When you really think about it, the fact that we are living in a time where you can get high-end statues of Bebop from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles based on the work of illustrator and artist James Jean is a pretty surprising development. I mean, that we can get any Bebop statue would be kind of remarkable --- what with him being a mutant warthog who was created during negotiations for a toy line and all --- but a James Jean Bebop statue? That's supposed meant to link up with four other villains statues in a big diorama of evil ninjutsu? It's remarkable.
And it's happening. This week, Japan's Good Smile Company released their Jean-inspired Bebop statue for pre-order, and it's pretty fantastic.
I don't think Shredder gets enough credit when it comes to the greatest villain conversation. I'm not saying he's the most vile foe to ever stalk a hero day and night, but the man has haunted to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for decades. He's always looked imposing, but as time has progressed past his debut, his suit of armor has gotten more and more fearsome. I'd argue that aside from Super Shredder, Oroku Sakai has never looked more dangerous than he has in Good Smile's new statue series.
I'll admit that I never got into the Nendoroid craze until they started making figures of characters I really liked. I've bought plenty of more traditional figures of characters I was merely ambivalent about, but the investment in Nendoroid figures meant I had to be particular about who made the cut. With this new crop of toys shown at New York Comic Con, I'm afraid I've reached a tipping point, and will have very few Nendoroids I'm capable of turning down when it comes to adding them to my collection. I mean, just look at those faces. How can you say "no" to them?
When it comes to the import figure scene, few companies are as prominent as Good Smile. The company's Figma and Nendoroid lines are perennial favorites, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone that's owned at least one figure from either line. Though the new showings at New York Comic Con were limited, what Good Smile did have on hand hinted at a very strong 2016 for the Figma and Nendoroid lines.
Gaming figures had the largest impact on Good Smile's booth, with new Nendoroids for Venom Snake and Marth being key stand outs. The Metal Gear Solid V star looks adorably deadly, but it's that Fulton device accessory that really sells it. Being able to attach it to any existing Nendoroid is a plus, and since Figma toys also have similar pegs in their backs, I wonder if it will work for them as well. Marth transitions to the chibi style rather well, which isn't surprising, the level of detail in his outfit is still impressive for the trimmed-down aesthetic.
James Jean's celebrated run as one of Vertigo's most accomplished cover artists on Fables began six years after Vertigo's other big mythology-and-fiction epic ended, meaning that we never got to see a James Jean cover on a Sandman comic. Now, we didn't exactly miss out --- Dave McKean's Sandman covers are rightly just as highly regarded as Jean's Fables covers --- but it's tempting to wonder what a James Jean run on writer Neil Gaiman's magnum opus might have looked like.
I hold my hands up: I've whinged and moaned before about comics sites covering toy news, and here I am doing the very thing (I have nothing against toys/figures/collectibles; I'm just a bit of a snooty purist). Anyway, the news of Japanese 'hobby products' company, Good Smile, teaming up with Nickelodeon to create new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures based on James Jean's illustrations, was simply too good to pass up. The validity of this statement can be gleaned by glancing at the image above. The four individual large-scale models, which will roll out separately beginning with the releases of Leonardo this November, will also have the capacity to combine, creating one huge diorama.The remaining three statues will receive a staggered release over the course of 2015.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
Coinciding with the launch of OVM, his new line of jewelry, textiles, scarves, and other accessories, artist James Jean has painted a mural for the Lane Crawford BLITZ space in Hong Kong. You can see the mural -- both in full and broken into four parts -- plus video of Jean creating the piece, after the cut...
Jose Villarrubia, comics artist and professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, moderated a conversation with award-winning artists James Jean and Paul Pope on Sunday afternoon at the Baltimore Comic-Con...
Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane, Countdown, Jonah Hex) and Amanda Conner (Green Arrow Black Canary Wedding Special, Power Girl), along with an impressive slate of additional writers and artists have joined the roster for the September 8-9, 2007 Baltimore Comic-Con
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