Drew Struzan Movie Poster Coffee Table Book
Just in time for the trailer for Drew: The Man Behind the Poster documentary covering the poster illustration work of Drew Struzan and his new poster artwork for Frank Darabont’s upcoming AMC Series The Walking Dead, we were given a review copy of the new coffee table book The Art of Drew Struzan. (For someone who has retired, Struzan seems to be pretty busy lately.)
From book publisher Titan Books:
Described by Steven Spielberg as “My favorite movie artist”, Drew Struzan has created some of the most iconic movie poster images of the last 30 years, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Star Wars: Episode III. This is the first book to cover the acclaimed artist’s movie work in depth, with a Foreword by Frank Darabont. Featuring over 300 pieces of artwork, from black and white and color comprehensives (presenting concepts and ideas) to final poster art, accompanied by excerpts from an exclusive interview with the artist, the development of 40 projects is related and explained. With scores of previously unseen pieces, including unused final poster art for movies such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Hellboy II, this is a treat for movie buffs and artists alike.
The Art of Drew Struzan book features a comprehensive look at the artwork of the most famous movie poster illustrator ever. His one-sheet creations range from blockbuster franchises including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter, to obscure Spanish language comedies. One interesting aspect of the book is Struzan talking about the actual “process” of movie poster illustration, especially when it comes to dealing with the business side of film advertising, where movie studios and art directors are given the role of villain in the battle between advertising and art:
The studios only think digitally now. Most of the young people running the place never hired artists, never worked with artists, they don’t know what to do with art if they had it, so it’s all digital now. Even if they have it and you show it to them… they [still] don’t understand. I’m not the one to explain why they feel that way or why they don’t understand, but it’s what happened, it’s what happened to my job, what happened to the industry.
This complaint about the “modern” film advertising business ushering in the “death of movie poster art” is a popular refrain for many. (This includes Struzan’s biggest admirer, film director Frank Darabont). But there is a bit of irony in Drew Struzan’s comments about the “young people running the place” when you consider the work of his own son Christian Struzan, a film advertising creative director working in the very same industry Drew now laments.
So is the book actually any good, or is his work completely overshadowed by the business vs. art issues? I guess I’d like to hear what you thought about the book overall as a monograph of Struzan work.
Photoshop is just a tool. Its hasn’t killed poster art any more than an airbrush does when its used in place of watercolors. It just changed the way many artists go about creating posters. There are both good and bad digital artists just as there were (and are) good and bad traditional artists.
I’ve actually talked to Drew before about my work and he gave it heavy praise (which was a THRILL, coming from him), so not all digital art is bad — even to Drew.
I just love your blog though I wish you posted more frequently.
Regarding the job Struzan did for that spanish Torrente film, I guess the irony is lost on an American audience. The film is all about satire. The main character is just a very corrupt cop trapped in a sleazy 70s mentality who embodies all the horrible flaws some policemen used to exhibit: sexism to the nth degree, general intolerance of other ethnicities, women, gay people…
A pretty disgusting sight although the film apparently aims to ridicule that sort of pathetic anti-hero while recognising him as the victim of a system. Therefore the pot belly, balding head and outdated moustache. We’re talking stuff that only resonates with people over 40 here, really.
Director Santiago Segura, who’s made cameos in some of Guillermo Del Toro’s films, is a fan of Struzan’s work and managed to get in contact with him for a commission work.
LOL. Not associated in any way with any of the people mentioned here and I wouldn’t recommend the film, either!
Yes mate but most posters today are a bunch of floating heads with a small character in the middle. Even a baby can do that. To actually capture the likeness of a person and make it work is genius. Hellboy was a masterpiece and one od Drew\’s best – the actual poster they used was utter shit!
Drew Struzan is a genius! His work helped define 80’s movies for me when I was growing up (Indy, Back to the Future just to name a couple). I don’t know how much money I’ve spent over the years at poster printing shops buying reproductions of his stuff.