To coin a phrase from Roland Rat, “Ayyyyyyyy, Bat-Fans” and welcome to what is the China Anniversary edition of Confessions of a DC Geek (obviously not talking years here).
This time, Craig Tobin talks us through his love of DC Comics, in particular a special affection for a well-known speedster. This will all shine through as you read his interview. We also get a look at some of his wonderful collection, with items that I am sure will make some of our DC Team, along with our DC World readers, green with envy.
But that’s enough from me, it’s on to the main event. I hope you all enjoy reading Craig’s confessions and if you fancy confessing all to me then please get in touch either in the comments section below or contact myself or DC World on Twitter (@DC_ComicsGeek / @_DCWorld).
JH @DCW: First of all, would you mind telling me a bit about yourself – name, age (if willing), where you’re from and what you do for a living, anything else you wish to mention?
CT: My Name is Craig Tobin – aka @funkoconcepts on Instagram – You will recognize a lot of my designs shared on social media for Funko Pop Designs from the CW Arrowverse. I’m 30 Years old, originally from Scotland, UK but I now live in South Carolina, USA.
What, or who, helped kick-start your DC Comics fandom and when?
1989 Batman Film, I was blown away by the world of Burton’s Gotham that lead into the Animated Batman Series and onto Justice League Animated.
Who is your favourite DC Superhero and why?
Easily the Flash – Wally West, He was the character I grew up with that spoke to me most, I feel the Flash comics are the most exciting, it has the best cavalcade of villains and has had the greatest impact on the DC universe through, Crisis and Flashpoint. Plus he’s a geek who’s always late and messes up, I can relate.
Who is your favourite DC Villain, why so?
I love Zoom, (Zolomon) but my favourite Flash foe is Abra Kadabra. Over the whole DC World it would have to be the Joker.
Away from the two mentioned above, who is another character you could call a favourite, villain/hero/other character or one of each, what is the reason they are so great to you?
Always had a love for Batman, he was my first Superhero I was exposed to. He was just a man who go could toe to toe with gods and often win. Always wanted to be a Robin when I was a kid because of how much I idolized Bruce.
TV shows – which is your favourite DC effort, past or present?
It would have to be the Flash on the CW, It’s what got me into the page I created (@funkoconcepts) because of all these amazing characters who did not have POP forms yet. It’s up there with B:TAS.
What is your favourite DC Movie?
When it comes to one I can re-watch over and over again, it’s The Dark Knight. A near perfect movie.
Are there any DC Universe characters, any that we haven’t seen a live action/animated version of so far, you would like to see become part of the movie, TV or even animated universe? If so, which character and who would you like to see play/voice the part/s?
Cobalt Blue for the Flash CWverse – And I would bring back Rick Cosnett to play him. Everyone wants a Godspeed to show up outside the comics but he was the original version of that kind of character. I think it would bring an interesting turn to the show to have an old character return, with powers and it be revealed he’s Barry’s half-brother a descendant of the reverse Flash.
The DC Universe has featured many, many actors on TV and in the movies, as well as voice acting for the animated movies/series’, so I ask you – who is your favourite actor, anyone who has made any kind of appearance within a DC creation?
Mark Hamill as the Joker, greatest voice acting ever, iconic and everlasting.
Comics – do you read them? If so do you have a favourite series, or a graphic novel, that you enjoy more than others?
Yes, extensively, I have read every Flash comic ever, I collect issues along with my signed Funko Pops, and I keep up with all things DC and read 3-4 new comics every week.
This editions’ (kinda) controversial question/s:
Controversial Q1). The Batfleck is gone and it appears that Matt Reeves is looking for a younger actor to take on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The DC World gave a few options to the Daily Mirror recently (https://www.mirror.co.uk/film/who-play-batman-next-top-13954259), so I would like to ask, who do you feel would be perfect for the role and why do you think they would be a perfect fit?
Nicholas Hoult who played beast in Xmen, Great height (6,3) and age to play a young Batman and carry the role into future films.
Controversial Q2). Aquaman – despite its amazing use of VFX and giving us a visually stunning movie (aside from the fact we have Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman starring), the movie has been (criminally) overlooked in the Visual Effects category. As a big fan of the DC Universe, what are your thoughts on this?
It was a shock as the film was so aesthetically pleasing to me and took me to an avatar like level of world I could have only imagined. I recommend anyone to watch the behind the scenes clips from the making of, it will blow your mind.
