Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Have a Winnah!

A month or so back, we came up with a contest -- okay, a method of psychological torture -- that required entrants to identify ten different sculptures by ten different sculptors. After a couple of weeks, and a whole bunch of hints, we have three winners! Aaron Coulter of Ontario and Marty Henley of Tennessee are our runners-up, and they both win posters of Pop Sculpture co-author Tim Bruckner's favorite sculpted faces. But the grand-prize winner is Elton Chu of Illinois! He wins the Tim-sculpted statue of The Flash and Gorilla Grodd, designed by the late Michael Turner! Hooray! We'll get those right out to you, guys. And in case the rest of you are curious, here are the answers:

1. Jack Mathews - Black Canary, DC Direct

2. Tony Cipriano - Kull, Dark Horse Deluxe

3. The Four Horsemen - Beast-Man, Mattel

4. Karen Palinko - Aquaman (Kingdom Come), DC Direct

5. William Paquet - Marv, Sin City, Dynamic Forces

6. Alterton Bizarre - Drakkar, Alterton Bizarre Sculpting Studio

7. Ruben Procopio - Prince Valiant, Electric Tiki/Sideshow Collectibles

8. Jonathan Matthews - Illidan Stormrage, DC Unlimited

9. Kyle Windrix - Jason Voorhees, NECA

10. Tim Bruckner - Moon Maid, ReelArt/Dark Horse Deluxe

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pop Sculpture to Debut at New York Comic-Con!

Hi, all! The wait for Pop Sculpture is almost over -- in fact, it just got a lot shorter. While the book will be out in stores on October 19, interested parties attending New York Comic-Con on October 8-10 will be able to buy their own copy at the Random House booth, #2222! Even better, co-author Zach Oat will be signing copies of the book from 3-4 pm on Saturday! (He'll also sign any copies of Twisted ToyFare Theatre you guys bring along.) And the first 100 customers will get a free Pop Sculpture pin, one of two Bruckner-tastic designs shown below! Plus, Zach will be sitting in on a panel on Friday night at 6pm in room 1A21 titled Toys Are Us! How Your Favorite Toys Are Made. Todd McFarlane, Jesse Falcon, Shawn Smith and David Scroggy will also be on stage, and ToyFare writer Tracey John will be moderating! That's a lot of know-how in one room!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I've known Alterton Bizarre for a few years. He is one of a kind. I've never known anyone with such a love for the art of sculpture. His was the first site ( I posted some of my work to. He works in a very difficult and unforgiving material, but through sheer force of will, dedication and a unwavering passion, he's mastered epoxy to become one of the most gifted sculptors in the business. Ladies and gents... Alterton Bizarre!

Ok my amigos; this is a funny tutorial I used to have at my old site. Why funny? Well because seeing it from today, the technique I used was ridiculous!!! But give me some credit, cause it is not easy to be a commercial sculptor when you are living right down in the ass of the world, right at the point where the wind and the sea collapse under the singing of the whales! Well, I live south of that, and a right turn from there!

When you are starting to sculpt from nowhere, from scratch… without an artistic background and living in a place where these things are not common. Polymer clay? Toy Wax? They do no exist down here, anywhere? And to get them from the States is a real pain in the neck. Not only because of the expensive shipping costs but also because... you might never get them!!! I have been there, and it is frustrating! And expensive!! Stupid mail service!

I remember when I was working for Art asylum, they gave me their precious wax formula, it came with all the ingredients and the grams to be used; well, I still can’t understand what in the name of God is toilette wax. And most of the ingredients were a big mystery to me. So I had to figure it out how to do what I like to do with the things available to me at the local stores.

Now, with all the excuses said, this was my first attempt to get my hands into this wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) commercial sculpture world!

1: These are the tools I use most often; mostly dental tools, also a knife, compass and the magic tool Ralph Cordero gave me.

