THE METABARON

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CHICKEN FOR DINNER (Cowboys and Dinosaurs)

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In the Old West, two desperadoes took refuge in a hidden California valley. One shot a “funny-lookin’ chicken” and roasted it for their dinner.

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His compatriot was sick with a bad cold and had no appetite for the weird meat.

Little did the bad men know some very hungry chickens were already hunting them…

 

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Inspired by Ray Harryhausen’s VALLEY OF THE GWANGI (which I’ve still never seen all the way through), my own take on two great icons of the American West, Cowboys and Dinosaurs.

This diorama is 2 1/2′ X 2 1/2′ across. The cowboys, dog, horses and dinosaurs were all made from Super Sculpey over an aluminum armatures. Lots of research went into cowboy gear, animal anatomy, paleontology (particularly the work of Gregory S. Paul), and the Navajo blanket worn by the sick cowboy, only to ignore all of it where it’d make for better drama.

This is an older piece I never photographed before. It was built to be viewed in person, in the dark, and I hope it translates into photos. Thanks to Sean Downey for his assistance in preparing this piece to shoot.

Wesley Dodds, THE SANDMAN

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Created in 1939 (one month after Superman first appeared) by writer Gardner Fox and and artist Bert Christman, Wesley Dodds was a somnambulist-turned-superhero who wore an eerie gas mask and used a sleep-inducing gas gun, a kind of nonlethal variation on the Shadow. Inspired by the success of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN series (Gaiman’s Sandman being inspired by the earlier iteration) Wesley Dodds was revived in 1993 by writers Matt Wagner and Steven T. Seagle and artist Guy Davis in Vertigo’s SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER, a moody crime comic set in the late ’30s.

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SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER artist Guy David depicted the Sandman’s alter ego Wesley Dodds and his girlfriend and confidant Dian Belmont as a rumpled, bookish, roly-poly couple, unusual for mainstream comics. I was inspired by Davis’ interpretation of the Sandman, as well as the rotund, overcoat-wearing protagonist of a Moebius story, To See Naples.

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This piece was sculpted with a gray mix of Super-Sculpey and Sculpey III over an aluminum armature, molded in Smooth-On Oomoo 30, cast in Smooth-Cast 300, primed and painted with acrylic paints and accented with chalk and pastels. The finished piece stands about 7″ high.

Batgirl of Burnside

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I was excited by the new creative team on BATGIRL- writer/breakdown artist Cameron Stewart, co-writer Brenden Fletcher, artist Babs Tarr, colorist Maris Wicks and letter Jared K. Fletcher– and I wanted to sculpt Barbara Gordon in her new costume.

I based this pose on the cover of her first appearance in Detective Comics #359, as drawn by Carmine Infantino, with additional design input by John Vukelic. This was done for the 6th Annual Hub Comics DARK KNIGHT ON A DARK NIGHT Batman art show.

These pictures were shot on-site in the display case. I’ll try to get some better pictures soon.

ROSE THE HAT

I just read Stephen King’s DOCTOR SLEEP, his semi-sequel to THE SHINING. The villain, Rose the Hat, is an immortal psychic predator who feeds on the “steam” of children with the shining. Seemingly beautiful, her true face has one long, tusk-like tooth and, serpent-like, she can open her jaw so wide it touches her chest.

I was probably too literal in visualizing it, but the image of the saber-like tusk struck me and wouldn’t leave.

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I made this mini-bust with a mixture of Super Sculpey, black and white Sculpey III and Sculpey Firm over an aluminum wire and foil armature. I also used a mixture of Super Sculpey and Apoxie, the recipe for which can be found here. This combination created a self-curing, water-thinned, more durable material that I used for the tooth and the hair loops, which would have been difficult with regular Super Sculpey. It’s a great material with the only downsides being a shortened working time and less self-adhesion.