Working on this book has been a dream come true for me in that I was able to see inside the brains of two men I admire -- Tim Bruckner and Rubén Procopio. I was a fan of both of them and their work before we started writing Pop Sculpture together, and the amazing thing is that since then, their work has gotten even more impressive. I thought I'd shine a light on some of their coolest recent work, based entirely on my biased views as an unabashed comic and movie geek, starting with Tim.
Tim has worked for literally dozens of manufacturers, but the pinnacle of his career has debatably been spent with DC Direct. His ability to accurately translate the work of 2-D artists has led to amazing toy lines based on Jim Lee's artwork for Batman: Hush as well as Alex Ross's painting style in Kingdom Come. (See Also: The Dark Knight Returns toys, plus statues based on the art of Gary Frank, Brian Bolland and Adam Hughes.) But the man has an amazing style of his own, which is why it's so great to see him creating superhero work that's not based on a specific artist's renderings.
One of the lines of statues Tim's working on now is called DC Dynamics, and it features his designs, as inspired by the paintings of early 20th century illustrator J.C. Leyendecker. Each of the characters leaves behind a trail of smoke, water or energy, which is cast in a translucent material, creating a sense of movement. They're almost... dynamic! Hence the name!. While the Wonder Woman and Superman pieces are my favorites, the fact that the line has expanded beyond the Big Seven to include Supergirl and Sinestro is pretty great. Still, imagine how this effect could be put to use to re-create the Flash's Speed Force, or the Martian Manhunter's speed and invisibility. And how about Dr. Fate? Or Hawkman? Just thinking out loud here.
The second line Tim's doing for DCD is called DC Chronicles -- basically, they're Tim's interpretations of what each of DC's most famous Justice Leaguers looked like back when they first appeared. But despite their old-fashioned styling, they're tough, gritty versions, and they're all pretty bad-ass -- well, except Aquaman, who is clearly enjoying himself at a cocktail party, or perhaps greeting a passing school of fish. Still, the sheer personality rolling off of ol' Arthur Curry more than makes up for him not bending a machine gun like Superman. In my opinion, this line might be a good place to mix in some other older characters who could stand to be made bad-ass -- Metamorpho, Shazam, Adam Strange...
The newest series Tim's working on is called Ultimate Showdown, and it features the classic hero/villain rivals facing off in statue pairs. Green Lantern fights Sinestro in the first set, followed by Superman/Bizarro and Batman/Joker, and I can't wait to see which pairs Tim tackles next. Flash/Zoom? Wonder Woman/Cheetah? Shazam/Adam? Aquaman/Manta??? I'm all a-tingle!
Next week: Rubén Procopio's latest, gushed over by a formerly professional toy nerd.