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Old 05-15-2011, 05:41 AM   #1
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The 2011 Joseph Menna Interview!

As promised, another new interview, this time from the man responsible for the first ever BD digital sculpt, Joe Menna!!




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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, 07:36 AM   #2
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?i Is this Jim Starlin's Captain Marvel from Captain Marvel 29 I see?! When can I buy this?!
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glyphs View Post
?i Is this Jim Starlin's Captain Marvel from Captain Marvel 29 I see?! When can I buy this?!
It's an upcoming Fs from Bowen Designs
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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Excellent interview and very insightful. Those 3D sculpts look incredible. I hope DC produce those.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:40 AM   #5
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Thanks to Rodney and Statue Forum for letting me do this interview. I really appreciate it. I also appreciate anyone who takes the time to check it and my work out! Bullseye, any DC stuff you see here is already in production. I can only sneak stuff for them that's already out or been sollicited. Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Not a prob mate! Thanks for getting involved!
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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I was watching The Travel Channel one night and saw Joe 'BlackIrish' Menna on ther' !
They called him " The Wizard of the Mint" and said he was the digital man and had changed everything. Just sayin'. Kudos Joe.

jarrod
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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very cool interview.

hmmm wonder what a larger than 1 to 1 superman vs spiderman would be like?????????
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiflettbrothers View Post
I was watching The Travel Channel one night and saw Joe 'BlackIrish' Menna on ther' !
They called him " The Wizard of the Mint" and said he was the digital man and had changed everything. Just sayin'. Kudos Joe.

jarrod
You are the man, Jarrod.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:06 PM   #10
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Nice interview !

I own the Mephisto Statue wonderful sculpt !
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