Artist Profile: Gaunt – The Man Behind No Laughing Matter

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I’m sure all of you guys are familiar with the picture above, “No Laughing Matter.”

The photographer behind that epic image is my friend Gaunt.  I don’t remember how long I’ve known him but I remember  chatting with him on Spawn message boards.  He actually already released the image several months before it went viral.  Everyone on the boards was really impressed with it and congratulated him on his great work.

I chatted with Gaunt to talk about his projects, artistic choices and why he loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Nerd Society (NS):  How did you get into photography?

Gaunt (G): I’ve always been the type that would take far too many pictures when on vacation… but I never really took a big interest in photography until I got my hands on my first DSLR camera. That opened me up to exploring photography more creatively.

NS:  What was your first camera?

G:  Canon Rebel T2i.. but first ever? Most likely a polaroid.

shadow of the bat by gaunted d5wi0ue Artist Profile: Gaunt   The Man Behind No Laughing Matter

NS:  Let’s talk about the internet sensation, “No Laughing Matter”, how did you come up with it ?

G:  Oh… man. I don’t know if I came up with it, so much as I was slapped in the face by the concept.

The second I saw that Hot Toys was going to release the Jack Nicholson version of The Joker I thought about how I could go about photographing them together.  I wanted something that would look natural. And it hit me, almost right away, and I couldn’t shake it out of my mind until I was finally able to take the picture, many months after it was finally released. It was just a matter of time before I had it in my possession and ready to shoot.

The figure went literally from the store, to my place, and on the table ready to shoot.  I barely even took a moment to admire the figure itself with all its accessories. Had to get it done and out of the way.
I didn’t want it to be just Jack and Heath in the same picture… I wanted them to be TOGETHER, to form a relationship between the two and have people step outside the conventional “who was better?” question.

NS: Jack or Heath?

G:  That said…haha.

I think each was perfect for the movie they were in. Jack’s Joker fits Tim Burton’s Gotham perfectly, and Heath’s Joker was flawless for the Nolanverse.

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Fan homage from Justinart13’s tumblr!

NS:  What else do you like to photograph besides Hot Toys?

G:  I’ve been photographing for three years now, I’m still exploring photography and finding my niche in it, though I find I enjoy photographing collectibles the most at the moment.
Before I started photographing collectibles I was mostly shooting female models and focusing more on creative shoots.

NS:  Tell us about your 1/6th & Collectibles review site and the idea behind it.

G:  With I wanted to merge my creative photography with the general product shots and reviews of the same figures. The reviews go fairly in depth in regards to the quality and value of the figure but I try to keep to the point and provide a comfortable reading experience in an organized and convenient layout. I want people to see what they are and what they can do with them. The creative potential is limitless and I think hobbyists would generally like these figures and explore them creatively.

NS:  Do you collect anything else besides Hot Toys?

G: My collection started with McFarlane Toys / Spawn figures. When they began to make NHL figures I started buying those, as well as customizing a handful to represent my favorite players and team, St. Louis Blues. Eventually Spawn fell off the grid and McFarlane’s quality seemed to go down with it.  I found myself not buying much of anything at all, until I noticed what Hot Toys had started putting out.
I’m not sure I could say I only collect Hot Toys now, I think I only collect Batman at the moment, the best of which are produced by Hot Toys and Kotobukiya.

brace for impact by gaunted d5tj3sn Artist Profile: Gaunt   The Man Behind No Laughing Matter

NS:  What’s your favorite superhero movie?

G:  The Dark Knight Trilogy is definitely my favorite, but the first Ninja Turtles movie along with Batman and Batman Returns are still amazing to me. The latter are just iconic symbols of my childhood and my appreciation for those films will never fade. I have songs from each of their soundtracks on my phone and listen to them every now and then.

NS:  Any advice for photography newbies?

G:  Explore.  When I first looked at a DSLR and all the buttons and options… I was.. lost. Very lost.

I learned the most by setting up 3 lit candles in a dark room and playing around with the functions while shooting. It gave me a better understanding of what the ISO/shutterspeed/aperture are all about and how to use them to get what I want out of an image.

NS:  Final word?

G:  I would just point out that No Laughing Matter is a series, with a few more images to come some time this year to complete it, all of which will be on and on my facebook,

Thanks for the interview, big fan of your site!

pixel Artist Profile: Gaunt   The Man Behind No Laughing Matter

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