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July 01, 2009

'Hercules' Sculptures to premiere at Comic-Con

[Press Release] -- Graphic novel company Radical Publishing will unveil its newest three-dimensional sculpture of the iconic Hercules, sculpted by Chris Ingram, at this year’s Comic Con event. The 18-inch statue will be on display at Radical’s booth during the annual comic book extravaganza from July 22-25 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Ingram worked as a special effects artist for companies like Fox Sports and Disney and as interactive director for companies’ websites like Playboy, Activision, FoxKids and AllSports.

However, his first love is sculpting.

“To be quite honest, I don’t find anything that difficult [about sculpting],” the sculptor tells LA's The Place. “I find such a pleasure in sculpting. Time is irrelevant when I’m sculpting.”

A random encounter at an auto parts store and a discussion of Spider Man with Radical Publishing’s Director of Production John Zopfi began the relationship between the company and artist.

Ingram pitched the idea of sculptures of its characters to Radical Publishing.

The first of Radical’s graphic novels was the “Hercules” series.

“(Levine and Berger) gave me the ‘Hercules’ cover and said, ‘Can you do this,’” Ingram said. “Jesse had always wanted to do a bronze. Radical wants to do high-end art, more than just a comic book. They want to break out of the comic book theme.”

“Most of (Radical’s) graphic novels are designed so they go to film,” Ingram explained. “They are looking to design their actor, so like [the characters in] ‘True Blood,’ the HBO show, the younger, bigger, European-looking champions. Hercules is half-human, half-god, and everyone’s always surprised when they see him, because he’s actually smaller than most men.”

Comic Con is Perfect Location for Debut

After it was obvious how extraordinary the piece would be, it was decided that the completed Hercules statue would sit at Radical’s Comic Con booth after the initial unveiling. This arena is a perfect fit for Ingram who has visited the festival before and is a huge comic book fan himself.

“Comic books are actually what taught me to read,” Ingram revealed. “Having a little bit of a reading disability, books without pictures were very difficult to me.”

He would read all of his grandmother’s comics from the ‘40s and ‘50s by looking at the pictures and comparing the words over and over again.

Levine is also a fan of the genre and possesses a tattoo of the Hercules sketch on his left bicep.

“That’s the intensity that these guys have. As I mentioned, it was like working in music videos–fast-paced and high risk takers in the sense that they didn’t know me from Adam, but in two weeks said, ‘Yes, you’re going to do a bronze, and we’re going to showcase it.’”

Twenty-five of the statues will be made with three given to Radical and Ingram keeping two; only 20 will be available, increasing the exclusivity of the work. Then, the statuette will do a gallery tour across the United States for collectors to see.

Ingram has a main token of advice for those looking to get involved in the sculpting or art industry.

“Don’t listen to the negative voices inside your head, but that’s the same for any art, right? All that pressure we put on ourselves, that’s the killer for anyone that’s creative,” he said. “Anyone that’s creative has that voice in their head that says, ‘This isn’t good enough, this is going to be wrong, you’re never going to succeed.’ Shut off that voice and throw caution to the wind…that confidence is shown in your artwork.”

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