True Blue…

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SUPERMANIA extends a warm welcome back to one of its greatest contributors and as evidenced above, Superfan Jayce76 has maintained a keen eye for the iconic.

As showcased on the all-new site CinemaZone Wallpaper, these amazingly authentic-looking print ad style compositions continue Jayce long association with celebrating the classic Superman series.  All these unique creations from the best (and most obscure) cult properties from the silver screen are free to download.  See some of his equally stunning earlier works here and look out for more in future…

 

Ordway’s Super-Debut…

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The genesis of an artistic partnership that would thrive for decades to come, the collage above (top) represents the first published Superman piece by one Jerry Ordway.

Found on the impressive wrap-around cover of pulpy but highbrow magazine ‘The Comic Reader’ for its November 1979 issue, Ordway’s dynamic but realistic style was a perfect compliment to the characters as represented in Superman: The Movie.

Of arguably more interest, however, were the contents of the magazine and in particular, the views of comic-book purists on this fresh take of what was, at the time, a 40 year-old beloved flagship character.

Indeed, the excellent review of the movie (cropped and reformatted here for ease of continuity, click for larger) is referred to by Mike Tiefenbacher as ‘refreshing & wonderful’, highlighting the major differences between the movie and the comic book but interestingly not to its detriment.  In fact, many of the observations here (modelwork on the dam/turning back the world) are still hotly debated today and some are even prophetic (describing it as a benchmark/suggesting a Superboy TV series/longer TV edits) all of which make for great reading.

Tiefenbacher’s follow-up piece is an insightful, personal critique of the character’s evolution which incorporates everything from ‘The Great Superman Book’ by Michael L. Fleisher to Elliot S! Maggin’s Superman: ‘Last Son Of Krypton’.  The latter notable for its mistaken identity as the novelisation of the movie.

If this has whetted your appetite for vintage reviews by comic journalists you may want to check back soon for scans from from the ‘Comics Journal’ – a monster review spread over two posts..!

 

Go Figure…

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Now that the merchandising powerhouse behind the upcoming Man Of Steel movie is starting to fill shelves with product across the globe, SUPERMANIA once again endeavours to campaign for a typically retro alternative.

Ironically, this project was initiated by the fresh availability of the Batman 1966 TV series licence, which, encouragingly, has been embraced by the industry and is being fully exploited even as a forty plus year-old property.

Frustratingly remaining unexploited is the ‘classic’ Superman movie series, which, despite having an equally broad, vocal fanbase, has yet to spawn a modern action figure line.  Although DC Direct and Mattel continue to pump out various incarnations (of debatable quality) of the Superman character, arguably the closest embodiment of the version represented in the movies has not been seen since Kenner’s Superpowers line of 1984.  Superman fans have clamoured for a figure line based on the series ever since.

In recent years Mattel had gone a great way to alleviate this by producing a totally unexpected line of 12″ adult collector figures (reviewed here, here and here) offered exclusively on mattycollector.com.  While these were a welcome surprise, in retrospect, Mattel had probably passed on a better opportunity by not optioning a 6″ line first.

Cut back to 2013 and Mattel are not only full-force behind Man Of Steel but recently unveiled their Batman ’66 line to the amazement of fans that have waited literally decades for the opportunity.  If nothing else, it proves how fickle the industry is and that all good things come to those who wait.

Meantime, inspired by the fabulous art-direction of the new Batman lineup I sought to create something I thought would be passable as a parallel addition.  A pure wish-fulfillment project I’ve considered many times before, it wasn’t until I saw that Mattel had used a cardboard figure of Batman in their prototype packaging that I believed such a thing could be replicated low-tech by hand and look credible.

Fulfilling my brief that the final model should be a 100% practical bubble on card was not going to be easy.  I have no photoshop skills but knew exactly how I wanted it to look.  I called upon my good friend Jim Bowers to provide me with some high-quality images (which I composed for the backing card using Microsoft Word, no less).  and then called upon Alexei Lambley-Steel to fashion me a printable Superman figure which I would hand-draw articulation on.  The notion of the blister was always going to be problematic as I had no vaccuforming machine.  After some thought It occurred to be laminating A3 sheets and making the shape squared off (and therefore foldable) rather than rounded would be just about undetectable.  I would then photograph it so it wouldn’t be disregarded as a mere manip.  The test for me was to look at it finished and really, really wish it were real.  I did.  Here it is above for your consideration, and I remain hopeful somebody in the industry is similarly captivated.  Its already been too long…