Monday, December 29, 2008

Pulp in your Serial?

Pulp and serial characters are fascinating...both influential and contemporary to comic book characters, many of the elements of these heroes of a bygone era have been incorportated into popular culture in a deep-seeded way. Their stories are simplistic, violent, sexist, and racist by today's standards, but there is an element of adventure and wonder that transcends many of the unfortunate and dated elements. There's a reason why names such as Doc Savage and The Shadow are still known to so many today...these characters still have an appeal, and the now historical nature they hold and the context of their time make them fascinating. I myself just enjoy learning about these characters, and reading their often poorly written but always entertaining exploits. The figures above were all commissioned pieces, but the reason why I chose to do the commissions was because I wanted to make the figures. The first is Commando Cody, or King of the Rocketmen, who was a character featured in a a few serials from the forties and fifties. He was the primary inspiration for Dave Stevens when he developed The Rocketeer (which happens to be among my favorite comic books), thougn Stevens removed most of the Sci-Fi elements from his interpretation of a rocket-clad hero. The second image is that of Doc Savage, a brilliant and grim defender of justice who uses his tremendous intellect and inherited fortune to stop fiendish villains from achieving world domination. My figure is very much based on James Bama's interpretation of the character...Bama painted a series of covers for reprints of Savage's adventures in the sixties, and defined the look of the character ever since. The last image is my custom of The Shadow. The Shadow is well-known in numerous media, but started out as a pulp magazine favorite. My take on the character is heavily influenced my Michael WM Kaluta's depiction of the character in the comics he illustrated first for DC in the seventies, then later with Marvel in the story Hitler's Astrologer.


Eric Orchard said...

These are fantastic. I really love Commander cody.

bruce said...

Thanks, Eric.

I should've pointed out that all of these were made in 2006 (which was my most prolific period)...they're older work, but I still like them. Cody sported some of my better sculpt work on the texture of the arms, and that helmet was a real paint to get the right shape.

Rick said...

Wow I came across your site through the POTA group. I am blown away by what I see. I mainly draw and have done just a couple of sculpts. Yours are so damn cool and I like how you do your own take on designs. Anyways I am going to follow your work now that I know of it. I am also big into the Pulp characters so these were great to see! Here is a page full of some of my characters (all 2D images)