The bird. The bat. The wonder.DC Collectibles
Cute and collectible, artistic and aesthetically interesting, DC Collectibles’ Artists Alley line looks to capture the fun of going to a comics convention and seeing different artists interpret familiar characters–but in three dimensional designer vinyl. The line recently launched with a Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman by Chris Uminga, and according to Jim Fletcher, executive creative director of DC Collectibles., that first wave nearly sold out at the retailer level in advance. “Whenever we launch a new line, with new talent, it’s of course more of a gamble,” he says. “When it works, however, it’s an even better win for us as creatives and better still… for the collectors! With that said, DC Artists Alley has definitely exceeded our expectations.”
Now, with San Diego Comic-Con’s Preview Night upon us, DC gave us an exclusive first look at their next two additions to the line. First, Chrissie Zullo, known for her cover art on comics as varied as Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, Josie and the Pussycats, Vampirella, Life With Archie, and Fables: The Wolf Among Us will be bringing her talents to redesigns of Hawkgirl, Batgirl, Wonder Woman (above) and Supergirl (design below) to be sculpted Irene Matar.
Kara mia.DC Collectibles
Though some of these statues may remind collectors of similar products from Funko, the maker of stylized collectibles that regularly reports annual sales upwards of $400 million (and licenses DC products among many others), Fletcher says they were not the inspiration for this particular line, saying, “Funko Pops are great, but this is a totally different direction. DC Artists Alley was actually inspired by the ‘artist alley’ convention experience. We walk the floor looking for artists whose work really speaks to us and that we feel would make for a great collectible. Creating this line of designer vinyls allows us to celebrate unique art styles of nontraditional comic book talent.” He notes that new artist-specific lines help keep DC core characters marketable, as “exploring new looks for popular characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, among others, allows us to offer fans something new and different.”
The second addition to the line is Joe Ledbetter, an artist and toy designer whose once-underground art has led to collaborations with brands like Swatch, Nike, and Kidrobot. Ledbetter’s series reimagines Batman characters as the actual animals they get their nicknames from: Catwoman as a cat, Robin as a robin, and Penguin as you might expect.
You animals!DC Collectibles
As to how they select artists, Fletcher tells me, “We seek out designers that we think have a definitive style and can really tell a unique story with our characters. Hopefully one, or ALL of these talented creators will be a big discovery to our fans.”
Bat, man.DC Collectibles
You can expect to see both lines in stores in 2019, with a retail price of $60 per figure.
And if you’re in San Diego, you just might be able to get a first look in person at the DC booth.