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Old 05-10-2011, 11:45 AM   #131
nexus
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Great to hear Walter is working on stuff for Sideshow, because these sculpts blow the doors off. The Alan Scott is just I hope the Sideshow pieces are 1:4.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #132
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You guys are way too nice. I ain't nobody. But I'm stoked that you guys liked the interview and thanks to everyone here at the statue forum for asking me to be involved in this. It's very much appreciated!
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:02 AM   #133
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Everything everyone has said about Walter is right on the money. You're not going to
meet a nicer guy, and I get depressed every time he sends me an e-mail with pics,
or I see a thread with his name attached, because I know I'm going to walk away
feeling like a complete amateur. Happens every f#@&in' time.

The guy gets results with Super Sculpey that I STILL can't get with wax! When I need
help w/ anatomy, he's the first guy I want feedback from, and he always knows what's
off and exactly how to fix it. As far as I'm concerned, Walter is in the absolute top-tier
of sculptors in the industry, and I hope over the next couple years he gets the recognition
he deserves.

Oh, and he's a complete tool (I had to throw that in Walter to counteract all the nice crap).
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:39 AM   #134
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As promised, another new interview, this time from the man responsible for the first ever BD digital sculpt, Joe Menna!!




Shameless Plug?
http://www.josephmenna.com/
1. First name? Joe
2. Location? Philadelphia area.
3. Age. 41
4. Martial\Family status? Married to my amazing and beautiful wife and we have three incredible kids. My family is my life. Everything else is a bonus.
5. Pets? In our house there are two dogs and two cats.
6. Nickname? Nope



7. Could you give a brief outline of how you got to where you are in your career? Randy Bowen gave me my first real shot in this business. I had been a professional "fine art" sculptor for years but he was the only person to really let me at it without a finished toy portfolio under my belt. After that it was Georg Brewer and Jim Fletcher at DC Direct who were really gracious to me. Along the way I've continued to do jobs for Randy and have been lucky enough to work for Electic Tiki, Hasbro, and a few others, too. Now I'm continuing to work for most of these same companies and gaining new clients like McFarlane and Dark Horse.
8. Primary field? Sculpture.
9. Who have you done work for in the industry? Oops...think I jumped the gun on this one in question number 7!



10. Favorite property? I'm a straight up comics and sci fi geek so basically anything under those umbrellas.
11. Do you read comics? I don't really buy new ones anymore, just the odd trade collection. I love scouring the dollar bins at flea markets, etc for eclectic bronze age stuff like Omega the Unknown, Killraven, Howard the Duck and other 70's goodness. I do follow the current artists and general storylines, though. There are so many great artists working today, it's insane.
12. Favorite comic? I grew up a fan of all things DC and Marvel but also loved all of the British stuff like 2000 A.D., Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Johnny Nemo, etc.



13. Character? A few: Superman, Batman, boths Captain Marvels (DC and Marvel), and the Silver Surfer.
14. Favorite comic related movie? Superman 2
15. Favorite sculptor who isnt you? A tie between Phideas and Emillle Antoine Bourdelle....some of the original super hero sculptors
16. What got you into sculpting? The painting department at my art school was the pits.
17. What was your big break? Mephisto for Randy Bowen.



18. Favorite sculpt of your own? I honestly don't have a favorite of my own.
19. Favorite sculpt by someone else? Anything Greek, Egyptian, or Rennaissance. I love the collectible stuff but its classical sculpture that I steal from the most!
20. Any sculpting horror stories? Honestly not really and wouldn't air them if I did. It's a small world and it's safer to keep your trap shut than have something come back and bite you!
21. What tools did you use to make you a better sculptor? (books\tutorials\anatomy classes\etc?) My time studying in Russia taught me everything I know about sculpture and drawing. Paticularly the study of world sculpture tradtions including everything from ancient Egypt, to African wood carvings, to Henry Moore. For Anatomy I recommend a German book called Die Gestalt Des Menschen, by Gottfried Bammes.



22. Who do you most admire in the industry? I admire artists like Randy Bowen and the Shiflett Brothers who have transitioned from working for others to getting their own things rolling. Clayburn Moore, too. That's the path I most want to follow. I also really admire Tim Bruckner for the consistently ground breaking work he does. Just when you think you've seen him do the most amazing piece he comes out with something like his DC Dynamics and raises the bar again. There's a ton of other people who's work I admire and it's honestly too many names to list here!
23. Is there anyone out there you wish you could sculpt like? I don't know...it's kind of like asking if I wish I had a different personality. I sculpt the way I sculpt because I am who I am and good or bad, them's the breaks!
24. Do you have\had a mentor? I had a mentor back in college who was like my Obi Wan. His name was Leonid Lerman and it was because of him that I went to Russia. Art school in Russia was like the Jedi Academy for sculpture, seriously. Eventhough I work digitally now I regularly consult books like Pop Sculpture by Tim Bruckner, Zack Oat, and Ruben Procopio and Babes, Beasts, and Brawn by Steve Kiwus. I also still look to the copy of How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way my grandmom gave me 30 plus years ago.



