much of what is presented has never been for our consumption, but I guarantee that once you taste it, like me, it will become a necessary part of your dietary nutrition, both mentally, expressed through the hands physically. He shows us, he teaches us, literally, Practice makes Perfect.

~No diggity, No doubt~
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on October 27, 2014
I bought this as a present for a family member who is obsessed with comic books and superheros, as well as an art graduate and current art teacher. I spent roughly three years searching for something like this and finally found it! The description of the item and preview doesn't do it justice. It is just absolutely perfect and the sketches are amazing. It's like a look into not only the superhero and comic book world, but a look into the behind the scenes process of developing the characters along the way.
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on July 8, 2016
If you're a fan of Alex Ross then you will think this book is awesome but truth be told, it's kind of on the boring side.

Looking through this book is like looking through an album of drawings of still lifes from art class only with people. Like a pencil rendered version of his photo album. Everything looks like it was copied from a photograph. Page after page of posed characters just standing there holding their cape or with a foot up on a box to look like they’re leaping or running. He can copy the photographs he's taken of carefully posed figures and render them accurately and realistically but there is no energy, no life, no action to his work. He’s technically adept with a pencil and renders beautifully and he obviously knows how to use watercolors but I am not convinced he really knows how to draw. There is even a sketch with a notation "re-take head shot for cover" which really proves my point that he can't draw unless he's copying one of his staged photographs and needed to go back into the photo studio to take a picture before he could draw it.

Don't get me wrong, I love Kingdom Come, Marvels but the “rough” sketch books that are the most appealing to me are by guys like Buscema, Frazetta, Neal Adams, Kubert etc. These books are filled with exciting and dynamic drawings bursting with action drawn by artists that can draw what they see in their minds eye, not from a posed photograph. Alex’s renderings are nice and clean and finished but they contain no life at all.

If you're looking for some nice, tight finished renderings then you’ll love this book but if you’re looking for a sketchbook full of life then unfortunately this book isn’t it.
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VINE VOICEon November 5, 2010
Chip kidd designed a hardbound collection of Alex Ross's concepts, which turns out to be spectacular stuff indeed.
I am WOWed by this and so glad that it graces my book collection: This is what the "process" actually is, and rarely do we have this type of insight into what could be.

I was impressed by a weird spread, typical Kidd stuff: an extreme blow up of what was probably faxed Ross sketches of two heroines. That kind of stuff is what makes Chip Kidd the patron saint of book designers: he catches something mysteriously there but overlooked in the pencil lines, the xeroxed image and the flair of a brushstroke: everything that is the soul of the work. Here it is all over again, the Kidd touch to homage an artist's work, and like his PEANUTS collections, showing us that he's at an atomic level of examination of the work.

Ross contributes notes on it all, which shows where the good ideas generate and why.

If eery picture tells a story, ROUGH JUSTICE is a lot of stories. Your fav fanboy will adore this! I sure do!
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on July 2, 2014
great price! amazing artwork inside by the legendary comic book artist alex ross! I got for a gift for my boyfriend but I kinda want it for my self! it has plenty of sketches from alex ross' work with dc comics.
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on October 13, 2013
This is a wonderful book, on how Alex Ross's art work looks like at the sketch stage. There are some colour pages, but the majority is in balck and white. There are alot of character concepts, and this is a beautiful book on the creation and design of the DC characters as envisioned by Mr Ross.
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on December 27, 2010
This is an extremely good book for any artist or fans, whether you like comics or not. I had to choose between this book and Jim Lee's ICONS this year and I chose this book (eventually I'll get ICONS too). The rough stuff is very tight and Alex's pencil skills rivals his painting skills (if not better). He has a very good understanding of shadows, form, and composition.
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on March 17, 2015
In this book I get to see Alex's pencil works and sketches for Superman, Batman and many other famous and beloved DC characters. They are a feast for the eyes as usual and every bit as beautiful and striking as his finished works. Truly a master artist of comic book drawing and unparalled by anyone before or maybe ever. And I love Jim Lee too... The paperback edition with Batman on the cover is too cool to be true. Worth a spot in any book collection.
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