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cris alex

This makeup artist used body paint to turn someone into the Silver Surfer

Could this be the most "realistic" comic book cosplay ever?


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 10, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 12:35 am CDT

Believe it or not, the picture you’re about to see isn’t an illustration from a comic book; it’s a real person wearing body paint.

This version of Fantastic Four villain Silver Surfer, created by makeup artist Cris Alex, uses cartoon shading and clever visual trickery to make it seem like you’re looking at a two-dimensional illustration.

Once all the body paint was applied, Alex used bright light to “flatten” the appearance of her model and remove as many real shadows as possible. With a black background and a prop surfboard, the resulting image is so surreal that you have to look hard to see past the optical illusions that make him look like a living cartoon.

Usually when cosplayers use body paint to dress up as “naked” characters like Mystique and the Silver Surfer, they only go so far as including a little creative shading around the abs. Alex’s work goes much further, using stark black lines and two-tone shading to completely change the model’s body shape.

Cris Alex

Perhaps the next “realistic” superhero movie should look to this makeup artist for advice when designing their characters. This is the most authentic superhero cosplay we’ve ever seen.

Photo via Cris Alex/Imgur

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*First Published: Dec 10, 2014, 2:31 pm CST