by: Austin Welch
As the artist’s friend Frank Darabont says, “Drew Struzan is only as retired as his friends allow him to be.”
If you don’t know who Drew Struzan is, then go to hell. No, seriously – you got to hell, and you die.
Okay, you may not know him, but you know his work. Struzan is, without a doubt, the greatest movie poster artist of all time. He is responsible for virtually all of the classic posters from the 70s on through today, with the bulk of his most favored work in the 80s and 90s. He’s created indelible images for franchises like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, Police Academy, and individual films like The Goonies, Better Off Dead, An American Tail, Adventures In Babysitting, Three O’Clock High, Hook, Mallrats, The Shawshank Redemption, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone…need I continue? Need visual representation? Take a gander at the man’s work at this great fansite.
Struzan was on hand at Comic-Con this past weekend to plug and autograph his latest book, The Art Of Drew Struzan, and a DVD entitled Conceiving And Creating The Hellboy Movie Poster Art. He also attended a panel to help promote a documentary on his career that is currently in the works. Basically, a pair of fans – director Eric Sharkey and producer Charles Ricciardi – took it upon themselves to create a film celebrating the man’s work, because…well…no one else was doing it! About twenty minutes of Drew, The Man Behind The Poster was premiered, and let me tell you, it was a riveting twenty minutes. Featuring interviews with the makers and stars of the films he’s created posters for, one really gets a sense that his biggest fans are actually these celebrities, not we filmgoers. Praise from the likes of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Guillermo Del Toro, Frank Darabont, and more oozed from the screen.
Darabont was actually in the room for the panel, as he was at the show promoting The Walking Dead, the upcoming AMC series he is producing based on the comic book of the same name, and for which he talked the now-retired Struzan into rendering a poster for. After the footage, Struzan was introduced, and a lengthy standing ovation followed. So lengthy, that it began to embarrass Struzan – who, until the advent of the internet and the mass spreading of pop culture information, had no real idea that his work was so revered among the public.
Struzan fielded questions from the audience for a few minutes, and ultimately expressed that his work for the film industry was just that – work. He gets much more enjoyment out of creating art for art’s sake, and without steady paychecks coming, there is no real reason to stay too involved with the entertainment industry. This is too bad, but you have to respect the man’s stance. Still, Mr. Struzan, we truly thank you for the last thirty-five years or so, and we hope to continue to see your work, as long as your friends keep bugging you.
Please enjoy the trailer for Conceiving And Creating The Hellboy Movie Poster Art: