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Hulk and Spiderman sculpture – taking it to the wire

Thought I’d have a change of pace from blogging about my paintings today.  Instead, while I try to chase down and arrest my flagging mojo, I thought I’d continue my occasional post series about the sculpture I’ve been working on as a long term project. Be warned, if you don’t like superheroes turn away now, there may be tights ahead…

Whenever I mention I rather like comic books I tend to get one of two reactions.  There’s either a shrug of indifference followed by a rapid change of subject, or a look usually reserved for someone who admits to working as a strangler on a bunny farm…

The reality is, without the lure of Marvel comic books, I probably wouldn’t be painting now. In the late sixties and into the seventies their colourful capers captured my imagination as I tried to draw my own adventures. I have moved on of course, but like it or not the lure of my youth remains.

Which brings me back to the sculpture; no surprise then that when choosing a Marvel hero to sculpt it had to be a classic with sixties pedigree.

I bought my first comic books back in 1966 or 67 – X-men and Thor. Thor featured the Stone Men of Saturn if I remember right, and the X-men, well not so sure, but I do remember a dynamic first splash panel with the team reporting to Professor X in a coffee house. But neither set the juices going for this project.

I’d set myself a couple of pre-conditions for my figure. It had to be both interesting to sculpt and it had to be dynamic rather than a standard ‘hero posing’ stance.

After a lot of mulling over, and even rejecting my all-time favourite Spider-Bloke, I plumped for… the Hulk.

Once I’d made that decision I started thinking about what I wanted out of the figure. So many artists have made their own interpretation of the Hulk through the years I wanted to narrow down just what I was after.

I like the vaguely chubby big-brawler of Jack Kirby’s original, but I’m not keen on the really ripped look of some later interpretations which also found its way into the second Hulk film. My vision would lie somewhere in between.

Now I needed something dynamic for him to do. Leaping? Smashing? Raging to the skies? Meh, all a bit solo. No, a bit of a brawl sounded like much more fun. So, without even trying it seemed I’d actually committed myself to making two figures. Step up Spidey, I knew I couldn’t leave you out!

As an added bonus striking hues of emerald, red and blue would make a Hulk and Spiderman a colourful sculpture, as well as a powerful combination.

I’m dead impatient – I like to jump in and get ideas sorted double quick. So rather than spend time laboriously sketching I grabbed some scrap wire and a wad of Super Sculpey polymer clay and started to play with ideas on a diddy scale (about 2” tall).

And this is what I came up with – “Hulk hurl bugman!”


Hulk vs Spiderman macquette
Hulk vs Spiderman macquette


Yes it may look as rough as a dogs doodah, just blobs really, but I hope you can see where I wanted it to go. This would be my guide and to be honest sorting out this rough was comparatively easy. The hard work was just beginning – translating my idea into a reality which would work.

But that’s for the next instalment…


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