Chicago-based illustrator Alex Solis has created a series of cartoon-style portraits titled Icons Unmasked, in which he reveals the unexpected identities of well-known pop culture icons. The illustrations depict costumed figures that unmask themselves, exposing who is really hiding behind the mask. In the series, you will see characters from popular movies, animated films and even political figures.
Alex writes on his Kickstarter page:
“Ever wonder if the characters you see on TV, in movies and in comic books are hiding something behind their masks? That perhaps they’re really someone — or something — else? Discover and see iconic characters like you have never seen them before. Finally, all masks are off and their true identity is revealed.”
The illustrations soon went viral on social media networks. As a result, the illustrator’s Kickstarter campaign, which was launched to fund a book featuring the best of the series, surpassed all expectations, hitting over three times its initial goal of $7000. Thus, the ‘Icons Unmasked’ was fully funded just four days after the campaign launch!
While it may seem that the two icons in each pair have little in common, they, in fact, share certain personality quirks or some other aspects, such as the name or species. That’s why even those character mash-ups that are far from obvious demonstrate clever pairings of different figures with similar traits. Thus, the meaning behind these seemingly funny cartoons is much deeper. In Alex’s illustrations, we can often see the friendly faces from our favorite childhood animated films hiding not-so-innocent characters inside.
“In Icons Unmasked, I’m trying to bring a new sense of discovery to characters everyone has seen hundreds of times. I wanted to recreate the experience of what it might be like to see one iconic character from your childhood for the first time as an adult,” the illustrator explains.
Apart from Donald Trump turning out to be Mr. Burns and Garfield hiding behind the mask of Grumpy Cat, the series contains many other unmasked icons everyone is familiar with. You will probably find a couple of the characters you used to love as a child. Be ready to see them in a whole new light.
Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Image credit: Alex Solis