Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Float

One of the kindest and most sincere artists I have met working in comics is James Sturm.

We met in the early 1990's when we were both living in Seattle. At the time, James was the co-founder of the alternative weekly The Stranger.

He was also the first Art Director of that paper and he hired me for a fair amount of freelance work.

At the time we were both involved with Fantagraphics. He was writing and illustrating The Cereal Killings, and I was writing and illustrating short stories for anthologies.

James went on to become the co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, and he has written and illustrated numerous books, including The Golem's Mighty Swing, and Market Day.

In 1994 he asked me to illustrate a short story he had written titled Float.

I was very happy to do so.

The story was published in a Belgian anthology called Formaline.

Here it is:







Thursday, March 24, 2016

Harlequin Nuclear Romance

Mixed Media on Paper - 1984


I'm certainly not partial to clowns, but I'm not inherently revolted by them either. It seems that they inspire extreme reactions in people, one way or the other. Especially children.

The Harlequin is a type of clown with its origins in 16th Century France.

In the early 1980's there was a great show at SFMOMA called "Hockney Paints The Stage" that was a retrospective of David Hockney's Costume Designs and Opera Sets. There were some Harlequin images in the show that were inspired by Pablo Picasso's Harlequin paintings from various eras of his career.

A few years earlier, David Hockney was a visiting artist when I was a student at SFAI. He was a very approachable person. Besides that, he was witty and kind in his criticisms of student work.

After I saw that exhibition, I thought I would make a Harlequin image myself.

It is always fun to use subject matter that is deeply rooted in the Western Classical Canon.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Riding The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse With Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone


Way back in the1990's, Madonna was out on her "The Girlie Show World Tour" acting like an addled dominatrix, not acting her age, and generally behaving like a slattern.

Pundits of the same era, both left and right, were all wee-weed up that the United States of America was in the process of tearing itself apart, (again) with the irreconcilable differences of a Lost Weekend Las Vegas Marriage quickly descending into a Haitian Divorce.

Kind of like a drunk on roller skates going down a spiral staircase.

I was asked by the art director of SPIN magazine to illustrate one such whinging article.


Now it is 2016, more than 20 years later and Madonna is out on her "The Rebel Heart Tour" acting like an addled dominatrix, not acting her age, and generally behaving like a slattern.

Pundits of our current era, both left and right, are all wee-weed up that the United States of America is in the process of tearing itself apart, (again, no really) with the irreconcilable differences of a Lost Weekend Las Vegas Marriage quickly descending into a Haitian Divorce.

Kind of like a drunk on roller skates going down a spiral staircase.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Fountain Of Love

Mixed Media on Paper - 1981

When infatuated it's very easy to lose ones head. A large drawing about the hazards of romance.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Raygun


In the early 1990's the graphic artist David Carson became the art director of a new music magazine called Raygun. He brought to this publication his unique magazine design sensibilities.

While an innovative publication, part of its premise was the death of print, even though it was a paper magazine. Because of this philosophy the design made it next to impossible to read the articles.

After a few years the magazine ceased publication, after being quite influential in the design world.

Essentially it ran during the "Grunge" era, and since I was living in Seattle at the time, I benefited as an illustrator partly due to my geographical location.

Here is an illustration I did for a piece on Pere Ubu that appeared in the 10th issue of Raygun.

I have always loved Pere Ubu, and I was privileged to see them perform back in the original punk days in San Francisco.

Mixed Media on Paper - 1993

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Nasty Glass Teeth Of A Shark Who Never Sleeps

Mixed Media on Paper - 1981

Another large drawing on paper from the early 1980's. His suitcase is packed. He's ready to go.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Girl Asleep

Pencil on Paper - 2014

A quick sketch. It is good to draw formally from time to time, just to be certain I remember how.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

He Shouldn't Have Left Home Without Them

Mixed Media on Paper - 1981

A large drawing on paper, as I recall, four feet by five feet. From the days when one traveled long distances with traveler's checks, and the nefarious things you could encounter if you lost them.