It’s been 13 years since Chip Kidd teamed with Alex Ross for Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. Is it finally time for a follow-up? You bet. On October 2, Pantheon will collect Ross’s Marvel-centric art in MARVELOCITY by Alex Ross.
MARVELOCITY will include at least 30 NEW images, a new 10-pave story in which Spidey fights the SInister Six, and 50 pages of sketches and background materials.
It’s a Ross-a-palooza. Let face it tiger, this is so epic that only JJ Abrams could pen the introduction. Say what you will about Ross, his austere, forbidding portrayal of superheroes is unique and powerful.
What differentiates Marvel characters from DC characters, in terms of their look and aura?
There’s certainly an argument to make for similarity of iconic status, but what’s always separated the two for me is Marvel’s material has always had a kinetic quality to it, particularly based on the design aesthetics of Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. DC characters are not defined by a singular artistic voice influencing all the rest, but that’s what happened with Jack Kirby’s leadership of the entire Marvel brand. Everything is affected by what he led the charge of. That 10 years where he created the majority of those characters in the ’60s, that’s what every artist and writer has built their process upon, including the movies today. There’s a kinetic energy and a chaotic energy that embodies Marvel’s stuff.
DC is the foremost component of where the DNA of what makes a superhero came from. They did the very first superhero in Superman, and the first great embodiment of the dark superhero in Batman, and of course the first female superhero in Wonder Woman. All those key things are lined up by them, and they go in a nice descending ladder of importance with their Justice League. With Marvel it’s clear that Spider-Man is not the same kind of hero as Superman; Cap has similarities but he has differences as well and has been used in very interesting ways that stop him from being a clone of any DC counterpart. The Marvel characters are all over the place in terms of what makes them unique, and there’s a hip energy that’s been instilled in them since their creation. Every other superhero company follows the mold of having their heroes follow those archetypes that DC embodies, but Marvel broke away.
One of the things Chip Kidd wanted me to do differently than the aesthetic for Mythology was about the stiff face-forward look for the Mythology covers. He wanted Marvelocity to be a little more off-kilter and show a kinetic sense of force with the way the Marvel characters are connecting with the viewer. There isn’t the same rigidity of positioning, so that’s what should hopefully come through in the images I did of Marvel characters. There’s a lot in here that’s completely new, that no one’s ever seen before.
full color hardcover: 978-1-101871973 / $50 / 304 pages