While the name of Bob Peak may not be familiar to you. I can certainly assure you that you’ve seen at least one of his amazing pieces of art in your time. In particular if you are a lover – a connoisseur of films. For example Bob Peak is the one responsible for the iconic design of 1973’s Enter the Dragon one sheet.
The dystopian tones of 1975’s Rollerball?
Or how about the movie poster for 1981’s Excalibur?
That is in fact the tip of the iceberg, my friends. While Bob Peak got his start in advertising for magazines in 1953 – it was in 1961 when he found what I feel was his true calling. Movie posters. In addition it was that year that United Artists would hire Peak to come up with a design for their upcoming adaptation of West Side Story!
While that might be where Peak got his start he quickly began creating art for other films. Like 1964’s My Fair Lady. Work that shows why his work continues to inspire new generations of artists.
Image courtesy of Bob Peak.Net
In all Bob Peak would go on to create over 130 film posters not to mention having his artwork featured in the likes of Time, Sports Illustrated, and the TV Guide.
Image courtesy of Bob Peak.Net
Sadly Bob Peak passed away in 1992 but he truly left behind a stunning legacy of one sheet artwork. You can find out more about Peak by visiting the artist’s official site. Two in particular I found from his site made my jaw drop. The first being that alternate design for 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture used at the top of the post.
As well as this unused concept for 1983’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. Which can be purchased among many other pieces of art by Peak at Artphoric.com
Image courtesy of Artphoric.com
Now that you’ve seen a little of some of my favorite artwork from Bob Peak. Take a moment and watch this episode of Beyond the Marquee with Jon Donahue.
In the the video, Donahue visits the DREW & BOB: Masters of Movie Art exhibit from 2014. Which featured artwork not only from Peak but Drew Struzan as well!
It’s still hard to believe with all of the greatness you can see in that trailer that this movie bombed at the box office. I can recall watching it at the Drive-In with my Father and we were having an absolute blast with the movie…all around us were people just talking and playing the music on their car radios at full blast. No respect for Jack nor the Pork Chop Express…very sad.
Yesterday happened to mark my 40th year on this planet. I want to thank everyone who wished me a Happy B-day over on Facebook, that meant quite a lot. I also do not mind adding that it was a pretty great day in terms of Retro gifts.
The big surprise of the day was that after 28 years I finally have a Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Y-Wing vehicle in my collection. Granted it is one of the Toys R Us exclusive re-release of the famed bomber…but beggars can’t be choosers!
The grandest gift of all came from Retroist regular, Dax, as he somehow got his hands on something I didn’t even know existed. It’s a promotional book for movie theaters that were going to be carrying John Carpenter’s The Thing back in 1982. It’s not about the making of the movie or anything like that but contains the classic story the movie was based on by John W. Campbell Jr., the original story was entitled “Who Goes There?”.
Now check out that awesome cover. The almost X-ray image of the Thing with that tentacle nightmare of a shadow spread out before it. Was this perhaps what was originally intended to be the theatrical poster before the legendary Drew Struzan’s design? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I would have been just as happy if the image on the promotional book had been used!
For those of you who love the work of Drew Struzan, you will be happy to know that an updated version of the 2004 book, Drew Struzan: Oeuvre was released this year by Titan Books. The Book, which is filled with the wonderful posters of Mr. Struzan also documents his process and it is not just a release, it is an update, so it includes the poster art he produced for pieces post-2004.
Drew Struzan has created some of the most iconic movie posters of the last 30 years, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Blade Runner.
This sumptuous hardcover edition, with a foreword by George Lucas, features over 250 pieces of artwork, including all of Drew’s most iconic movie images, as well as other highlights from his career, including album, book and comic book covers, stamps, trading cards, promotional artwork and very personal original works. The book comes right up to date, including exclusive San Diego Comic-Con poster art produced for The Walking Dead (2010) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011), with text by his wife Dylan, providing an intimate look at the man and his legacy.
The definitive collection of Struzan’s work; this is an absolute must-have for any movie buff and an unrivalled slice of both art and cinema history.
Should you get this book or The Art of Drew Struzan? Well if you do not have The Art of Drew Struzan already, I would pick up this book, it has a lot of the same posters and offers more insight into Struzan’s process. If you already own The Art of Drew Struzan or the original edition of Oeuvre, it become a bit of a harder call. How big a fan are you? Is the work he has done after 2004 important to you?
Drew Struzan: Oeuvre is a great coffee table book or a book to browse before bed, if you want to dream about the movies of your youth. It has been getting a workout non-stop since I picked up my copy and I expect it will get referenced for years to come.