Interview: Sideshow Collectibles sculptor Matt Black
Did you happen to catch any of those pics of the He-Man statue at Sideshow Collectibles booth at 2015’s San Diego Comic Con? How about the Heath Ledger Joker statue? Or that awesomely feral looking Wolverine statue? If you caught any of those (and a few others that were on display) you’d be admiring the work of sculptor Matthew J Black. I caught up with Matt and asked him a few questions about his work that Sideshow Collectibles had on display at SDCC.
Your friendly neighborhood jman: Matthew, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. I’d like to start off with San Diego Comic Con. Tell me a little bit about the work you’ve done for Sideshow’s Court of the Dead line. You designed and sculpted Oglavaeil the Executioner. What is the story behind the character? According to the site, the statue is fairly massive: over 2 feet in height, weighing 20 pounds. What’s it like seeing a design come to life like that?
Matt Black: Oh, Oglavaeil! Yeah he was a tough one. This piece was a real collaboration between me and Tom Gilliland. We had some AMAZING concepts from Amilcar Fong as a starting point, but much of the creation was kinda thought up on the fly. Tom had a great description of the character, that combined with the other worldly art of Amilcar helped shape him as a being.
Many of the elements had not been spelled out, such as his legs, or different arm arrangements. We knew he would be in an executioner’s role, so the blade had to be a focal point. A great deal of time was put into the deco, and theme of his instruments.
We played around a lot with a variety of arm, and leg styles, as well as masks, and head shapes before we found what we liked. His canine companion was another element that just happened to develop organically. Tom had the idea to make a companion for him, but didn’t really hold me too much to any specific channels. I really had a fun time working out the look of this beast. I really drew heavily from the drawings of Stephen Gammel, the illustrator of the “more scary stories to tell in the dark” book series. I loved how in one of the drawings there is a “dog” with a human hand. So that’s where that came from.