25. Do you listen to music\watch tv while working? I listen to a bunch of different kinds of tune and also old time radio serials and sci fi shows on BBC 4 like Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. I also listen to the old Power Records super hero stuff when I'm working on classic DC or Marvel once in a while. Like I said, I am a geek.
26. Whats your favorite scale to work in? Life-sized and larger.
27. Dream job? Being able to make my own thing, my own way.
28. Dream character to sculpt? Not so much a character as a moment in comics' history. Since Superman VS. Muhammad Ali is already taken so a sculptural recreation of the cover from the original Superman VS. Spiderman...but I've been told that will never happen! But it'd be a blast to do and definitely a dream job.
29. What are you working on now? A project for Dark Horse and a few for McFarlane.
30. Other hobbies? I read a lot. Sci Fi, Philosophy, Cosmology, Theology...I like the “big picture” kind of stuff that give you that sense of wonder. I'm also a terrible surfer but could give up everything except my family and do nothing but catch waves for the rest of my life and be very, very happy.



31. Favorite movie? Andre Rublev, Solaris, and Stalker by Tarkovsky. Blade Runner, too.
32. Favorite album\artist? Scary Monsters-David Bowie
33. Favorite book? Magister Ludi by Herman Hesse
34. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Hopefully having my own properties rolling. Ferrari by fifty, baby



35. Have you ever travelled? Yep.
36. Favorite place to holiday? The beach.
37. What country would you love to visit? Too many to list.
38. Any hints on what you're working on currently? Besides the company work, I'm developing my own line.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:18 AM   #135
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Wow one of the best interviews yet. Some of those DC pieces looks incredible. Where they ever produced.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:59 AM   #136
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I hate to sound cliche, but this was yet another great interview! Keep them coming!
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:19 PM   #137
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Great interview and great pictures, Joe!
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:25 AM   #138
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1. First name? Khurram
2. Location? Karachi, Pakistan.
3. Age 29
4. Martial\Family status? Married to my college sweetheart with 2 kids
5. Pets? Wish I could keep one. My wife has “Animal-phobia”. I used to have one before I was married though. A Siamese cat that I named Psycho.
6. Nickname? K



7. Could you give a brief outline of how you got to where you are in your career?
Back in school, I loved comics and always to used spend my time trying to draw Spiderman. I still remember trying incredibly hard to get his eyes and webbing right, haha...
I pretty much wanted to become a comic book penciller at that point, so I went to an Art University instead of picking the typical Doctor/ Engineer path. The whole world kind of opened up from there. I majored in Graphic Design/ Advertising with a specialization in Illustration/ Animation in 2005. I initially did art/ animation direction for local commercial animated projects at a place called Sharp Image here in KHI. Eventually, I got bored of the work and wanted more out of my life.
So I quit my job and started freelancing as a character artist for films, learning Zbrush on the side. Three years down the line, people began to enjoy my work, and here I am. I am extremely thankful and glad for the internet and the technology that has enabled me to pursue my childhood dream.


8. Primary field? Art Direction/ Character/ Creature Design for Animation/ Games and Collectibles



9. Who have you done work for in the industry? Bowen Designs, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles, Idol Workshop(SSC), IP Factory, First4Figures. I’ve done alot of animation related commercial work in the past serving as an art director and animation director as well.

10. Favorite property? DC, Marvel & Top Cow. All three have had an equally prominent role in my life.



11. Do you read comics? I do, but you have to understand.. There are no comic book stores in Pakistan. So there is very limited access to comic books. I usually found them in a place called Sunday Bazaar here in Karachi. That’s where all second hand magazines and books seem to find their way to. I had a Wizard subscription though and got all my info through that awesome magazine some 10(or so) years ago.

12. Favorite comic? X- Men
13. Character? Green Lantern – Hal Jordan
14. Favorite comic related movie? Watchmen



15. Favorite sculptor who isn’t you? Randy Bowen, Alex Oliver and Cesar Dacol Jr. And Trevor Grove, that guy’s a genius when it comes to sculpting likenesses.



16. What got you into sculpting? Back in 2006, I kind of got sick of explaining the problems that I saw in 3D models to the artists when I was Art Director. So I decided to learn character modelling. My background in illustration helped a lot. It was at that point when I had my first experience with Pixologic Zbrush 2, and my life took a dramatic turn after that. This app just enabled me to unleash a part of myself that I never knew existed. Pretty soon I was learning sculpture in order to improve my understanding of form, anatomy and structure. BOOM... It just turned into an obsession after that.

