Monday, June 27, 2011

A Death Wish In His Eyes

For this faux-paperback book cover I wanted to get as far away from the aesthetic of the last three or four covers as possible: while they were all smooth and uber-clean, I wanted this one to be rough, rough, rough!

That's generally tough for me, because my eye keeps trying to clean and neaten: that just generally looks "right" to me. But I tried to ignore all that this week, and while the results aren't quite what I hoped for, this cover does have some of that roughness that I was aiming for.

Random Note: The title and (more loosely) the tagline come from the Jimmy Dale Gilmore song "Dallas", which I am familiar with when it was covered by the 10,000 Maniacs (and David Byrne) for their mid-90s MTV Unplugged set. Virtually every line in the song reads like something out of a pulp novel (go check them out yourself!), so they seemed perfect to re-purpose for this week's cover.

Friday, June 24, 2011

From The Vault: Super 16 - 2005

This was one of two pieces I was contracted to do for some sort of insider movie magazine (meaning it was a trade publication, not sold to the public), for an article on different film stocks.

This was one of the most difficult, frustrating jobs I ever did: the client in question had little to no idea what they wanted, and even less money to spend. But I really wanted to get some work in entertainment-related magazines (still do), so I bit the bullet and tried my best.

When the client saw this, they told me in no uncertain terms with was not what they wanted. They still couldn't tell me what they did want; they just knew this wasn't it.

I ended up discarding this entire piece and starting over. Having no time left, I basically grabbed some stock photos of people using various cameras, added some color and effects, and threw it all together. I thought it was awful, and I knew this would be the only time I would work for this particular client.

They actually liked the second version better, much to my simultaneous horror and relief. I asked that the pieces go uncredited--the only time I've ever done that--and tried as best as I could to forget about the whole job, and what a missed opportunity it was for everyone involved.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Laying in Wait

This is another faux-paperback book cover that started out as visual sequel to Little Girl Lost, and this time I was able to re-capture that general look and feel, with a couple of extra bells and whistles that LGL did not have.

The row of glowing lights gave this a Vegas-y feel, like the girl is sitting on a giant marquee, which was okay with me. The tagline could probably be better written (too many "they"s), but hey, there's always next week...

Friday, June 17, 2011

From The Vault: FMOFU Logos Pt.5 - 2010

This was to be the final set of logo designs I worked up for Famous Monsters of Filmland: Underground magazine.

Most of the other logo treatments had been rejected, so I got rid of all the concepts I had been playing around with earlier, and tried to come up with some other looks. Of this group, I really loved the last one--it looked really cool to me, dark and claustrophobic.

The one that was ultimately chosen--#6--I thought was cool, too, with the little drawing of a skull I had lifted from a previous poster I had done. I've said it before, I never throw anything away!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Sin Around The Corner

This faux-paperback book cover started out as visual sequel to last week's Little Girl Lost: I wanted to replicate that cartoony, groovy look since I liked how it came out so much.

But, as usual, the process took over and I found myself here: a mostly collage piece with a piece of my illustration in the middle. I had originally drawn the brick wall in the same style, but I liked it better with the contrast, so I stuck with that.

This has a real 50s look that I really like, and I think the tagline is one of the most ridiculous (read: awesome) that I've ever come up with. So while it looks absolutely nothing like Little Girl Lost, I think it works on its own terms...

Friday, June 10, 2011

From The Vault: FMOFU Logos Pt.4 - 2010

Yet another set of logo designs I worked up for Famous Monsters of Filmland: Underground magazine.

I really liked the first two--I re-introduced the "paste-up" motif (hoping maybe, by sheer repetition, I could convince the editors to go with it), and I liked the second's red-with-dark bits look.

The third one is way too conventional "monster"-y, I think I probably felt the need to fill the space so I just whipped up one more logo variation...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monster PSA: George Zucco

I haven't done a Monster PSA in a while; simply because I haven't had a really great idea for one.

But I was looking through a book about the Universal Monsters and saw this pic of character actor George Zucco, and I remembered he was one of the few "horror regulars" from that era that I haven't yet immortalized, so I set about coming up with a tag line.

Zucco was the rare actor who could toggle between A, B, and Z-level movies; he appeared in the Monogram cheapie Voodoo Man the same year he was in The Seventh Cross with Spencer Tracy.

He managed that balancing act through (most) of his career, so my first thought was the old chestnut "putting all your eggs in one basket" but that phrase is pretty antiquated; so I decided to go with a modern modern version.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Little Girl Lost

This faux-paperback book cover originally had a lot more detail in it--both the girl and the arm holding the gun were more fully illustrated.

But as I worked on this, I realized I liked it better with these stark, black-and-white (and red) shapes. When I added the somewhat funky font and background elements, I realized stark was the way to go!

Friday, June 3, 2011

From The Vault: FMOFU Logos Pt.3 - 2010

Yet another set of logo designs I worked up for Famous Monsters of Filmland: Underground magazine.

That first one is really a toss-off, and never under serious consideration. I liked the second one because of the addition of the blood spatter, a little design element I would incorporate into other FMOFU logo variations.