Moebius and I made the same list…

…Only time that will ever happen.

I’m honored that my “Batman Vs. Velociraptor”  sculpture has been selected for Comics Alliance’s BEST ART EVER (THIS WEEK) column. Thanks, guys!

For those of you checking my site for the first time (and those returning), I hope you’ll come back starting Tuesday for MIGHTY MARVEL MAY.

“Foam Rubber Latex Batman”

This is the search term that keeps coming up in my site’s web stats. I think what this refers to is people who are either fetishists of some kind (probably not the kind that want to stick around and look at my small plastic sculpture fetishes, but you’re welcome anyway!) and/or people looking to make Batman cowls out of foam rubber latex.

Via fuckyeahbrucetimm.tumblr.com

My advice: find another way to go.

When designing for the 1989 Tim Burton BATMAN movie, costume designer Bob Ringwood’s concept was that the costume would not look like a suit of clothes, but would blur the line between man and bat. It was neat idea, with a sculpted bodysuit more similar to an armored cuirass (pronounced queer-ass: another word combo for the search engines!) than sweatshirt. (Ringwood also included the much-maligned nipples from the third movie in that series. They never bothered me too much: he was trying to suggest a stylized human body, not a cartoon). He also designed a beautiful sculpted cowl.

via http://mydisguises.com/

This is the one from BATMAN RETURNS. They laser-scanned Keaton’s head to assure a tighter fit for the cowl. Note the strange, industrial musculature; beautiful, but inappropriate for Batman.

The problem is that while it looked great, the damn thing didn’t move.

The new movies have also opted for a sculpted headpiece and a separate neckpiece. Apparently it moves better, but looks worse, removing Batman’s distinctive silhouette.

Personally, I think the sculpted, stiff cowl as a piece of costuming had its time, but modern cosplayers routinely come up with much better looking and practical solutions than time-crunched movie costume designers answering to everyone from studio heads to McDonalds liaisons for merchandise tie-ins. Batman should be flexible and capable of lots of movement. I urge all you amateur costumers to try different options and come up with something better than you’d see on-screen.

And as someone once said to me “Batman doesn’t need armor, his psychosis is his armor.”

Vengeance, the night… All that.

 

UPDATE 5/13/14:

Well pictures of the new movie costume from the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie have been posted. Still utilizing a stiff, foam-rubber sculpted cowl. Well… It’s recognizably Batman this time, seemingly without a ton of geegaws hot-glued to it, so that’s something I guess.

Dark Knight Animated-Style Maquette

I’m posting an older piece until some of the (exciting!) new work is ready to display.

Frank Miller’s version of Batman by way of animator Bruce Timm. Created as a companion piece to the Warner Bros. Studio Store Batman: The Animated Series maquette, this version of the character appeared on the episode Legends of the Dark Knight. Turnaround designs were in Paul Dini and Chip Kidd’s great book Batman Animated.

More (newer!) work will be posted very soon.

Batman Vs. Velociraptor

I’m enough of a paleontology nut that I must admit that this is more like a deinonycus than a velociraptor, but velociraptors were actually fairly small, coyote-sized animals. I also cheated the anatomy here and there, and omitted the feathers these animals likely had. In my defense, it’s Batman fighting a dinosaur.

You may notice the dino has drawn first blood. I like the think that’s the last strike it got in before extinction.

Photos by Tony Martins.