Alex Ross is a tediously dull artist

I find Alex Ross tediously dull as an artist. Great to look at, the quality of work is outstanding, everything looks as it should but it’s all so, so dull. There, I said it.


I like Kingdom Come and Marvels. Both are great works of superhero comics.


Marvels especially as it gave Marvel a critical and commercial hit at a time when the majority of their output was rubbish as well as cementing Ross as a superstar artist.


But I’ve always found something wrong with Ross’s art. Nothing technical as every stroke, every line, is right and correct with everything being in the right place. Which is great but there’s too much perfection there. He’s essentially milked the life out of it. I don’t get a sense or power or energy as say with Jack Kirby’s work, or John Byrne or George Perez’s sense of storytelling, or Todd McFarlane’s visual flair.


”But he draws superheroes realistically’ you might say which is great if you want pin-ups, but I find his work emotionless, with all the honesty of an Athena poster. Everythings too posed, too perfect and made flawless to a tedious degree which makes his work just too glossy to be enjoyed plus superheroes aren’t meant to be realistic. They’re power fantasies, so drawing them like normal people negates some of that power and removes the cartoonish aspect from superhero comics plus his style has remained the same since he came onto the scene.


I’ll make it clear, he’s not a bad artist. Christ almighty, there’s enough of them working in superhero comics or the variant cover game, he’s just dull. There’s no fun there because he’s screened out the bit and bobs which make artists great, out. There are no errors that end up being wonderful idiosyncrasies of greats like Kirby, Ditko, or McFarlane but he helped bring in an era of copycats who are equally technically great but tediously dull who worked out they can make more money drawing covers than comics.

But hey, he’s made his money and continues to but for someone with clear and obvious talent I wish he was able to put some life into his work.


2 thoughts on “Alex Ross is a tediously dull artist

  1. The lighting is all strange. I don’t just mean the backgrounds, which are like theater flats. I mean the figures in the foreground have inconsistent lighting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Couldn’t have put it better myself. I have been royally slagged off for suggesting the same to certain comic fans. Big, shiny, perfectly dull comics.
    Perhaps some fans who adore his work need a look at Swan and Anderson on Superman; Ditko on Spiderman; Raymond on just about anything; Toth on Zorro, and so on.


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