Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Rondo Awards

A fan of my work named Michael Jones has graciously nominated for me a "Rondo" Award, given out for astounding achievements in the world of horror and sci-fi.

The category he nominated me for was Best Fan Artist of the Year, which is a write-in category. If you go to the Rondo Awards page, you can learn about all the categories.

Or, if you prefer, skip down to #27, which is my category. All you have to do is send an email with my name and website and you've voted for me and my monster work!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monster PSA: Harry Hamlin

With the eagerly-awaited (by me, anyway) remake of Clash of the Titans due out this week, I thought this was the perfect way to wrap up my Monster PSA series--with Harry Hamlin as Perseus dispensing some valuable advice.

And yes, I said "wrap up" because this is the last Monster PSA poster for a while. A few weeks ago I realized I started running out of ideas for these, and I thought that was a sign that I needed to take a break. Additionally, I noticed that the audience for these Monday Monster PSA posts started to drop, which told that some people have started losing interest, as well.

But that's okay, since this series went way beyond what I thought it would have when I did the first Monster PSA poster back in August of last year. All told, I've created 37(!) of these babies, and I'm really proud of them.

Those of you who are fans of these, don't worry, they will be back--after all, everyone knows how tough it is to kill a monster!

Friday, March 26, 2010

From The Vault: Moxie Grrrl #4 - 2005

The fourth of five "Moxie Grrrl" portraits I did for a friend, this one went too far in the other direction--it was too retro and old-timey glamour, not reflecting the modern look needed for a blog mascot.

Plus, the hand leaning on nothing look kinda weird. Oh well.

Next week, I finally get it right!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time Out New York: Alfred Molina

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York is Alfred Molina!

Like most people my age, we know Alfred Molina from his more popcorn movies, like Raiders of the Lost Ark ("Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip!") and Spider-Man 2, where he actually managed to make Dr. Octopus kinda scary. Now that's a good actor!

But for his Hot Seat interview, he was promoting the play Red, about Mark Rothko. So of course it seemed only logical to try my hand at a Rothko-esque piece in the background. I kept Mr. Molina black and white since the overall piece worked better with that greater contrast.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hudson Memorial Logo

This is a logo I designed and illustrated for Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, located in North Carolina, of which my friend Mac Schafer is its Pastor.

I haven't done a lot of logo work, and I generally shy away from it. But I wanted to help Mac out, and I knew I'd be able to include one of my illustrations with it, so I said yes when Mac asked me to do it.

The first version I designed was very safe and very bland. I'm not too familiar with designing anything for a religious entity, so I went way too far making it as MOR as possible. To Mac's credit, he asked me to design it as I saw fit, so I came up with something a lot jazzier, the end result of which you see here.

I'm glad I could help Mac and his church out, and I'm happy with what I came up with. I hope Mac's church gets years of use out of it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monster PSA: Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce

Another Monster PSA poster that doesn't feature a monster at all!

Since the Universal Sherlock Holmes movies were made around the same time, and using many of the same sets, crew, and even cast, as their classic monster movies, I've always lumped the two sets of films together (I'm not alone on this), so it felt appropriate to do give Rathbone and Bruce a chance at PSA glory.

Friday, March 19, 2010

From The Vault: Moxie Grrrl #3 - 2005

The third of five "Moxie Grrrl" portraits I did for a friend, this one is way over the line--I mean, jeez, this girl has no pants on at all!

I'm really not sure why I even started on this one, knowing it was not going to be suitable as a mascot. I do like the shades and the horn poking out of the hair, though...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Time Out New York: Joan Jett

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York is Joan Jett!

This portrait was one of those ones whose whole approach clicks as soon as you learn who it is. I knew the best route for a Joan Jett portrait was rough, scrappy, and black and white.

Its maybe not quite as scrappy as I first imagined, but I still thought it came out okay. Put another dime in the jukebox baby!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Closed For The Season Ad & Teaser Poster

In addition to the regular "one-sheet" I did for the movie Closed For The Season, I also produced two pieces of ancillary material for it--an ad that appeared in the Monster-Mania program book (top), and a "teaser" poster (bottom) that was used on various spots around the internet.

