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Q: Your new piece, "Mandalorian Mettle," iconically shows Boba Fett outside the Sarlacc, which is always an off-screen fan favorite. How did that concept come about?
I was sketching up some ideas just for fun, and had always wanted to get down on a solid Boba Fett image. Anyone who grew up in 80’s likely had a pretty big fascination with that character.
I originally had him just with a plain Tatooine background, but when I showed it to my buddy Chris (also an awesome artist) he suggested I put the Sarlacc in the background, maybe with a tentacle around his leg. I still owe Chris a beer for that one.
Q: Was it an issue to use a non-canon "legend" moment, e.g. showing Fett having escaped the pit? (For a backstory, Fett fans, see our Fett Fact Check on Boba Fett being neither dead nor alive in the new canon.)
It was not! As I mentioned I originally thought of it as just a plain background, so when I painted it up I also kept a plain version of the background intact on another layer. As you can imagine, when submitting work for approval from Lucasfilm they have pretty high standards, and they pour over the work to make sure things aren’t messing with cannon. It can be intimidating, but it’s also an honor to have your work judged at that level. So I knew it would be a risk to add an element in the image that wasn’t already established in the franchise — but they never even mentioned it. They even made notes to help me keep the scale of the Sarlacc accurate- which was really cool. I think that’s proof they’re open to interpretation of his fate that day.
Q: Now that we're serious geeking here. His ship, Slave I, in the background: autopilot or hijacked? ;-)
Autopilot for sure. I like to compare it to that scene in the 89 Batman when he called for his Batmobile. I like to imagine Boba has Slave One just a retrieval signal away.
Q: What was your creative process like with sketches thru to the final product?
As I mentioned I just sat down one day and tried some ideas for fun. Sometimes I sit down with an agenda in mind, but usually when I’m just trying to have fun with no pressure I get some pretty good results.
I often start sketches in black and white because it simplifies things, then move on to color when I want to take it further.
Here’s the image:
After getting some feedback and some ideas from good friends, I started messing around with color. I looked up some images of Tatooine to get a really clear idea on the color palette there, and it has a wide range- depending on the time of day for example. So I submitted some options and the red/pink hues were a favorite right away.
Q: You've also done a series for Image Comics called Black Jack Ketchum, which embodies a gunslinger influenced aesthetic. Some of your other illustrations often show caped, disguised, and other mysterious characters. Was it a perfect fit to bring that to an officially licensed Boba Fett print?
Yes indeed it was. I grew up on super hero comics and grew into a guy who loves westerns. In my mind when you add all that up (and put it in space) you get Boba Fett. He’s the ultimate “Man in Black” gunslinger front those old westerns. Quiet, deadly, and the biggest threat to the heroic gunslinger. Han really feels inspired by a western gunslinger himself, even down to his DL 44 blaster holstered at his hip, and Boba was the one guy who was able to track him down. (Boba’s gun even makes me think of the old Winchester rifles from the old west.) I still dream of a day when we can see them duel it out in some sort of saloon... and with all these new movies, maybe someday we will!
Q: As a long-time Star Wars fan, and having already done "Vengeful Pursuit" and "Lurking Lineage" prints featuring Darth Vader, how is it to do more Star Wars pieces for Acme Archives / Dark Ink Art? How about specifically with the cool new "Rancor's Wrath" print?
It’s a dream come true. I’m really hoping to get the chance to touch on as many of the big characters as I can while I’m getting to play in this sandbox. I would love to do a Yoda, a Han and Chewie, Leia... all those characters that dominated my childhood growing up.
But with Luke and the Rancor I get to paint one of my favorite themes, which is “David vs Goliath.” I think that theme is a big part of the appeal of Star Wars in general, but it’s something that resonates with everyone. Stories like that also help to inspire me personally; if I’m having a really rough time at any point in my life. If I’m up against something that seems impossible to overcome, I try to dig deep the same way I’ve seen the characters do in all my favorite stories.
Q: Any more on deck with Star Wars for ACME Archives / Dark Ink Art?
