Top critical review
A Nice but Boring Book
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.