Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday With The Superheroes


Confession time. Everything I know about anatomy, I learned from comic books. I... am a geek.

And there is no comic book character I love more then Batman.
Superman is decent, hardworking, true and nigh on omnipotent. The Flash is the product of a freak accident. Tony Stark is the kind of guy you'd love to party with, but you can't see him looking at a kid who's just had his parents gunned down and saying "Come with me. I'll take care of you." Batman's just a guy in a costume who gets up and does a million crunches and a thousand pushups, who made himself smarter and faster and more determined than the other
guy.


And how does he make his impression? As a bat. Have you ever actually seen a bat? They're not scary! They're tiny, fragile, meek creatures with hollow bones and wings as thin as paper, very gentle. But somehow, he pulls it off, creating this terrifying silhouette. The cape that makes that intimidating shape can also wrap someone up and protect them from harm. He's been interpreted dozens of ways over the years, from gun-toting vigilante to good natured big brother with an unlimited budget for props to obsessed loner with a back up plan to take down everyone, even Superman, if it comes to that.

Ultimately, Batman rules because everything he does comes down to a choice. Granted, the choice is a little nuts. If you had all the money in the world, would you spend your nights wired on RedBull, dressed up like Dracula, and beating up bad guys? But he does it all so that maybe he can save some stranger from feeling the pain he's felt ever since he was a little kid. Tragic, yet admirable.

I did this piece shortly after the first Tim Burton film came out. You can see the influence in the way the cape is built, with rods in the tips to make it spread out further. Very theatrical. It's an old piece and falling apart. I sculpted it in color, because I didn't know anything about painting yet. The legs are too thick, the torso too short. I'd like to think my work has gotten better. But this is one of the first things I ever made and I still think it's pretty cool.

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