SD-2 Golden Scythe
Back in 2006 I published a graphic novel called JLA Classified: Cold Steel which opened with a sleek golden spaceship being pursued across the surface of the moon. I had painted that comic in a new way (for me). Instead of painting each page as a single, 11″x17″ image with a lot of little panels, I painted each panel individually and assembled them in photoshop. It’s an interesting way to work, but one I haven’t used since, because it turns out, I like painting whole pages. Regardless, at that year’s San Diego Comicon, I had a bunch of those panel-illustrations with me to sell and a tall, lanky fellow came to my table and introduced himself as Todd Fellows. He was very friendly, asked me all sorts of questions about Cold Steel and walked away after purchasing the following piece, featuring the SD-2:
That would be the end of the story, except that Todd’s career is in special effects. Not digital special effects but practical (i.e. “real”) special effects. He’s a model-maker. That first show, he gave me a little piece of the trench from Star Wars. He had a bag full of little plastic bits. I still have the piece he gave me here in the studio. At every San Diego since then, Todd has shown up at some point during the show to chat, catch up, and beg forgiveness. Why? Because he’s wanted, for all these years, to BUILD a scale model of the SD-2, but he’s been too busy with life and work and all of the stuff that prevents any of us from actually sitting down to the fun but involved projects we keep tucked away for a rainy day.
I’ve always enjoyed Todd’s visits, and of course I’ve forgiven him (as if I had to). The rise of digital effects has made it a tough time for practical model-making in Hollywood, and it’s been fascinating for me to sit ring-side on the ups and downs of that world, even briefly. I was an avid model-builder as a teenager, and Todd took a life-path I didn’t take (though that teenager in me kind of wishes I had)! So, when he came to my table this year, I was happy to see him. We chatted a bit as usual, but I noticed he had a puckish little grin on his face, and finally he handed me his iPhone with the following pictures on it. Needless to say I shrieked like that teenager would have. Oh, Todd! Can’t wait to see the finished version.
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