TR Review: Pop Sculpture



First things first: Pop Sculpture co-author Zach Oat is a good friend of mine. So I’m not going to pretend that I’m not highly biased about this thing, or that fact that if you purchase it he will get money that will go toward feeding his adorable daughter Hazel. My job is to convince you that despite my fawning, preposterously positive review, that you still absolutely need this book in your life.

I honestly don’t think it’ll be that hard, because Zach, along with sculptors Tim Bruckner and Ruben Procopio have created a one-of-a-kind book that, as I said last week, fills a major hole in nerdery. There have been countless books on how to draw comics and program videogames, as well as break into those respective industries. Pop Sculpture is the first book that does the same thing for toys and collectibles. It teaches you how to conceive and design action figures and statues, what materials to sculpt in, molding, casting, sculpting, assembly, painting — some seriously complicated stuff. It also shows you how to make armatures, create bases and accessories, incorporate articulation — and with it, you can create your own action figure or statue that could theoretically be sent to a dreary plant in China for mass production. It’s amazing.

Bruckner and Procopio have decades of experience in sculpting (they’ve worked for both DC Direct and Disney, respectively), and they clearly have all the knowledge anyone would need; meanwhile, Zach has managed to assemble this vast, complicated instructions in a remarkably clear, concise way even I could understand.I know a lot of How To books talk down to readers or are totally incomprehensible, but Pop Sculpture is immensely readable, far more than a guide to processes this complicated should be.

If you have any dreams of entering the toy industry — or even if you want to make your own toys and collectibles that aren’t just customs of mass-produced figures — you absolutely have to have Pop Sculpure. It’s available to order here for $17.50, an outrageous 41% off the cover price. And if none of this has convinced you, please, thank of Hazel, won’t you?