Oh yes! I’m always tinkering with ideas. My approach is to try and find moments in between the scenes of the movies and expand on them, and it’s such a huge universe filled with characters there’s limitless potential.
But I’m working on finishing up a new piece right now that I’m hoping is my best one yet — and I can say it’s another “David vs Goliath” themed image. Hopefully people dig it.
Thank you, Jeremy! Fett fans, be sure to pick up a print of "Mandalorian Mettle," available right now in limited quantities at Dark Ink Art.
Rarely can you find Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fett actor, crossing paths with the talent behind Young Boba Fett (Daniel Logan) as well as Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). This year's Las Vegas Toy Con has done just that -- making it a perfect spot for fans to see three Fetts all at once.
Unique to this event, The Dented Helmet fan group gifted Temuera Morrison with his own Jango Fett helmet. The cast for the bucket, in case you're interested, was done by the craftsman known as Cruzer. Nino (aka Wasted Fett) organized the effort.
Daniel Logan, Jeremy Bulloch and Temuera Morrison
Video with Temuera Morrison
Video with Daniel Logan
For more confirmed tour stops, look no further than our Follow Fett calendar.
The 2018 New York Toy Fair (NYTF) is about to start and Gentle Giant teased a photo on their Instagram showing what appears to be a new Boba Fett piece, which sports his "Empire Strikes Back" colors.
For this level of detail, it's got to be a larger style of figure. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
UPDATE Gentle Giant revealed it's their "Collector's Gallery" Boba Fett, coming in Q3 2018.
New from HEX is your choice of a Boba Fett snap case or a Boba Fett wallet case for an iPhone. The snap cases feature a little less than half of Boba Fett in a headshot style image that includes his rangefinder. The case itself is leather on plastic with a green felt lining for your phone. Fett is embossed in the leather appearing the same color as the rest of the case. Towards the bottom is a sewn-on leather patch reminiscent of a pair of jeans that includes the Star Wars logo, the HEX logo, some lettering that appears to resemble Aurabesh, "made in the USA," and presumably the product code: Inside the case in the felt is the HEX logo and the phrase "As you wish."
HEX offers both style cases in iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X sizes. While the website says the size is designated for the iPhone 8, the packaging indicates it will fit the 7, 6S, and 6 as well. Not all snap cases can fit all 4 styles due to Apple’s changing the camera size, positioning, and protrusion from model to model. I was not able to compare this feature for the plus size phones for this review. If you want to go fancier the wallet case features Fett’s full helmet when opened.
The inside of the wallet is green leather with yellow inside the 3 credit card slots -- or 5 for the "Plus" -- and a plastic tray mount for your phone that again features the HEX logo and the phrase "As You Wish." Finally, the wallet case has an elastic band to hold it all closed.
My take: this is a great case. I love the subtlety of the image in the leatherwork. The case snaps on easily and stays on -- something that isn’t always a guarantee with snap cases. Having used this case for a week now I’m pleasantly surprised by the durability of the little leather patch. I carry my phone in my rear pants pocket with the screen facing outward. I had thought that the patch would repeatedly catch on the pocket button causing it to peel or the stitching to fray. I’m happy to report this has not been the case.
The only flaw I can find after a week’s worth of use is some discoloration has begun to appear in the leather on the sides and around the edges. Even though it may not look as pristine as when I opened it, Fett himself is a little beat up so for me it just adds character to, well, the character.
This is an easy purchase decision if you’re a Fett fan. Currently only the plus size cases are available through their website as the other sizes are sold out. If you’re willing to look beyond Fett they have currently have full availability in their other Star Wars designs: Darth Vader, R2-D2, Stormtrooper, and X-Wing Helmet (which is a snap case only) on their website.
For five years OppoSuits has provided unique, quality-made suits for fans of all fandoms who aren't afraid to show their geeky side. With over one hundred designs for men, women and kids you won't be able to leave their online shop without finding something that will suit (no pun intended) your fancy. They ship to several different countries offering fans around the world the chance to spice up their closet a little more. OppoSuits also offers free shipping to US residents if you get your order in by 2pm PST! Now let's get on the good stuff, shall we?
