For some, the idea of a project lasting more than a couple of hours might sound terrifying. When it comes to graphic designer Scott Modrzynski, however, he managed to dedicate two years to the task of recreating every single Uncanny X-Men comic book character into an X-shaped caricature.
If you head over to Scott’s site, Unnecessarily X-Essive, you’ll find a mind-boggling amount of X-shaped caricatures to look at. The drawings feature all 2,535 X-Men characters to appear in the Uncanny X-Men comic series, which Modrzynski used as inspiration. All in all, 545 issues of Uncanny X-Men - ranging from 1963 all the way to 2011 - were referenced for the drawings. Not only are mutants well represented, but even minor characters such as civilians and police get a cute drawing of themselves.
Speaking to io9, Modrzynski noted that he didn’t initially plan to spend two years on the project, but the completionist in him wouldn’t allow him to stop. “I got the idea a few years back when I had done something similar with WWF wrestlers,” he says. “I never intended for it to take so long, but once I get going, OCD kicks in, and found myself going back to older issues to add the most minor of characters I had previously skipped.”
Modrzynski says that during the time spent drawing, he gained an appreciation for Marvel comic artists like Dave Cockrum and John Byrne, specifically when it comes to the diversity and creativity that they brought to the series. Unfortunately, that level of creativity didn’t make it through the 90’s, as he notes “The attention to character detail—Wolverine is really short, Colossus’s square jaw—began to sag in the ’80s, and fell off a cliff in the early ’90s, as artists homogenized the appearance of everyone.”
Despite the two year trek, Modrzynski said he enjoyed the process, and felt like going back to read through Uncanny X-Men was like revisiting a time capsule filled with old memories. If you want to take a couple of minutes (or years) to browse the gallery, you can do so here.