17. What was your big break? I got three big breaks actually..
I got in touch with Adam Ross (Idol Workshop), he saw my “Dhalsim” interpretation and saw some potential. I worked on a few LSB’s for him. Unfortunately I still cannot name them, but that was how I broke into this business. My major breakthrough however, was through Bowen Designs. Randy Bowen was kind enough to trust me with some important characters at the time, I worked on The Punisher as my first project with him. I am grateful that he gave me the opportunity to prove myself. I think being chosen to sculpt the Thundercats at such a huge scale for Pop Culture Shock Collectibles was a true blessing in itself as well.







18. Favorite sculpt of your own? I think every artist sort of hates his/her work as the problems are so visible with every passing year. I see too many problems with my work in order to like it. So my favourite sculpt still eludes me.
19. Favorite sculpt by someone else? The Eel Walker, by Mark Newman. It’s a beautiful piece. There are a few others, but this one always catches my eye.






20. Any sculpting horror stories? There have been many.. Working on projects where the art direction or project brief keeps changing is a true horror in my opinion.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:26 AM   #139
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21. What tools did you use to make you a better sculptor? The Internet! Best tool out there. The Zbrush community is exceptionally helpful and there are TONS of learning resources available online. But honestly, the only way to become a better sculptor is to observe, practice, practice and PRACTICE, and then observe again. Repeat. Hardware is also a key factor for us “Digies”.





22. Who do you most admire in the industry? It’s still a little early for me to pick my favourites. I’m new to this industry, so I’m slowly becoming aware of the masters that surround me. It is indeed an honour to work amongst such talented and hard working people. So yeh, I admire all the work that I’ve seen here on SF and on other sites.
23. Is there anyone out there you wish you could sculpt like? I wish that I am able to carve out a niche for myself with my own style someday, like the many masters out there.





24. Do you have\had a mentor? I’ve had great teachers (and good friends)... Cesar Dacol Jr., Adam Ross and Randy Bowen.
25. Do you listen to music\watch tv while working? Yes! I love all kinds of music. I’m listening to alot of Daft Punk, Crystal Method, Coldplay, WhiteNoiseSound, 30 Seconds from Mars, Coke Studio etc.
I loved HBO shows like Deadwood, Rome. I am following their new series, Game of Thrones



26. Whats your favorite scale to work in? ¼ really allows a digital sculptor to add some serious details to the model. I love working at that scale.
27. Dream job? A safe answer would be to work with giants like ILM or Blizzard Entertainment (I love Warcraft!). From the heart though, it would be what I’m doing right now, only multiplied by 20. It would indeed be a dream come true to work on characters from DC, Top Cow and Video Games based identities.



28. Dream character to sculpt? Superman. I’d love to do every version of him.



29. What are you working on now? Some commissioned Street fighter stuff. Also working on a bunch of classic Hulk designs. I plan to start some threads documenting practice sessions in my newly created section. Thank you Statue Forum!



30. Other hobbies? I’m a fulltime dad, so it’s music, magazines, movies and my kids.



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Old 06-30-2011, 03:26 AM   #140
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31. Favorite movie? Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. That movie inspires me... every single time. I loved The Fountain as well. And Kingdom of Heaven.. so there are three



32. Favorite album\artist? Audioslave, Tron – Reconfigured
33. Favorite book? Warrior of Light, by Paulo Coelho.



34. Where do you see yourself in ten years? I stopped thinking about the future years ago. Focusing on the present and not thinking about where I’ll end up has actually helped me achieve things I could not have imagined. I would definitely love to grow in the collectibles/toys industry.
35. Have you ever travelled? Yes, I’ve been to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Dubai) and the Far East (Malaysia, Thailand). I’ve travelled a lot inside of Pakistan as well.
36. Favorite place to holiday? A place where it’s cold, and there’s a lot of rain.



37. What country would you love to visit? Scotland, England and the USA. I’d like to attend the San Diego Comic Con once in my life, at the least.



38. Any hints on what you're working on currently? I wish I could divulge the names. I’m working on the Thundercats for PCS so you’ll have to wait and see who comes next after Mumm-Ra. Here’s a hint though - Which cat would you never play poker with??
There are some old school SEGA characters that I’ve taken on just for fun. And for my own practice, I plan to sculpt something “Silver.” And it’s not the surfer.






39. What's something we may not know about you? I’m known for grilling some mean steaks.


I thank all of you for taking out the time and visiting this thread. My thanks to Rocket and the Statue Forum Admin for the interview, and the opportunity to show my work here. Thanks guys! Khurram
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