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The illustrated poster is dead. Long live the illustrated poster.

No, it's not directly Amsel related, but this post does mark an important discussion concerning illustrated movie posters nowadays, and I'd be remiss to leave it unaddressed. A number of my artist friends have already commented on this, including Paul Shipper and Mark Raats.

Lucasfilm just released the new STAR WARS poster, and to the world's surprise, it was a purely digital work by Bryan Morton, which does not follow the series' longstanding tradition of using traditionally illustrated posters. While on its own terms, I think Morton's work is good -- and obviously pays tribute to Drew Struzan's poster designs for the prequels and special editions -- I'm sorry to see it was not done "the old fashioned way", for lack of a better term. The composition also feels a bit too crammed, too impersonal...the product of corporate thinking, rather than a solitary artistic vision.

Obviously, it's easy for us to nitpick, here, particularly when we hold this series to such an incredibly high standard. As someone who has had his own work critically torn to pieces from time to time, I commend Morton for stepping up to the plate.

I won't make any assumptions as to why Drew Struzan wasn't involved, but when you consider the legacy roster of other illustrators the films have employed in the past -- from Tom Jung to the Hildebrandts, Kazuhiko Sano to Mark Raats -- as well as other traditional artists, it's a bit surprising that such a formidable project should take form through the same nuts-and-bolts digital tinkering as any other poster out there.

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