WINTER SOLIDER for #Watsoncon. Based on actor Sebastian Stan as he appeared in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, this 1/6th scale mini-bust was sculpted with Sculpey Firm over an aluminum foil and Apoxie armature, set on a wood-block base. Photos by Tony Martins Photography (@TonyM_Photo).
Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
In his column for The Robot’s Voice, my friend Jim Dandeneau posted a link to GALACTUS IS COMING, the Stan Lee/ Jack Chick mashup that Ed Conley wrote and I drew nine years (!) ago. Still one of my happiest, most satisfying collaborations, you can read the while thing here.
Marvel’s Mutant fremenies mini-busts for my friend Kait’s birthday. These were made with Sculpey Firm and Apoxie over an aluminum armature, finished with black matte spray primer and silver and metallic red leaf. The X emblem in the stand was hand-carved, stained, and polyurethaned. Each bust is about 3″ high.
Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL a.k.a. Doreen Green, is Marvel Comics’ heroine who possesses all the powers of squirrel and girl, seen here charging into action, with her best friend Tippy Toe at the ready.
Designed by my friend Erica Henderson, current artist of USB, whom I pestered for this design as soon as she was announced as the artist. (Erica and I have collaboratedbefore.) It was designed to be in-scale with the Batgirl Black & White sculpture I did, and is about 7″ high by 11″ long (Tippy Toe is about the tiniest thing I’ve ever sculpted and I had to bust out the magnifying lamp to work on her). It was sculpted with Sculpey Firm, Apoxie Sculpt, and the finished piece was cast using Smooth On Mold Star 30 and Smooth Cast 305.
Erica, writer Ryan North, and colorist Rico Renzi are creating some of the most fun, exciting, and fresh superhero comics in years. A collected edition of the first story will be on sale August 19th at your finer comic book shops!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was created by Will Murray and the legendary Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.
The Marvel Boy is an older sculpture in honor of today’s release of YOUNG AVENGERS by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (whose two PHONOGRAM miniseries I would highly recommend). Originating in the Marvel Miniseries by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones, Marvel Boy was really Noh-Varr, a misanthropic, teenage alien, angry at the world and ready to conquer it for our own good. He’s mellowed some, but we’ll see how much of his old brand of “Zen Facism” will appear in this new series.
This life-sized replica of the mask worn by X-Man Xorn was a Secret Santa gift for an X-Men fan. To keep it under the $20 price-cap on this gift exchange, this mask was made entirely from things I already had around the house, primarily modeling clay and found objects, cast in cheap, brush-on liquid latex meant for securing carpeting to the floor, and cast in left0ver Smooth-On resin.
And that’s it! My top 30 favorite Marvel Comics character in minibust form. So many fun characters had to be left out (Sorry Blade! Sorry Kingpin! Sorry everyone in Power Pack! Punisher- you’re still a Spider-Man villain to me, and I didn’t have room for Norman Osborn, the ne plus ultra of Spidey villains, so you didn’t make the cut). Marvel has been publishing for more than 70 years, have thousands of characters, and occupied most of my childhood and young adulthood.
For all my love of this vast fictional universe, in this series I’ve tried to pay homage to the creators of these characters. It’s very easy to think of the Marvel Universe as an almost organic whole, and that these stories will be there every month without fail, but without Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, John Romita, Gene Colan, Steve Gerber, John Byrne, Chris Claremont, and so many more there would be no Marvel Universe. These people gave words and form to the imaginary heroes who have thrilled us. As a kid, I may have wanted to swing across a cityscape like Spider-Man or have the strength of the Thing. But as an adult I wish I could create something to inspire people the way Jack Kirby has.
Welcome, True Believer (and curious skeptics, as well)!
Starting tomorrow and throughout May, I’ll be presenting thirty new mini-busts representing my favorite characters from Marvel Comics. They’ll be ranked from least to best-loved, according to me.
My choices may not be everyone’s choices, and the ranking may not resemble anyone else’s. But spirited debates over which characters are your favorites is a ongoing pastime for superhero comic fans , and I invite these debates in the comments section. Will your favorite be on my list?
The inspiration for this series of sculptural sketches comes from Ilias Kyriazis’s amazing Marvel and DC favorite character banners. May seemed like a good month because it coincides with my birthday. And apparently Marvel is releasing a movie about some of their characters?
Please join me tomorrow when we begin MIGHTY MARVEL MAY!