As most of you know I've been following DC Metal Nights very closely. At least since issue 1...What Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is doing is simply put, amazing. With this series we've gotten introduced to a group of ruthless, twisted, dark versions of Batman called the Dark Knights. Batman's worst fears or maybe something deeper. Needless to say these Knights have gotten a great reception from fans. However, none greater than by fan Andrew Dudley, 32, from Knoxville, TN. What makes him so special? Well how about the fact that he took it upon himself to start creating Dark Knight figures. By hand. By himself. And as you will see from the images below. They Are GLORIOUS! No! Beyond that...it's outta this multiverse good.
Now be honest with yourself. This is creepy good! Especially The Batman Who Laughs and not because it's done better than the others, but because Joker is King. Red Death being my second favorite so far. Because Flash is GOD! However, I digress. I was able to get a hold of Dudley to ask him a couple questions about things and stuff. We communicated via email and got right down to brass tax!
G.U: So Andrew, what are some of your hobbies?
A.D: I love spending time with my wife Ruth, our two dogs Ollie and Charlotte, and our friends. It doesn’t really matter what we do, we always end up having fun.
When I get free time to myself, you will usually find me in a dark room, drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee, and either working on art, writing, or reading anything and everything Batman/DC Comics related.
G.U: What made you want to take on the task of creating the Nightmares?
A.D: As soon as I saw the incredible new villains Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo created for this massive Dark Nights: Metal event, I honestly just wanted to be the first to see what I could do with them and send them over to the guys.
G.U: Do you plan on mass production or requests?
A.D: Not at the moment, but who knows what the future holds. When I do have art for sale, I post on my Instagram and Twitter, so everyone can see what is available and/or when I’m taking commissions.
G.U: Well if you ever do. Just know that Geek Unhinged will be first in line for the order. What is the process behind creating one of these sculptures?
A.D: First, I figure out the best base possible, then I’ll sand and trim it down, remove any parts that aren’t necessary for the project I’m working on, and then apply super sculpey clay, random objects, items, and cloth to build up the look that I’m going for. Once I have sculpted and added whatever items needed to achieve the overall appearance of the character, I will sand again and add the tiny details before priming and painting.
G.U: What other Sculptures have you done in the past?
A.D: I have done quite a few versions of Batman and various other DC characters, including my own take on Frank Miller’s beloved
Batman from The Dark Knight Returns. All of these are available to view on my Instagram page and anything I create from this point forward will also be posted from my new Twitter.
G.U: For the record we love your Joker. How would you say your work has improved?
A.D: I think over time, I’ve just become much more efficient in the overall process. I’ve figured out easier ways to do certain things in both the sculpting and painting phases.
G.U: Do you plan to create the whole Dark Knights squad?
A.D: Yes, the current plan is to complete all of the Dark Knights.
G.U: Which is what we hoped to hear. Who do you think will be the hardest to make?
A.D: The Devastator, by far. He’s enormous and has so many tiny details. Should be a ton of fun though.
G.U: What do you enjoy most about what you do?
A.D: It’s one of my favorite ways to decompress after work and escape for a bit.
G.U: With that being said, what's an artistic look on life to you?
A.D: I see materials for my next project where most people see a pile of junk or trash.
G.U: What's the best reaction you've had to your work?
A.D: Seeing Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Joshua Williamson, Ethan Van Sciver, Jock, James Tynion IV, and many of my other favorite DC writers and artists like, share, and comment on these Metal villains was by far the coolest moment of my artistic career. Comic Book Resources writing an article about my work and the guys from TheBatForce podcast sharing them on their Instagram page was incredible as well.
G.U: Yea I can attest to how awesome that is. Nothing got us more excited than when Sean Murphy responded to our work. So as you know, however, this is a comic book & tech themed website so what super power would you have and why?
A.D: Although Batman is forever my favorite, he lacks actual super powers and I never feel like I have enough time to accomplish everything I want to in a given day, so I would love to have The Flash’s ability to access the speed force.
G.U: What is your console of choice and why?
A.D: PS4, I’ve always preferred their controllers over the Xbox controller.
G.U: Professionally, what is your goal?
A.D: Ultimately, my goal is to work for DC Comics. I love the company and the entire DC universe so much and I want so badly to be a part of it. I want to share my stories and art with other DC fans and bring that same joy that I get when reading the work of my favorite writers, to other people’s lives.
G.U: How are you feeling about the Metal run?
A.D: I absolutely love it. The way Scott is tying everything together from his entire Batman run is just incredible and I love every single one of the new villains. It’s so much fun and I can’t wait for more.
G.U: Who's next?
A.D: I am currently working on The Merciless.
G.U: And lastly, what would your dream project be?
A.D: My dream project would be to finish my Batman story/comic that I’m currently writing and working on, and then personally hand it to Scott Snyder and all of my other favorite writers and artists in the DC world.
G.U: Anything juicy you can tell us about that?
A.D: Haha, not at the moment. It’s still a work in progress, although I am nearing the end of the writing phase. I will tell you that it’s going to be a very dark, gritty, detective story that would not receive a PG13 rating. Haha!
Thank you so much Andrew. It has been spectacular seeing your finished pieces and I'm sure I speak for every Metal fan out there when I say, we can't wait to see more. Andrew Dudley can be found on social media at the links below. Check him out! You won't be disappointed