The Great Showdowns Hardcover – Oct 30 2012
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"a lovely coffee book for sci-fi junkies" – SciFiNow
"The wealth of treasure buried within is immense." – Crome Yellow
"a must-have addition to any geek haven and the perfect holiday gift for the fanboy or fangirl in your life!" – Fanboy Comics
" a brand new art book every film fan must own" – Film.com
“This book’s whimsical illustrations will appeal to any illiterate, movie lover on your Christmas list.” – Cool and Collected
“A great coffee table book for conversation starters at parties!” – Beyond the Marquee
“The Great Showdowns is a wonderful little magical tome to include in your art library, pop culture collection, or keep out on your coffee table.” – Nerds in Babeland
“It’s freaking delightful. There’s no more enjoyable way to recall some of pop culture’s most raucous and contentious encounters than The Great Showdowns. What fun.” – San Francisco Book Review
"A great gift for couch potatoes." - Stimulant
About the Author
Scott Campbell (Scott C) is a maker of paintings, illustrations, comics, kid's books and video games. He studied illustration at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and has worked on such games as the critically acclaimed Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. Alongside this career in games, he has published numerous comics and created paintings that have appeared in galleries and publications around the world. Some of his most notable projects include the Igloo Head and Tree Head series, Double Fine Action Comics, Hickee Comics and the Zombie In Love children's book. Scott lives in New York City.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
This is an excellent coffee table art book.
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.