Meet Graphic Artist Rob Mack
About a year ago, I began my collection of The Walking Dead Funko POP! Vinyls. I removed them from their boxes and set them about in various scenarios strictly for my own amusement, much to the dismay of avid collectors. Please don’t judge me too harshly. Before attending Walker Stalker Con Atlanta, the biggest TWD convention of them all, I joined a Facebook group of convention veterans to help prepare me. Though I certainly gained a lot of intel to help take me through my first real convention experience, I also had my eyes opened to a whole new world of fandom and fan art. To call what I have seen ‘fan art’ seems almost dismissive of the true inventiveness of the craft. Through the beautiful work of these painters, sketch artists, writers, and graphic artists, we get to see some of our favorite works through an entirely different lens. One of the crafts I was definitely not familiar with was the art of making custom action figures.
Have a scene from TWD that you love? Did you adore Michonne’s Alexandrian Constable ensemble? Have you always dreamed of having your likeness made into a POP Vinyl? Enter graphic artist Rob Mack of Mack-Expo who can dream any of the above into life. To create one of his custom masterpieces, Mack begins by doing a lot of visual research taking screengrabs from the show to capture the character as accurately as possible. If he doesn’t already have the tools he needs to get started, he heads down to his local comic shop in search of parts. Using those parts, acrylic paints, milliput (a two part, cold setting, non-shrinking epoxy putty) and sculpting tools, Mack’s magical creations begin to take form. “Since I consider myself a total package kind of guy, I also make templates of the action figure packaging, add graphics to it and construct it to add the finishing touches to the custom figure,” he said.
Each figure can take anywhere from 3-7 days to take form, unless Mack is feeling especially inspired in which case he can bust out a figure in four to five hours. Though he loves all of his creations, one does stand out above the rest. “My favorite would have to be The Grove three pack set. Originally it was going to be a two pack featuring Lizzy and Mika, but I went ahead and added Carol to the mix. It was kind of ambitious for me but it ended up paying off and the customer loved it!’
Mack got his start as a member of a Facebook group geared towards TWD action figure collectors where he saw many other impressive custom figures. He said, “I used to shy away from doing customs out of fear of messing up. But one day I sat down and gave it a try and my first ever custom was Constable Michonne before it was officially released.” Mack draws inspiration from comics, fan art from other artists as well as original styles from fellow creators like his friend, Atlanta based artist Chris Hamer of Urbnpop.
Though Mack mostly creates customs of TWD characters, he has also created some figures based on Doctor Who and horror movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Don’t Breathe. He even creates custom toys of real fans of TWD for projects he calls #TWDFamily. Mack enjoys getting special requests for custom figures and seeing people becoming familiar with his work. His figures have been given praise from the likes of cast members Austin Nichols, Elizabeth Ludlow and Khary Peyton who have all proudly showcased Mack’s work on their social media pages. Prices range from $45-$65 depending on the type of figure you want and the types of parts it requires. The imaginative and intricate results, however, are priceless. To get your own Mack-Expo original, email email@example.com or find him on Etsy. You can also see his latest creations via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.