DC vs Marvel – Social media seems to be a hotspot for this kind of talk, however, at times, it can get out of control and comments can become quite malicious; what are your thoughts on the whole DC vs Marvel issue, or do you feel that there should be no issue and, as Joker said in Batman ’89, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
DC>MARVEL in COMICS but MARVEL>DC in film it’s that simple. Marvel fans like to gloat about their universe (24 films) vs the DC one (4 or something) I think they forget how long it took to build and some of the bad films we had to sit through, Thor and Iron man sequels come to mind. Just be a fan of both and don’t be a keyboard warrior, Love comics and films for the art that they are.
If you were to fall in a swamp/be electrocuted/fall in a vat of chemicals/witness the death of a loved one etc. and made the choice to become superhero or villain, what would your name and powers be and what sort of costume would you go for?
Seeing the future through tough or feel, a bit like vibe’s powers. Not sure about a costume, or a secret identity. Always loved that Wally West; everyone knew he was the Flash and it was a turn on the traditional secret identity.
Apparel – do you wear any clothing that relates to DC Comics and its Universe, if so, do you have a favourite item of clothing that is still worn aplenty and fading?
Few DC T shirts, I am currently answering these in my vintage Flash T-shirt.
Conventions – do you attend them and, if so, do you have a favourite convention that you have been to?
Yes I do, often the local ones, I feel they are more intimate and you get more time with the artists and creators.
Before we go on to questions regarding your collection, if happy to do so, could you please tell our readers where we may find you online (Twitter, YouTube, Blogs etc.)?
Mostly on Instagram @funkoconcepts, the same on twitter and I partner with @emacustomsuk who makes our pops for customers.
Now we have your confessions of all things DC, I’d like to ask about your DC collection.
First up, do you collect large amounts of various and random DC merchandise or is there a single type of item that you like to pick up?
Flash comics, I collect rare runs and stories as well as signed comics and all the CW Funko pops both official and customs.
Do the collect items that are specific to a character/movie/TV Show etc. or do you collect all things DC Comics?
Mostly the Flash, but I will collect key DC issues that are important.
Thinking about the items you own, do you have a most prized possession? One that you cherish most of all, why does it mean so much to you?
My favourite artist is Howard Porter and I have an extensive collection of his books, hes a great guy.
In your collection do you have anything that is considered a bootleg piece of merchandise? If so, what is the item and what made you buy it?
No I have all mint condition official comics and pops.
Do you have something in your collection that could be described as a rare item?
Flash Rebirth 2009 issue 4 Variant – 1:25 took me forever to get this comic.
When you want to show off your collection, what is you “go to” item?
I have a sketch cover by a Scottish artist Frank Quietly who is a friend of a friend – it was an amazing 30th birthday present.
Going back to conventions again, if you attend, what sort of merchandise do you like to pick up, or do you prefer getting to meet the celebs and receive photos/autographs etc.?
I try and get pops signed and then comics in that order, I like to look through back issues of comics for any rare gems.
What are the biggest and smallest items in your collection?
Pops and Mystery minis to metal display plates all flash and DC.
What is the most and least expensive or valuable item that you have purchased to add to your collection?
I have bought comics for 50p and ones for 30 pound, all have gone up in value but I would never sell them. I used to have over 250 comics before I relocated to the USA.
Is there a Holy Grail for you, an item that you would love to own that may prove to be extremely difficult or even impossible to obtain?
The pop wasn’t hard to get but to get a signature from artist Scott Kollins took me over a year and a lot of postage to America.
Finally, the BIG Question – away from your confessions and collection, what are your hopes going forward for the world of DC Comics? Please feel free to write about all mediums (TV/Movies/Comics etc.) that you wish.
Arrow will finish after the next Season, I hope he will still appear in a cameo style every so often. I hope that the Flash, Arrow and Supergirl cover amazing stories and have new shows added to that universe.
For the films, I hope for more DC properties on screen and more characters getting the spotlight, i.e. Black Manta.
And for the comics I want to see DC get rid of Dan Didio and bring back legacy characters JLA and Wally West.
JH: And there we have it, Confessions #20. My thanks to Craig for upping his hand and taking part and putting it out there for us all to read, I have no doubt that you will have all enjoyed reading about his love of The Flash, especially. Craig, very much appreciated and a great read.
Now, if you have enjoyed what you’ve read and you feel even more that you’d like to take part, contact on Twitter (details at the beginning of the article) or you can even email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do.
Please also feel free to leave any thoughts on this in the comments section below or on our social media pages, always good to hear from you guys.
Remember – “Not every hero wears a mask. Some heroes save the day in the simplest of ways, by just being there for us, or letting us know we’re believed in.”