Behind the Vines- Sculpting the Swamp Thing Maquette
First revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, the Swamp Thing Maquette is a behemoth of intricate vines and vegetation. This protector of the Green made a swampy splash at the convention with his impressive stature and unique appearance.
This week on Sideshow Live, we took a closer look at the maquette and invited project manager Anthony Mestas, sculptor Paul Komoda, and art director David Igo to discuss the piece.
Today, we’re showing you some behind the scenes looks at Paul Komoda’s incredible hand-sculpt work for the Swamp Thing Maquette, along with the insight we gained after seeing the massive monster on Sideshow Live.
Let’s start with a look from Paul’s concept sketchbook!
“This is my homage to the what the artists Stephen Bissette and John Totleben had created for the Alan Moore run on the series. I love their particular take on the character, and I hadn’t seen it done ever before sculpturally. I felt it was my duty to manifest it in this particular form.”
Paul worked on many detailed sketches of Swamp Thing, to study anatomy and pose, and to conceptualize the growth of his body and the swamp environment of his base. The toned-paper sketch was colored with watercolors, and Paul used gouache for the white highlights.
Early in the process, Paul sculpted a mini-maquette out of Super Sculpey in order to have a 3D visual reference for himself. He brought the miniature to Sideshow Live– its base even had the tiny turtle and snake as seen on the full maquette!
Swamp Thing has incredibly intricate vines, roots, and tendrils emerging from his body, seen here in his stoic portrait. There is immense movement in the sculpture, showing the ever-changing nature of the creature’s construction.
“The tuberous growths on Swamp Thing’s back,” Komoda said, “are meant to reference the hallucinogenic sweet potatoes the character produces in the comics.”
The base design is full of immersive elements that give life to the swamp and muck that the monster is skulking over. On the prototype of the maquette, there is water effect with an appropriately slimy-looking moss embankment as the environment transitions to trees, mud, and rocks.
Swamp Thing’s environment includes some fauna friends for this formidable flora, including a snake and a snapping turtle (which the team affectionately calls Snappy) resting on the bank.
Swamp Thing’s anatomy has a unique balance of living, growing vegetation and also humanoid musculature.
Paul and the design team worked to achieve a balance of the organic versus the anatomical, which results in the appearance of ligaments and muscle tissue in his bulking figure, although after paint application the creature appears to be entirely plant-based. This helps capture Swamp Thing‘s conflicted identity in every inch of the maquette.
The result of all this work, and sculptor Paul Komoda’s interesting insights, is the incredible Swamp Thing Maquette. Grotesque and elegant in its depiction of the mysterious monster, this piece is a must-have for fans of the character’s epic saga.
The following gallery shows the prototype on display at Comic-Con 2017, rising from the muck and mire to encounter fans and collectors for the first time.
Check our our blog post on “Going Green” to learn more about Swamp Thing and the origins of his character. Be sure to RSVP for more information about the Swamp Thing Maquette by clicking on the image below. When you RSVP on a product preview, you will be notified about your chosen pieces as soon as we have new edition or pre-order information!