That whole Ralph Hanley thing was silly. Must I state that Ralph had his own show called
The Greatest America Hero? Believe it or not, he did.
Another commissioned piece, but a fun one. I'd wanted to make my own Ralph Hinkley for some time, but couldn't
find it (the time) until paid to. Here Ralph is wearing his after-work clothes. For some reason my client
didn't want him in his schoolteacher outfit.
I rented the movie "House," and rather than watch it all the way through for the 15th time, I took screenshots of William
Katt's face. The early scene where he's at a booksigning was great for closeups. I'm not saying that this
resulted in a perfect likeness, but my client was pleased.
The cape was its own project, of course. I decided to use very thin floral wire inside of the red trim to provide
just a little posability. The cape consisted of two pieces of black cotton fabric (the thin, nonstretchy, $1-a-yard
kind) sandwiching the red trim along the edge. Again, I just folded cotton fabric in half rather than use piping.
The neat thing about the cheapo cotton I used is that water works nicely as an "iron." That is, you can wet the fabric
and then fold/crease it pretty effectively. I always use stretchy materials for the clothing, but for accessories like
a cape or belt, thin, stiff cotton works nicely.
After a failed attempt at making the chest emblem out of glossy, red sticker material, I cobbled one together using
a primitive graphics program (the kind you download for trial periods) and printed the chest, belt, and base logos.
I have an ink color printer, so I admit that I used my old company's laser printer to print the one page in color. Now
I work at a place that's ridiculously strict about color printing (I think Congress has to vote on it), so there goes future
Ralph's supersuit did not allow him to remove his own head. I send in-progress pics to my clients and often try
to have fun with them.