Doug: Several weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted a copy of the Alex Ross/Chip Kidd collaboration Rough Justice. I purchased it about a month ago and finally got around to reading it. I was not disappointed.
First of all, this is billed as a sketchbook, and it is just that -- there is no finished artwork in the book. Everything is in varying stages of thought, from thumbnails to marker sketches. There is a little inking and a little wash, but that's as close as it gets to finished. So if you were looking for something akin to Kidd's other Ross volume, Mythology, you'll be disappointed. But, if you want a peek inside Ross's head, his creative process, and some of the pitches he's made to DC over the years, then you've come to the right place!The prizes of this book are several pages of action figure turns, as well as several pages of Alex Toth-inspired character studies. Next would be several versions of covers as they developed, and some rejected cover proposals. I also enjoyed Ross's commentary on proposed ongoing series that he pitched to the powers-that-be, including a Shazam! series and an Elseworlds tale called Batboy (which would play off of several Silver Age imaginary stories). Ross admits that the rigors of putting out a written and drawn monthly might have been beyond his capabilities. Interestingly, he also admits his frustration with multiple proposals set in the DC Universe being shot down; he claims to have been spoiled by his relative freedom in the "special projects" land in which he usually resides.
I won't spoil much more of this for you -- it's worth a thumb-through at your local Barnes & Noble or Borders, and Amazon.com has a great price. If you're as big a fan as I am, then this will be an essential part of your Alex Ross collection, and your library in general.