2: I used human skeleton as reference and a sketch from Chuck Needham's site to build the wire armature. Once I had the wire armature, I covered it with the 10 minute (set time) epoxy, except the joints so I could give the pose to the armature. Once the pose was set, I covered the joints with the 10 min. epoxy putty too and positioned the armature in a homemade stand to secure the piece and to be able to sculpt from here . So far, there is nothing funny all right? Pretty similar first steps in all techniques.

But here comes the funny thing, I used regular plastilina, the one children use at school, like the Play-Doh putty that never drays or sets or gets hard. So with this unusual material I did the anatomy to give shape and volume to the figure covering the armature.
3:. The trick; the most valuable secret to continue with this process of sculpting the ultimate figure was to put the Play-Doh piece a couple of minutes in the freezer

4: That step allowed to preserve the plastilina figure shape and to have a firm base for the next step.
5: Meanwhile I was “preserving” the piece in the freeze, I rolled out a thin layer of standard epoxy putty (the ones that gets hard in and hour and a half) and let it rest for about 20 minutes Why regular "school" plastilina you might ask? Because… well… without polymer clay for the base, the Play-Doh like material allowed me to study the pose and the thickness of the figure, and modify it as I needed to.

6: Once the palstilina was frozen and the layer of epoxy had some body, I re-repositioned the figure on the stand and started to cover it by parts according to the places the pose and volume allowed me to. As you can see, some plastilina parts were not covered with epoxy. I waited the epoxy to set up and put the figure back into the freezer,
7: Another thin layer of epoxy to cover the uncovered plastilina parts, repositioned on the stand and voile! The entire figure covered with epoxy!

8: For the head, I used the same skeleton sketch because of proportions. An epoxy ball worked fine. As the head of this robot had an open mouth, I decided to do both jaws separately.

9: You can see how I shaped the upper jaw. Once it was hard I used a Dremel Tool to give the proper robot shape the design asked for.

10: For the lower jaw, I did a plastilina ball to keep and preserve the space between both jaws and to give shape to the lower one.

11: Once the epoxy was hard, I Dremeled it again, cutting and shaping, adding detail.

12: Here are the cut and keyed parts. For details, I worked in layers; sanded a lot, and added more layers and more sanding, etc. etc. etc. ( as shown in the GOW Boomer’s tutorial.)

13: Here’s a pic of the completed, unpainted sculpture.

14:The finished piece with a kick-ass paint job by Dan Cope!

Reading the old tutorial I wrote for my site, I thought the secrets of the Sculpture Universe had been revealed to me. But, hey, those were my first steps!!! It makes me laugh to read that early stuff. But, don’t you laugh, or I’ll have to kick you where the sun don’t shine!
I hope you liked it! See you soon.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

ToyFare #159 On Sale Now!

When you have two famous toy sculptors like Tim and Ruben collaborating on a book of Pop Sculpture's caliber, America's number-one toy magazine is going to want to cover it. In the new issue, #159 (with the Halo: Reach cover) writer TJ Dietsch does a roundtable interview with all three of us about the process of writing the book and where we hope to take it in the future. Plus, as the magazine's former editor, I managed to land a guest appearance in "Inside the Monkeyhouse" alongside my friend, current ToyFare editor Justin Aclin! The issue is in comic shops now, and should hit newsstands on Tuesday (I think).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Promo Video: Thor's Balls

Hey, all! Tim's been playing around with his animation software and just made another promo video for the book, featuring Thor. I would describe it, but words do it no justice. (If you have trouble seeing all of it below, watch it on YouTube.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Status Update: Where The Pop Sculpture Authors Are Now, Part 1

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.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Who better than to say goodbye to the days of surf and sand than the Dogtown Dudes of summer, The Beach Boyz? They've hung ten and hang tough. So, while they honor Labor Day by doing as little as possible, they're planning one of the biggest, most exciting Updates in Pop Sculpture history. Cowabunga, everybody!