GOJIRA! (a.k.a. GODZILLA!)

Godzilla’s true name is GOJIRA, a contraction of the Japanese words for “gorilla” and “whale” (much like MAGNITUDE’s name is a contraction of “Magnetic” and “Attitude”).

My variation on big G was done for a Kaiju fan in an internet Secret Santa exchange. I wanted to incorporate a few more theropod dinosaur features while still keeping him recognizable (something the 90s American movie failed to do). Overall I think it worked so-so. I’d like to take another shot at him sometime.

Please don’t let the lighting fool you: this Gojira is the proper charcoal gray with no green in him.

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Frankenstein vs. Der Golem

This older piece was recently included in the “We Love Monsters” show at the Andromeda Gallery in Allston, MA. The titanic battle you never thought you’d see!

Frankenstein’s Monster has been re-imagined as a creation of Nazi science. He’s heavily influenced by the waterlogged Nazi zombies of the 70s B-movie SHOCK WAVES.

With Der Golem I kind of had a top-heavy, Mike Mignola monster in mind. I probably should have pushed him further in that direction.

At a loss for how he might be dressed, Golem is wearing purple, Jack-Kirbyesque trunks, much like the Marvel monsters of the early 60s.

I’m not sure how this fight turns out, but both monsters traditionally turn against their masters.

This is the first, and so far only, entry in the Monsters Series.

New Monster Work-in-Progress

I got some work done this weekend!

This piece is about 10″ high, a mixture of Super Sculpey, Sculpey III, and Sculpey Firm over and aluminum and brass armature, based on a design by Sean Downey. The mixture of Super Sculpey and Sculpey firm give me a texture I prefer to work with, particularly in the hot weather when polymer clay gets a little gummier.

Another Unnamed Monster Attempt

Sometimes you need to get something  wrong to figure out what you want.

It’s not that I don’t like how this piece came out, but it represents my first thoughts on how the character should look and after a while, I realized this wasn’t quite right. Sometimes I’ll get a hit with my first attempt at designing something. More often, when the rubber meets the road, I figure out where I need to make adjustments.

Overall, I’m pleased with the thick, excessive features, contrasting the almost glamour-makeup look of the blue-black lips (modeled on Chow Chow and bear tongues), the overly wide mouth (stitched at the sides; he likes to talk, this guy) and dark eye-sockets. The flowing hair and wide sideburns make him look like a Gothic hero who’s been left to over-ripen and maybe even spoil. But this is a runner-up, not the character I’m looking for.

Every wrong turn brings me somewhere, even if it’s not where I thought I was going.

MIGHTY MARVEL MAY #1: FIN FANG FOOM!

For the first of my Marvel Comics sculptural sketches, here’s a character from just before the Marvel Age of Comics officially began: FIN FANG FOOM!

Between the Golden Age superhero boom of the 40s and their resurgence in the Silver Age of the 60s,  superheroes in the 50s were scarce. EC Comics had much success with a line of action and horror titles, but the other publishers conspired to put them out of business and created the Comics Code Authority, a restrictive censorship agency that forbade most of the horror stories in which EC specialized.

What the code permitted, along with tamer fare, were fanciful monsters. Proto-Marvel Comics, under the authorship of writer/editor Stan Lee and top artist Jack Kirby, came up with dozens of these bizarre, giant monsters, many of whom wore modest boxing trunks no matter how outlandish their anatomy. One of the best loved of these monsters was FIN FANG FOOM who appeared in STRANGE TALES #89 in 1961. Partially it was Jack Kirby’s bizarre, Jabberwocky-like dragon design that stuck him in people’s memories. Mostly it was the name.

Fin Fang Foom as drawn by Jack Kirby (via http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com)

Fin Fang Foom has appeared many times since in mainstream Marvel Comics, sometimes as the talkative giant he was originally, sometimes as a moronic brute (in NEXTWAVE he was obsessed with putting his victims in his pants), and he once filled in for the mythological Midgard Serpent kin THOR. Meant as a disposable antagonist in a short story fifty years ago, Fin Fang Foom still makes many fans smile at the mention of his name.

Please check back tomorrow, and all month long, when I present another of the Marvel Universe’s giants- So to speak.

Nameless Monster Work-In-Progress

Another work-in-progress for an (exciting!) ongoing project (that I can’t talk about yet). This Super Sculpey/Sculpey Firm piece will be cast and then reproduced in a number of different materials, such as epoxy resin, sculptor’s wax, and pudding (maybe). Final version will have long hair which may be rooted, like a doll’s hair.

This piece is about an inch and a half, working at a 1:12th scale.

Also included is an illustrated diagram of the headsculpt which will be used to make changes I need to make and to resculpt the head at different scales if necessary.

Once again, if you have any comments or, even better, questions, please post them. I love to talk process, but don’t know if it’s of interest to anyone else.