These were both a lot of fun to do, because they were pure design pieces--I didn't have to create any new visual elements for them; rather I just reorganized some of same parts from the poster with some different text.

I designed the teaser poster in the same proportions as the old-time "lobby cards" movie studios used to make. I had originally designed it to be the same size as the regular poster, but I thought it actually looked better thinned out the way you see it.

I went to the Monster-Mania con last Saturday, where I got to meet my friend (and co-star and producer of the movie) Damian Maffei, as well as another one of the stars, Joe Unger, and the writer/director Jay Woelfel. They had my poster reproduced as a smaller postcard, and it was cool seeing something I did right there along with all the other stuff from the movie!

Closed For The Season will of course have life as a DVD, and there's a chance my poster will be reused in that format in some manner. I'd of course love to see it be *the* DVD cover, if no other reason then I'd be able to see it on Netflix! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Re-Elect Inspector Krogh

While working on yesterday's Lionel Atwill Monster PSA poster, I was messing around with different color combos, and at one point I accidentally ended up with this. It wasn't what I needed for the PSA poster, but I really liked how it looked.

So after I was done with the PSA, I decided to re-use the Atwill-as-Krogh image, this time as part of a campaign poster. I knew I wanted a very Soviet "constructivist" style to go along with the portrait, and the campaign promise pretty much wrote itself.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monster PSA: Lionel Atwill

Lionel Atwill was someone I wanted to pay tribute to via a Monster PSA poster for a while, for whatever reason it took me a long time to come up with the right image and tag line.

Of all Atwill's many roles, its his Inspector Krogh character from Son of Frankenstein that's probably his most remembered (it was memorably parodied by Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein), so I knew I wanted to portray him as that character, looking so very official.

Knowing what we know of Atwill's private life (Christmas Eve orgies!), and how it negatively affected his career, I'd say this would be the kind of advice he would give.

Friday, March 12, 2010

From The Vault: Moxie Grrrl #2 - 2005

The second of five "Moxie Grrrl" portraits I did for a friend, this one's a bit more subdued that last week's, if only because she actually has clothes on.

This one was closer, but obviously it wasn't quite right, because I kept going...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Time Out New York: Stanley Tucci

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York is actor Stanley Tucci!

Tucci's been always been a solid presence in movies, but lately he's been particularly great, especially as Julia Child's charming husband in Julie & Julia. Watching that movie, I wanted to see a whole film just about the Childs, Tucci and Streep were so perfect together.

I originally had Tucci in realistic colors, but after I dropped in that bright, happy background, I wanted something more contrast-y, so I went with the cool blues. I'm not sure its fits Tucci per se, but I really liked how it looked and called it a day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Closed For The Season

This is the poster for Closed For The Season, a new horror movie from ShadowCast pictures that will have its world premiere at the Monster-Mania Con in Cherry Hill this weekend.

My friend--and co-star of the movie--Damian Maffei asked me a while back if I would consider putting together a more old-timey poster for it, and since that's exactly the kind of project I enjoy the most, I readily agreed.

I originally had an even more old-timey look to it, but over the course of a couple of weeks, suggestions from Damian, the director, and the producers nudged me towards a darker, slightly more modern look. Overall, it still had that look I was going for, so the end result satisfied everybody.

Hopefully, I'll get some pics taken at this weekend's Monster-Mania con where Damian and some others from the film will be talking Closed For The Season up. I also did some ancillary advertising material for the movie, which will show up here next week!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Movie Posters: The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

With my movie poster job completed, I thought I'd wrap up my look back at my favorite posters this week, with my hands-down, no-doubt-about-it all-time favorite movie poster ever!

I can't remember the first time I ever saw this poster--I know I saw the movie first--but I know that when I first laid eyes on it, it grabbed me and never let go. The design, the use of color, the font choices--all of it is, to me, perfect. It makes a (to me) only so-so movie look like it is The Greatest, Most Exciting Film of All Time, and of course that's its job.

