Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Great Showdowns

 Complexity vs. Simplicity: this is the spectrum upon which illustrators work to best communicate an idea. For me, the work which communicates most efficiently (uses the least to say the most) is also the most effective. Enter Scott C.'s Great Showdowns. These tiny, square watercolors attempt to distill the main conflict or illustrate a pivotal scene from some of the greatest works and cult classics of cinema. They do this with cutesy, tongue-in-cheek humor, making the conflicts seem much more playful than they are portrayed in the movie.

And he cranks 'em out too, often updating the blog with new entries three to four times a week. The best part is the manner in which he formats them, without the title of the film, but rather with a brief quote from the film, often from the pictured scene. This allows for the added puzzle of trying to match the scene to the film. For example, the caption at left simply reads “Get down.”

Some are rather straight forward, like the image for Terminator 2, pictured here at above. While still others include little ironic details, like the fact that all parties are bearing bright smiles, and often more obscure scenes for added humorous effect. Scott C. likes to personify objects that are integral to the conflict, such as the decapitated horse's head from The Godfather or the McDonald's food from Super Size Me. Each piece reads as a little joke which only fans of the movie get. The simplicity of form seems to capture the essence of each complex plot and conflict from the featured film title. Other good examples from the extremely, extensive archive are Citizen Kane, Se7in, There Will Be Blood, and Psycho.

Scott C. does various other commissioned pieces, viewable on his other blog here (his website is under construction), as well as a daily webcomic which has recently been published. His main blog is a great resource as he documents every step of his creative process, with detailed photos and descriptions of how he goes about making a piece of work. He is also on the creative team for Double Fine Productions which is responsible for the popular video games Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, both well known for their odd and eccentric humor.

To peruse the backlog of Great Showdowns, visit the website at Also, to view his specifically themed LOST showdowns (spoilers!) check out this post.

1 comment:

  1. These were really cute. They remind me of this artist Bob-Rz ( They both have a natural feel to them and simple style.

    I checked out the great showdowns website, saw the Zoolander post and fell in love. I enjoyed his entries, the simple style and faces he gives to inanimate objects.

    I do think for some of them, if it wasn't for the movie quote, I wouldn't have gotten it at all and that might be just because of what he did to stylize specific characters.