Have you ever wondered if the superheroes, animated icons, and comic book stars you see in pop culture are hiding something--a demure inner self, a secret identity, an ugly mug, James Franco--behind their masks? I haven't. I'm not even close to that deep. But Alex Solis has, and is. Then again, he also has kids. Having created a couple of miniature human beings probably makes him consider the complexity of Self and cartoon characters in the same thought sequence a lot more than I do. In any case, here we have the product of his musings: Icons Unmasked, a series of illustrations Solis has compiled into a book depicting what he imagines might be lurking behind some of the most famous faces we know. Thought we knew.
Solis' approach is a very postmodern, even cynical one. He says, "Each time we see a new character in a movie, video game or commercial, we feel a sudden sense [of] deja vu. There's something about their goofy grin, that creepy laugh, or those boogly eyes that feels eerily familiar...." In other words, nothing's original anymore. Everything's either a mish-mash of stuff we've already seen, or a copy of it. Or a copy of a copy of a copy of it. Depressing, huh?
Good thing Icons Unmasked has comic book colors and awesome characters to, er, mask the darkness behind it!
Icons Unmasked, currently seeking Kickstarter crowdfunding, will print as an 8" x 8" hardcover coffee table book with 80+ color illustrations showing Solis' imagination of what lies behind everyone from Peter Griffin (Homer Simpson) to Inside Out's Sadness (Winnie the Pooh's Eeyore) to Ronald McDonald (the Joker; gotta agree with that one). Pledge to find out what's behind the icon you thought you knew and loved through January 9, 2016.