The Great Showdowns (Titan Books)

Some of cinema’s greatest faceoffs are captured with whimsical detachment in this art book from Scott C.

 

 

144 pgs., color; $14.95
(W / A: Scott C.)
 
The big showdown is one of the most used and most memorable of movie tropes. Who could forget the Warriors vs. the Baseball Furies? Or Rocky vs. Apollo Creed? Or Max van Sydow’s medieval knight versus Death? These confrontations and more are the subject matter of Scott C.’s new book, The Great Showdowns.
 
The setup is as simple as it could be. Each page documents one showdown (confrontation might be a better word in some cases, as the scenes pictured include more abstract encounters, such as Morgan Spurlock versus a SuperSized meal and Travis Bickle staring down his imagined enemies in the mirror) from a popular movie. Each frame is painted in Scott C.’s whimsical storybook, style, with no words on the page other than the artist’s signature. That means you’re on your own to figure out exactly what move is being referenced—I got about two-thirds right away, with some light assistance from Google, so I’m hoping someone will take pity on me and post a key. Or maybe I should just take the book to a party and crowdsource the project, because everyone likes to talk about the movies and show off that they know more than you do.
 
If the title Little Nothings weren’t already claimed (Lewis Trondheim uses it for his slice-of-life series), that would be a good alternative title for The Great Showdowns. The high drama suggested in the real title really isn’t in the book, except in an ironic, hipster sort of way. It’s very pleasant book to leaf through, however, or to leave on the coffee table for guests to peruse. You can see some samples of the art on the artist’s web page (http://greatshowdowns.com/). | Sarah Boslaugh

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