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Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Hardcover – March 30, 2010
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Ross’ ultrarealistic, painted renditions of iconic superheroes have made him a superstar of the comic-book world. In this selection from his sketchbooks, his legions of fans can view some of the bases of his finished works. The drawings include layouts for published and rejected covers as well as story pages for such DC mainstays as Superman and Batman and Ross’ grandiose Kingdom Come series. There are also sketches for noncomics work—among them, the ALA posters showing DC’s iconic heroes enjoying books in outer space, in the Batcave, and on Paradise Island—and character designs, including suggested revampings of Captain Marvel and Batman that didn’t make it past the proposal stage. These pencil and occasionally ink renderings possess less elegance but more dynamism than the glossy end products, and they accentuate Ross’ powerful compositions. Ross provides commentary for the drawings, explaining his conceptual intentions. Edited and designed by Chip Kidd—no slouch in the design world himself—the volume opens the curtain on Ross’ creative process, revealing the sinews that underlie his acclaimed paintings. --Gordon Flagg
“For any artists wanting to break into comics, Rough Justice is a visual treasure trove to guide them, as surely as any by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. But more important, it’s a volume that gives comics fans a rare opportunity to celebrate a top artist in action. Alex Ross is a master shaper of superhero worlds.”
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He might just be the comic book equivalent of Norman Rockwell. He’s that good.