28 May 2013

Bat Manga! meets Chip Kidd

After getting my first version of the Bat-Manga! statue built, I've always wanted to go back and do it again, based on the color palette from his debut in BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD:  The washed out greys and yellows are perfect.  If anything, I needed a reason to get back into the resin and fire up the airbrush, when all of a sudden...


... came the note from Chip Kidd, asking for a Bat-Manga statue for his own collection.  That got me motivated, so out came the molds again and off we went!  Thankfully, Pops was around to help get the yellows and greys right.  What a huge difference: 

Batmanga v1 for Saul Ferris
Batmanga v2 for Chip Kidd

We worked out a deal where I would bring his statue down to his Manhattan apartment that features his Batman / Captain Marvel collection, which was pretty cool.  It was crazy, because I was leaving New England and the summer was winding down and time was running out, but we finally got a time that worked for both of us and I ran into the city to see his place.

Basically, it's everything you've seen from his books and more.  The walls are covered in original art and shelves of the collection.  He asked me why I liked the Kuwata stuff and he showed me the remaining original artwork, which is in gorgeous shape.  He showed me his original Frank Quitely artwork from BATMAN AND ROBIN and ALL STAR SUPERMAN that he had bound, which looks great in person.  We talked about his latest release, BATMAN: DEATH BY DESIGN, and all of  it's art influences.  I showed him my History of the Batmobile project, which was just about done through the Fifties at the time.  He had some very nice custom Batmobiles from Argentina on his desk.  Chip professed a dis-interest in most things custom-made, so my Bat Manga statue has now made it to the big leagues.  I even warranted an entry in his blog

Party at Mr. Kidd's
The most fun moment was when he shared with me a reprinted volume of an intact BATMANGA story that wasn't included in his book, complete with a translation!  We talked about how to sculpt the villain of the story and Chip picked out the pose from the artwork and gave me pointers on the color scheme.  I got to make copies of the story for myself, which was very generous of him.  I think I've finally figured out how to make the character's cape, so it will probably be my fifth Bat-Manga statue of the proposed collection.

All in all, I tried very hard to behave: I brought my copy of Chip Kidd: Book One: Work: 1986-2006 and Death by Design to get autographed but left behind the rest of collection of his books.  I stayed a polite time, but didn't ask to see the guest cot.  

Most importantly, I didn't sweat or drool on anything.

It was a blast.

It's had some cool consequences: It got my artwork out there a bit more, made a few contacts, and I had a nice follow up request from James Tucker, the producer of BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD.
It was, as my brother said, the perfect way to leave New England.  

Now, on to some villains, yes?

25 May 2013

A Brave and Bold Man of Steel? Super Idea!

All the Buckaroos at the Flying Batmobile Ranch love us some BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD cartoons.  The only thing better is a hot plate of new Brave and Bold figures.  Sure enough, the fine folks at TARGET complied with our requests and released a whole new lineup of figures...

... with no hex bolts!

New and Improved BRAVE AND BOLD figures!

It sure looks like a big box of fun.  The only problem?

They got the costumes wrong.

"nU 52" and "Superman Returns" Figures

The first Superman figure produced was based on the drab color palette from SUPERMAN RETURNS.  This new "Justice League" version has a darker blue and has big mistakes about the costume (The Man of Tomorrow lost his super-trunks!).  Thankfully, we all here at the Ranch have a big stack of ACTION COMICS and were happy to get 'em just right!

A classic Superman!

Superman debuts our new experimental Plasti-Cape technology.  We're very happy with this prototype and hope to do much more with the process.

Will you believe a man can fly or that a comic book could be fun?

Four down, four to go!

Who's next up from the box?