Superheroes are everywhere. Hollywood can’t go two months without shoving another spectacular 3D showdown in the public’s face. Television is no better. The Internet seems to have been designed for the comic book aficionados who delve so thoroughly into the past lives of our favorite caped crusaders. Justice, valor, and some crime fighting action have become staples of popular culture. For those of us on the outside looking in, you might be wondering where this fad came from and when is it going to disappear? The answer is never. Superheroes are as timeless as rock ‘n’ roll. Their brightly colored masks and complicated personal histories are a right of passage, beckoning us to reach higher.
Like so many of us, Matt Chan and his brother Andrew grew up on the stuff. They fell in love with do-gooders, creatures from other worlds, the misfits that turned their troubled past into a bright, high-flying future. What’s not to love? Such transformations are what dreams are made of. They extend beyond boys’ fantasies, gender stereotypes, international borders, and a person’s age. For the Chan brothers,
it was a way into a world radically different than their own.
Matt and Andrew have been quite busy over the past few years, creating a library of homemade 3-D paper action figures. Their work has become a brand, Chanimation, with a sizable online following. There are dozens upon dozens of them; Iron Men, stormtroopers, cube-shaped warriors, Mario Bros, Gokus and Batmen. The entire collection is an anime lover’s dream come true, a superhero club to take over the entire universe. It’s amazing what you can do with foam, card stock and some glue. Every figure is made up of anywhere from a 100 to 200 different layers, crisp cutouts perfectly interconnected to create the faces of childhood.
A Lonely Warrior Storm Trooper - Cardstock, 2015