Review by C.J. Bunce
If you have already checked out Alex Ross’s prior art overview books Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross and Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross (reviewed at borg.com earlier here), you can see a new side of Alex Ross in his third coffee table format book, The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross. If you only know Alex Ross from his extensive work with the DC Comics superheroes, get ready to be exposed to not just one but many new universes he has explored over the past several years as cover artist for Dynamite Comics.
Ross’s painted art is a favorite of comic book fans everywhere. His unique style has become a trademark of sorts, and a must-have for a sure-fire successful launch for a new series. With Dynamite Comics, Ross was able to delve into multiple classic series and characters from the great breadth of Dynamite’s licensed franchises, including many classic or even arguably outdated series other publishers might not think to go after. These include a DC Comics/Marvel crossover called Avengers/Invaders (packaged by Dynamite), The Lone Ranger/Zorro, Vampirella, Warlord of Mars, Game of Thrones, Project Superpowers with the original Daredevil, the Flame, the Face, and the Green Lama, also Green Hornet, The Death-Defying Devil, Black Terror, Masquerade, Thulsa Doom, The Last Phantom, Bring the Thunder, The Torch, Kirby Genesis, The Bionic Man, Voltron, Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist and The Shadow.
In The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross, Ross discusses influences, ideas, techniques and stories surrounding his work. He includes pencil sketches, cover roughs, notations, giant poster quality images printed to the edge of the big 9X12-inch pages, and final works as realized in their published form. He even includes photography from human models used for some of his characters. Fans of Ross’s style and technique will not want to pass up the access to Ross found here, access you rarely find with any artist. What will stand out flipping page to page is Ross’s use of bright and vivid color–rarely will you see Ross using muted tones.
With Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross, and now The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross, most of Ross’s biggest works have been reprinted in nice volumes. What’s left, other than current works, are Ross’s marketing materials, such as his DVD and CD cover work for Flash Gordon and The Wizard of Oz, and other independent publisher comic book covers, like Top Cow’s Battle of the Planets.