Their officially licensed Star Wars line for men includes a range of Light and Dark side themes with suits ranging from bold and bright to subtle and cool. We here at Boba Fett Fan Club took a liking to their Festive Force suit. It screams "bad guy" and so obviously our favorite bounty hunter, Boba Fett, is included among the several characters featured in the fair isle pattern. All of their slim fit cut suits are made of an open woven, high quality polyester. The jackets include an inner lining, inside pockets and outside pockets. Their pants also have pockets in the front and the back along with button closures in the back for extra security. We feel that in this particular suit you will be quite the bounty at that Holiday party you have coming up!
Besides your basic Star Wars sweaters and ties it's not often we find unique Star Wars wear for men that wouldn't exactly fall under the "casual" category. So if you're looking for something that makes a statement for a special occasion, be sure to check out the rest of the line here and submit your ideas for even more Star Wars suits that will be released in 2018. And while you're at it, perhaps suggesting Star Wars options for women and the little ones would be a good idea too!
Due out in February 2018, Funko will be releasing small plush keychain figures. They're in blind boxes, so you don't know exactly what you're going to get. Each are between 2.5" and 3" tall and cab be clipped.
In addition to Boba Fett, you can find Princess Leia, a Jawa, Yoda, Darth Vader, Greedo, C-3PO, and an Ewok.
Helmet nod to Action Figure Insider for the heads up.
Here's our fourth annual Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale breakdown, focusing on Boba Fett.
(Are we missing something cool? Let us know in the comments and we'll update.)
Jazz legend Miles Davis has been quoted as saying “Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” This well known quote was specifically referring to musicians, but the underlying principle can easily be applied to any given category of artists. Mastering the technical skills of one’s chosen craft is certainly paramount, but an artist’s ability to develop and establish a style distinct to themselves is truly what sets them apart from their would-be peers. One such artist who has clearly achieved that in the custom toy world is Alan of Abbernaffy Customs.
Our first exposure to Alan’s work was a Sketch Boba Fett based on a Smuggler’s Bounty exclusive Boba Fett Funko POP! bobblehead, initially brought to our attention by our good friends at the Boba Fett Fan Club. Even at a glance, we knew this was something profoundly different from the plethora of custom vinyl figures out there, and this was only one of Alan’s many distinct styles. His body of work is as extensive as it is unique. We actually have yet to see his portfolio in its entirety, as his Instagram feed is so long that our browser keeps crashing while attempting to reach the beginning. Even then, there was clearly plenty to see for fans of just about any genre you can think of. Just focusing on the character of Boba Fett alone boasts unique styles such as rusted silver, block shadow, Planet X, sketch glow, Freddy Funko, and even this distinctive Headless Jango Fett (warning: mild gore). To say that this is only the tip of the iceberg is a comical understatement of epic proportions. That we recommend a thorough look through the Abbernaffy Customs portfolio goes without saying, and we hope your devices will handle displaying his Instagram feed better than ours did. You won’t regret it.
Alan’s artistry and workmanship is perhaps eclipsed only by his kindness and humility as he generously shared his experience, insight, and thoughtful advice with our readers in his interview below. To cap off with another quote, Albert Einstein once mused “Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?” Today, this amusing thought has become a classic illustration of how a wandering mind can stimulate brain function and capacity. Alan shares his own version of that phenomenon with us as well, and we are sure you will find it as humorous and inspiring as we did. Enjoy!
What are the top three interesting facts about yourself?
I’m from Glasgow Scotland. Not the craziest of all facts, but a lot of fans I’ve had have thought I was based in the US. My previous job to customising was working as a UK-wide product specialist for Canon Cameras. It was quite the career change when I decided to start making toys instead of learning all about the working of cameras. I have a 9 year old son who basically gives me the seal of approval on all of the customs I make. If he doesn’t give me the “wow” reaction then I know the custom needs more work!
How did you get your start in customizing toys?
