Artist’s Adorable Super Shadows Tap Into Children’s Heroic Dreams
Children have dreamed of becoming comic book superheroes since DC Comics first debuted Superman in 1938. As comic book based media has proliferated over the past decade, the desire to become their heroes has only increased amongst our youth.
Tapping into those fantasies, artist Jason Ratliff has introduced a new series he calls Super Shadows, each of which depicts a child casting the shadow of a famous comic book superhero as a way to bring “the inherent power of a child’s potential and imagination” to life.
The initial piece, featuring a child with a sheet tied around his neck casting the shadow of Superman, debuted as part of Ratliff’s previous Walking Shadows series (which depicted people casting the shadows of various icons, animals, and objects) and proved to be popular enough to spawn the hero-centric spinoff.
Ratliff has since expanded the series to include representations of such iconic characters as Green Lantern, Wolverine, The Hulk, Supergirl, Captain America, Catwoman, The Flash, and a host of others. The images each depict a child in a similar pose to the hero, such as a young boy crossing his arms to cast that of Batman, or interacting with an everyday object, such as a young boy leaping between chairs which cast the shadow of Spider-Man leaping between buildings.
While the images seem to be a homage to the staying power of the characters portrayed, the artist sees a deeper meaning in his work.
“The image isn’t necessarily about Superman…It’s about how a kid can be anything they want to be and the guy in the cape just helps represent those aspirations,” Ratliff stated.
Ratliff’s Super Shadows, as well as his previous work, can be viewed and purchased in print form from his website.