DC Artists Alley is an all-new series of stylized PVC statues based on the work of up-and-coming artists whose comic-con booths caught the eye of decision-makers at DC Collectibles. Not only does the line get the word out about new talent, it also guarantees that the DC Collectibles catalog stays on the cutting edge and you benefit with a more eclectic display.
Connecticut-based painter and illustrator, Christopher Uminga, gives us a Batman that’s undeniably cute while also retaining all the qualities of a stern, formidable Dark Knight. It’s an intriguing balance. When one thinks “adorable” they don’t typically think of Batman, but even if they do they certainly won’t recall images from Frank Miller’s tales… and yet I definitely see elements of Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One costume here.
However, it’s not totally Mazzucchelli, no, mostly the vibe I get is an amalgamation of three different Bruce Timm looks. Remember the episode “Kid Stuff” from Justice League: Unlimited? Picture the 11-year-old Bruce of that story, but wearing the suit from the New Batman Adventures with the blue cape lining of Batman: The Animated Series. It’s a good look. That said, the candy-coated, Bronze Age-inspired exclusive from last year’s Toy Fair (only 300 were made and it’ll cost you over $100 on eBay to get one now) makes me even happier since I’m a fan of the yellow oval and the collectible’s distinctive shimmer. Anyway, back to the statue before us…
The serious level of attention to detail given to the suit combined with Uminga’s stylistic touches such as the simple linework on the mouth, a casual pose that still communicates attitude, and over-sized eyes the color of moonlight make for a figure that’s fun and oddly childlike without aping the style of a Funko Pop. Additionally, I really like the overall construction of this piece. Lightweight, durable PVC material won’t shatter on you like polyresin (or cost you as much dinero) and with the wide, perfectly rounded base you’ll never have to worry about a topple-over.
Last, but not least, the statue also comes with a print of Uminga’s original artwork! So that means you’re spending $40 for a 6.6-inch tall, well sculpted (Joe Menna channeled Uminga brilliantly) and finely painted statue PLUS a bonus art print. I think you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here.
Collaborating with lesser known artists in such a major way should be encouraged, and I think DC Collectibles did well picking Chris Uminga as a collaborator. His style is youthful, fun, and above all, a unique interpretation that will definitely stand out in any fan’s collection. Add in its impressive durability, limited quantity (only 3,000 made), and affordable price point (it’s only $40) and you have an outstanding entry-level collectible. If you’re interested, you can sign up for the wait list over at Sideshow.