I've never been able to learn who designed and illustrated this masterpiece. I guess its a safe bet they are no longer with us--too bad: I owe whoever it was a beer.

A few beers, actually, since I ripped off this poster's overall design (and even some of the artwork) for the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Titles Catalog I designed back in 1999 when I worked for Koen Book Distributors:
...this is my favorite of all the catalogs I designed during my year at Koen. I had little flying saucers buzzing the text throughout, and a tribute to great sci-fi authors on the inside cover--I went to town on this baby!

The poster I put together--for a horror movie called Closed For The Season--will show up here tomorrow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monster PSA: Ray Milland

This Monster PSA poster was soooo easy, I can't believe it took me this far into the series to get to it.

X - The Man With The X-Ray Eyes is one of my favorite, cheesefest horror movies (I did a portrait of Ray Milland as the titular character over ten years ago), and of course what other advice would a guy who looks like this give?

Immodest as it may be for me to say, I think every Optometrist in the nation should have this poster in their office!

Friday, March 5, 2010

From The Vault: Moxie Grrrl #1 - 2005

Woo! Saucy!

A friend of mine who at the time was running a site (mostly about her political musings) called Moxie Grrrl wanted a mascot, a kind of uber-sexy, bad-ass kind of thing, so she asked me if I would give it a try. I said yes, because she was (and is) a friend, and also because it sounded like fun.

It must have been, because in my files I have no less than five complete versions of the mascot--I'm not sure why I did five of them, each all the way to completion. Maybe because they were so goofy and silly that I was having a lot of fun.

Anyway, this is the first one, and I'm not sure I ever showed it to my friend--I think I determined it was a bit too saucy, so I moved on to slightly more subdued grrrls, as we'll see next week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Time Out New York: Tim Burton

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York is Tim Burton!

This one was a lot of fun, as you might imagine--I had several different ways to approach this, and it just a matter of finding the one that worked the best for me.

Since Burton was promoting Alice in Wonderland, I knew I wanted some day-glo type of colors on here, instead of just spooky black and white. So when I saw that Burton frequently wears those glasses for publicity shots, I figured it was okay for my portrait to include them, and that was where I could drop in the crazy colors.

I also got rid of the dark grey "mid-tone" that I frequently use for my black-and-white portraits, giving Burton a harder, darker edge, one that worked well contrasted with the uber-bright colors.

I had very little time to turn this one around, but it all came together smoothly, and its one of my favorite Hot Seats I've done in a long while!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Movie Posters: King Kong

Of the approximately eleventy-billion different King Kong posters there are out there, this one is by far my favorite--I saw it in a book called Reel Art I got about twenty years ago, and it was one of a whole bunch of Kong posters.

I love the colors--like New York is Hell itself (which, from Kong's point of view, it was), the cartoony boldness of the logo, and that amazing perspective. The pure fury of Kong is unleashed here, and its another one of those posters that makes me long for the day I can create something a tenth as good.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dan Ortega

This was a private commission I did for a real estate agent in California named Dan Ortega, who had seen my work over the years.

A few months ago, a comedian I did some work for, Liam Sullivan, stopped in to look at some property, and that reminded Dan he wanted me to do a portrait of him for his office and website. So he contacted me and within a week or so I had sent Dan a couple of versions of this portrait, with this color scheme being his favorite.

I hope Dan gets a lot of use out of it, and it makes all his real estate friends want portraits of their own!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monster PSA: Peter Cushing

I'm not sure how many more of these Monster PSAs I have left in me, but there was no way I could wrap up the series without getting around to Peter Cushing!

Like a lot of kids, I first saw Peter Cushing as Gran Moff Tarkin in Star Wars; it was only a few years after that I discovered his amazing body of work--mostly as a good-guy, in stark relief to his role as Tarkin.

To that end, I decided the tag line would reflect Tarkin's most famous line from Star Wars, where he chastises a flunky who suggests the Rebels just might get a shot at the Death Star: "Evacuate?! In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!"

Except here its inspirational--Cushing believes in you, and your chances!