If you’re not familiar with Scott Campbell’s “Great Showdowns,” you’re missing out on one of the Internet’s most delightful memes. Actually, that’s not totally accurate, as Campbell paints all the Showdowns himself, so it’s not technically a meme. But that’s probably the closest we can come to explaining what GS is like.
But here’s what it actually is, and the concept is simple: Campbell paints the greatest face-offs in movie history. What makes it unique is how pleased everyone is to be there, as well as some of the non-traditional scenes the artist pulls from; like John McClane versus broken glass, or Titanic versus the iceberg. With Titan Books releasing a beautiful, nearly pocket-sized collection of Great Showdowns on October 30th, we snagged some of Campell’s faves from the book, and got his commentary on what makes these particular showdowns so great:
“This was one of the first films to give me crazy nightmares. But looking back, i can smile at those times, especially when Jaws is also smiling.”
“My favorite of all the showdowns for how silly while simultaneously incredibly sexy it is.”
“A terrible tragedy between these two guys that could have been avoided if one of them had just gotten out of the way of the other. Something we deal with every day, as we walk down the street.”
“One of my favorite moments in film history was the gasoline fight in this film. What a blast those guys were having with that gas pump.”
“One of the first showdowns i ever saw with my young eyes on the big screen. This particular one was actually on a drive-in screen for me.”
“So much magic in this showdown. There were muppety characters in this film that really freaked me out back in the day, but i believe they were intended for me to want to hug them.”
“The Great Showdowns,” with forward by Neil Patrick Harris, is available on October 30th from Titan Books.