Even the Covid-19 pandemic couldn’t stop Batman!
A marble sculpture inspired by DC’s Caped Crusader Batman and DC comic book creators in Rutland is finally underway, delayed for two years by the Covid-19 pandemic — but not defeated!
Italian sculptor Alessandro Lombardo this week began working on the larger-than-life sculpture designed by Chinese artist Jiannan Wu, using a 12-ton marble block. Parade organizer Tom Fagan, whose connections with comic book artists helped make the parade famous across the country, a regular feature in more than two dozen comic books.
Comic book artists attended the parade and huge parties that followed in the early ’70s, incorporated Fagan and the City of Rutland into numerous story lines and helped make Rutland’s Halloween parade one of the biggest in the country.
The sculpture features a somewhat rumpled Fagan dressed as Batman face to face with the DC Super Hero. The sculpture is expected to be completed in time for the 2022 Halloween parade, and will be installed along the parade route on West Street.
“We are absolutely thrilled to finally get the carving underway and could not be happier that we were able to secure Alessandro to do this piece,” organizers said. “His incredible skill and ability to bring warmth, emotion, and life to stone will combine with Jiannan Wu’s design to create a spectacular piece or art.
“We can’t wait to see the progress as Batman and Fagan emerge from the stone over the next couple of months.”
The project will be carved largely outdoors at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland, and the general public is welcome to stop by to watch Lombardo work.
Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939, and has stood as a symbol of determination, bravery, and justice to generations of fans for over 80 years. He has influenced every area of modern entertainment, appearing in countless DC comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, multiple television series, video games, theme parks and experiences, toys, collectibles, and apparel and lifestyle products, as well as blockbuster animated and live-action films. Batman continues to be one of the most popular superheroes ever created.
The piece has been funded by lead donors Captain Credit Union and Heritage Family Credit Union and Green Mountain Power, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Downtown Rutland Partnership, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, PEGTV, Channels 1075, 1085 & 1095, Rob and Colleen Mitchell, Russ and Renee Marsan, Rutland Blooms, Sara and Greg McClallen, Steve and Jane Costello, and TPW Management.
The Rutland Sculpture Trail was started in 2017 by the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, Green Mountain Power, MKF Properties, and Vermont Quarries to create art and interest in downtown, generate community pride, and highlight local and regional history. The Batman sculpture will join nine pieces already carved and installed in downtown Rutland, with several others in various stages of planning and development.