I’d love to give some sort of inspirational origin story as to my beginning in the custom world, but it was a series of unfortunate events that set the wheels in motion for this path I’ve taken. It started back when I first began collecting. I was new to the community and pretty naive. I was introduced to customs though Facebook groups and fell in love with the idea that people could make their own toys, and I purchased a custom from one of the custom makers in the community. I paid a fortune for it and then I waited around eight months for it to arrive. Finally when it did I was so disappointed with the quality of it that it made me a little sour with the idea that I’d waited so long and paid so much money for it. So I figured you know what, I’m going to make my own customs and I’m going to make sure I don’t disappoint people the way this guy disappointed me. My first custom series I made was my metals series. I was laying in bed one night and I was staring at the Superman Pop sitting on my bedside cabinet. I figured he would look really cool if he looked like he was made of brass. So I made it happen. I shared my custom with the community and they really took to it. I didn’t expect anyone to like what I made, as admittedly my stuff wasn’t great when I first started. But I kept going and trying different things and evolving my styles. Ultimately, I had seen so many different customizers around the groups who were all known for their particular style so I wanted to create my own style that when people see it, they would say “Oh, that’s Abbernaffy’s”. I was laying in bed one day and I was looking at my Pops and I thought, “how cool would it be if they looked like they were a drawing on paper?” Then I thought how cool would it be if they glowed in the dark and you could see the sketch really pop then! That’s when my sketch series was born. Since then, that style has became the one I’m most known for!
You have done many sketch customs prior to your latest Sketch Boba Fett Funko Pop. What do you find most enjoyable about this particular style?
The sketch customs are super satisfying for me to make because I genuinely can’t draw to save myself. If you give me a piece of paper and ask me to draw something, you’ll get a stick man in return! Yet when I make a sketch Pop, I can make it look like it’s right off the page. So it’s always been weird for me seeing what I can create on a Pop that I couldn’t create on a piece of paper. I also still geek out when I make my glow sketch versions and they light up in the dark. It’s so cool seeing a glow in the dark 3D drawing sitting on your shelf.
You have previously done quite a few Boba Fett-based customs in general. Is it safe to guess that you’re a Boba Fett fan?
So here’s where the fans get their pitch forks out: I love Star Wars, but I’ve never really considered myself a diehard fan! That being said, I’ve grown up with these movies and being a kid, I stuck to the coolest-looking characters like glue! So Boba Fett and Jango Fett were just the coolest characters in my eyes. I used to have a Jango Fett figurine when I was a kid and I NEVER put it down so I have fond memories of that character. I also enjoy making the Fett customs because it’s actually really hard to make it look bad. Plus there’s a little satisfaction in making something that I played with so much when I was a kid into Pop form! It’s basically a nostalgia blast for me!
Where and how do you draw inspiration for each custom piece you create?
You may have noticed a trend with most of my inspirations. I tend to come up with these ideas when I’m laying in bed trying to sleep! I have a bad habit of going into contemplation mode when I should be sleeping. I always end up thinking “Wouldn’t this look cool on a Pop?” More times than not, I actually get up out of my bed at midnight and start trying out these ideas. A lot of my inspiration also comes from the fact that I’ve immersed myself in geek culture for most of my life, especially with Star Wars. As much as I’m not a diehard fan, I love the Expanded Universe and the stories you don’t get to see on the big screen. I always think how cool it would be to see that represented in Pop form. I’ve got plans to make some of the Expanded Universe Jedi and Sith into Pops in the near future!
What is your dream goal as a custom Pop maker?
You know, I’ve never really thought about my future in the customs business. I’ve really only went with the flow for as long as I could. As far as my future as an artist, I’d absolutely love to make my own vinyl line. I’m currently in the concept stage of making my own. I’m basically just brainstorming the ideas I have swirling around in my head and trying to form them into a cool looking product! If ever I do manage to make my own stylised vinyl figures, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be including many Star Wars characters in the line!
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to an aspiring toy customizer?
