Monday Morning M.U.S.C.L.E. Musings #38

The Great Escape 4-Pack
by Chad Perry

Professor Terry, the regular author of MMMM, continues his sabbatical which means I continue to be the driver of MMMM.

I feel like I’ve talked about art more than I ever expected to on this site. My most concise rant may have been the Art vs. Bootlegs rant. But one thought that I have been consistent about is that art evokes an emotional response. And maybe the very best art stays with you. This is the story of some M.U.S.C.L.E. art that has stayed with me.

On November 11, 2007, someone I’ve long considered a friend, Nathan Newell, posted what I believed to be one of the best pieces of M.U.S.C.L.E. art ever produced. I just loved the idea of his fantasy 4-pack. When I saw it I felt genuine happiness. My mind wandered to, “What would have blown 1986 Chad’s mind?” I felt nostalgia. It was just a fun, joy-filled piece of art for me.

Around the same time LRG was holding art contests. One of the artists that was entering the contests had a style that really spoke to me. Whatever he created had an instant and intense visual appeal to me. On March 27, 2008 Ryan, known on LRG as Scumdogg, posted a #153 only 4-pack.

I instantly knew I wanted to commission a piece of art. This is part of the original message I sent to him:

I’d love to have a piece where MUSCLE’s are breaking out of the 4 or 28 pack, or something like that. I wouldn’t want it to look overly aggressive if they were breaking out – much more of a Great Escape or March of the Toys feel.

I’d also like something around the size of an 8X10, something suitable for framing without needing special matting because of a weird size. Although I’m very flexible regarding size.

Let me know what you think.

We went back and forth hammering out so details, but Ryan really made a key creative decision:

I’ll probably go with the 4 pack if that’s okay. It’s a lot less cluttered from a design standpoint and would most likely end up looking better on a smaller scale.

Ryan left it up to me to select the figures. I chose Satan Cross, #1, #180, and a Purple #153. I want my favorites and icons in the picture. He asked what the other colors should be and I left that up to him. I only asked that the color/figure combination actually exist (for example, I didn’t want it to be a Magenta #1).

I was, and continue to be, totally blown away. He created an even better version of what I had imagines in my own mind. I love the color choices. I love how they are climbing out. I’ve always laughed at the action too.

If these four figures really came to life I imagine this is how it would play out. The #153 would be the first to break through, blindly followed by #180, and Satan Cross trying to convince #1 to leave the packaging. But #1 has hesitation because, as the hero, he needs to do what is right. A good toy would stay packaged. But his expression shows that he’s really thinking about it.

This is one of my most prized M.U.S.C.L.E. possessions. I hope you enjoy it too.

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