Action Figure: From the Journals of Richard Marzelak #1

Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Action Figure: From the Journals of Richard Marzelak #1 Creator(s): Richard J Marcej
Publishers: Baboon Books
From: USA
Price: US$ 5.00

This is not a comic as such in that it does not tell a story or develop characters in the traditional way. It is more of a portfolio of the design and artwork of Richard Marcej completed during his time [1983- 1989] when he worked at Hasbro. It includes the work he did on toy lines such as ‘Transformers’ and ‘Battle Beasts’ as well as others.

As a stand-alone volume it is well presented and provides an interesting insight into the work and creative process of a designer/ artist working in the toy design world. The presentation is well thought out and the commentary useful and interesting in the way it provides a personal insight into the work on show.

The art itself is pretty impressive as well. But on its own that is all it is, an insight and a personal summary. I believe that it is given far more meaning to the general reader if it read alongside Marcej’s comic that covers his life during this same period of time, “Action Figure: From the Journals of Richard Marcej.” Placed together these two volumes complement each other very well. It is almost like two sides of the same coin. The comic presents the emotions and frustrations of the creator and this portfolio looks at the results of those emotions. In this way the portfolio effectively adds another dimension to the comic book.

There is no doubting Richard’s talent as a creator. His ability to tell a story was featured in “Action Hero’ here we see his artistic ability at the forefront.

Personally I would have preferred to see some of the finished designs tracked from further back in the process. Some of the initial sketches included and then the step-by-step process he followed to finally arrive at a finished product. I believe that would have added a real depth of understanding to his creative process and added a valuable insight into his world.

In a Word: Companionable.

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