Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Custom: Ace, the Bat-Hound
Remember that German Shepherd from the "World's Famous" packs of dogs I reviewed the other day? Well, here's the updated version.
Most of you probably know Ace from his animated appearances on Krypto, Batman: Brave and the Bold, and (in a highly altered form) on Batman Beyond. Actually, most of probably don't know Ace at all. But the few who do probably know him from those shows.
Ace dates back to the Golden Age of comics. And, like Vicki Vale, Bat-Mite, and Batgirl, he exists because the Superman comics had an analog in Krypto. Yup, throughout the fifties, Batman writers basically just copied whatever was working in Superman.
More recently, Ace had a cameo during a flashback in Batman Inc. Personally, I'm thrilled to see him make an appearance. I want my Batman Comics dark and moody. But I want them dark and moody with super-pets.
One of my new goals in life is to pitch a new Ace: the Bat-Hound series to DC editorial. The time is right. I mean, DC's already reverting the 90's: why not push the envelope and go for the 1950's?
At any rate, this Ace was fairly easy to create. I sculpted the mask using Kneadatite, then painted the whole thing. I left some of the original black paint around the ears, nose, and mouth, and I didn't touch the eyes, but the rest is all new.
I sculpted a bat-symbol, again using Kneadatite, on some black jewelry wire, and hung it around Ace's neck.
I'm actually fairly close to model on this Ace, with the exception of the shape of the bat-symbol (given its size, I decided it wasn't imperative it matched the 50's version, so long as it looked like a bat) and his eyes, which were white in the original design. This time, I wasn't being lazy: that was a deliberate choice. I liked the look of the original toy's eyes, and I didn't want to lose the expression. It seems to me that Ace is confused as to why he's wearing a mask, and that feels right.
Here's a before/after picture showing Ace with one of the "World's Famous" German Shepherds:
And here's one of Ace and his master:
Another picture, for good measure: