BOOK REVIEW: THE ART OF JOHN ALVIN / AUTHOR: ANDREA ALVIN / PUBLISHER: TITAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
If you watched a Disney or fantasy film from the mid '70s to the late '90s, the odds are you will be familiar with the art of the late John Alvin. Not from the films themselves, but from the lush poster art that accompanied them. Spaceballs, Batman and so many more are represented here.
In a way, the great tragedy of this book is that John is not here to tell us more about these works of art for himself. However, his widow Andrea does the best she can under the circumstances and gives a great deal of insight into the creative process (she would know, as she collaborated on several of the projects). This commentary adds a lot to the already magnificent images and really shows how well the couple worked together.
The book is not perfect. Among other things, it dedicates six pages to The Golden Child while giving just one to Blazing Saddles – although even there it’s notable how well Alvin captures Eddie Murphy’s grin in some of the concept sketches (the same goes for all of the actors on the Batman Forever concept poster, especially Jim Carrey). Nevertheless, Andrea does dedicate a fair bit of the book to Star Wars, including an absolutely phenomenal pod-racing image, which goes some way to make up for that. But honestly, the best way to put it is this: the first night we got the book, we stayed up until the wee hours, unable to put it down. This is a must read for any fan of film and is the most complete celebration of Alvin’s life and work you are going to find.