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Look Closely: Can You Tell What's Different About This Picture of a Comic Book Icon?


Your eyes may or may not be fooling you.


The work of special makeup effects artist Cris Alex can be seen in movies and on major network hit television shows like "CSI" and "Sleepy Hollow." However, it is a recent project of Alex's that caught our attention.

Alex set out to recreate the look of the Silver Surfer, a famous Marvel Comics character, exactly as he appeared on the cover of volume 3, number 20 of the comic book. And when we say "exactly," we mean stunningly accurate.

This is how the original, painted by Ron Lim, appeared on newsstands:

Image: Image:

After six hours of painting her boyfriend's body, here is the final product:

(Source:; used with permission) (Source:; used with permission)

silversurferweb (Source:; used with permission)

Your eyes aren't fooling you: She painted and shaded him to appear just like the cover of the comic book.

We wondered why Alex decided to take on this project and she told TheBlaze, "I was interested in completing a head to toe body paint of some sort."

To transform the model into a cartoon-like creation, she used a makeup called PPI Skin Illustrator. Alex selected this particular product because, "It is a durable, water and abrasion-resistant, alcohol-activated makeup -- perfect for withstanding such a long paint process."

Looking at some of the photos taken during the shoot and posted on her website, you can see the outline of a skullcap covering the hair of the man hiding beneath the body paint.

Image: (Source:; used with permission)

Additionally, a tight shot in normal lighting reveals details like the model's thumbnail and his underwear.

Image: (Source:; used with permission)

Only by looking at close-up shots, or the outtakes like the one below, can you detect that an actual human model is hiding beneath the paint.

Image: (Source:; used with permission)

Once the paint work was completed, Alex used very bright lighting to create the high-contrast effect that flattened the appearance of the body paint and deliver the same metallic look found in the Silver Surfer's Marvel comic book images.

To see more of Cris Alex's work, visit her website.


Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.

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