I have to say, one of the daily challenges I face as a customizer is having people ask me for all my tips, tricks, and secrets on how I make my customs look as slick as they do. I actually get a lot of stick for it because I choose to keep those parts private. There’s a reason for it though. The biggest advice I can give to any artist is to do the hard work. Go through the frustrating trial and error part of the journey as that’s what makes you as an artist. That’s what helps you define your own path and artistic style! The whole point in being an artist is to find a way to channel your own creative ideas and manifest them into something physical. It would be easy for someone to message an established artist and have them tell them exactly how to make art like they make it, but then you’re doing nothing more than simply walking in the shadow of someone who’s already established. Don’t walk in anyone’s shadow. Put in the hard work, the late nights, the anger, the pain, the frustration, and the pride when you progress and the satisfaction when you look at something you worked really hard to make and think, “Wow, I made that.” I suppose my advice summed up would be that a lot of people want to get to the finish line without running the race by piggybacking other runners, but the race is the fun part! Embrace it and enjoy it!
Alan of Abbernaffy Customs is a toy artist from Glasgow Scotland. He enjoys making toys from geek culture’s biggest names, and is a Star Wars fan who loves making Boba Fett and Jango Fett custom toys. Alan’s work can be found on both Instagram and Facebook.
[11/7: Congrats to Michael B., Matthew L., and Jose J. -- each winners of our contest!]
[11/6 7:30pm: Each winner has been contacted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook respectively. Didn't win? Don't worry. We're going to be doing a whole lot more of these -- each with different ways to enter and win.]
[11/6 5:30pm: We've gone through all of the entries, pulled out any that did not follow the rules, and done a random.org number generator pull for the Twitter and Facebook entries. For Instagram, we're picking out favorite. Winners will be contacted shortly and have 48 hours to reply with a valid mailing address before we consider any runner-ups.]
We ended up picking up a lot of off-the-shelf, mint-condition San Diego Comic-Con 2017 exclusive Boba Fett socks made by Stance, and it's time to give some of them away.
You have three ways to enter to win:
Tag a friend and comment with your reason why you deserve this pair of socks...
The crew of the Ghost returns today as Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels premieres on Disney XD. This season begins with the long awaited return to Mandalore, last seen in season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2013. Now under Imperial control, Sabine and her Rebel friends including Fenn Rau have joined forces with Sabine's mother and the rest of clan Wren to stand up against the treacherous Clan Saxxon. Mandalorian fans are in for a treat in these first episodes with all of the high-flying and explosive combat. Beware for spoilers ahead, so read with caution!
The first episode sees our heroes on a mission to rescue Sabine's father from an Imperial convoy on their way to his execution. The "train robbery" feel of this episode is very reminiscent of the Boba Fett-centric "Bounty" episode from Season 4 of The Clone Wars. We also finally get to see the weapon that Sabine created at the Imperial Academy and it is devastatingly deadly. The episode ends on an emotional cliffhanger leaving many of us that saw it at Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April confused and concerned about the well being of some supporting characters. Arguably the most notable part of this episode is the return of Bo Katan Kryze. We last saw Bo Katan bid farewell to Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mandalore after Maul murdered her sister Satine. Since then she has become a fan favorite Mandalorian for her iconic armor and helmet design, as well as her refusal to join maul after he defeated Mandalore Pre Vizla in single combat.
The second episode picks up shortly after Bo Katan refuses to take the darksaber from Sabine and unite the Mandalorian clans. Thankfully we find out almost immediately that Sabine's mother and brother are not in fact dead, like the first episode had suggested. Imagine having to wait six months to find that out instead of six minutes! After it is revealed that the weapon Sabine created targets "beskar" Mandalorian armor specifically, the group hatches a plan to attack the Star Destroyer over Mandalore's capital and destroy the weapon once and for all. Filoni and co. naming the weapon "The Duchess" is an amusing nod to fans that disliked Duchess Satine and her pacifist Mandalorians from The Clone Wars. Bo Katan is likely far less amused about her sister's namesake than we are, however her leadership and combat abilities really shine in this arc as the stage is set for a showdown between the Empire and the united might of all the Mandalorian clans.
Star Wars Rebels continues to deliver some of the best fan content since Disney purchased the franchise back in 2012. Sound off in the comments below with your favorite part of the episodes.