Monday, July 25, 2011

I Own This Town!

This faux-paperback book cover started out as a sci-fi novel, with the damsel in distress about to be grabbed by a giant hand, undoubtedly that of some mad scientist who invented either an enlarging or shrinking ray.

I drew the hands, but no matter how I placed them it just didn't look right. After a little while I gave up on the idea entirely and changed this to a thriller, keeping the woman but adding a back story about a serial killer stalking the streets of Los Angeles.

As I finished it up, I realized I had some extra space, so I created a little logo for an imagined brand of mystery novels called "Crime Scene", complete with dead body outline. Fun!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Man From Hell

This faux-paperback book cover was meant to feel like the fumes of hell were jumping off the image, filling your nostrils with the smell of brimstone.

I wanted something super loose and scrappy, and while I think I didn't quite get it to where I wanted, in the end I came pretty close. That guy looks mean!

Friday, July 15, 2011

From The Vault: The Hi-Way Cafe - 2009

I used to be part of an art blog called The Pop Project, where each month all the artists would submit pieces centered around a theme. One month it was "The Twilight Zone", so I chose to illustrate a shot from my all-time favorite TZ episode, "Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?"

Set entirely in a quiet, off-the-beaten-track greasy spoon, WTRMPSU? is about a bus full of passengers who get stranded there because of a massive snowstorm. Rumors fly that an alien has been seen nearby, and paranoia quickly takes root, with all the patrons suspecting its each other.

Its a creepy, funny, tense show, with a hell of an ending. I saw it for the first time when I was eighteen, and amazingly it still kinda creeped me out. I've watched it a few times since, and it still really works.

Anyway, I had a number of moments from the show to represent visually, but I liked this one, which is just before the big ending. There's no sound on the soundtrack; making this moment even more unnerving, since (if you've seen the show), you get a small sense that something is most definitely up.

Not too long after posting this piece on the blog, I was contacted by the granddaughter of actor John Hoyt, who starred in the episode and is represented above. She loved the piece, and that her Grandfather was remembered so many decades later. She asked for a copy of the piece, which I was only too happy to provide. Who would have guessed such a thing?

I like this piece overall; but I think my favorite part is the stuff seen through the window. It kinda looks like it would in real life: fuzzy and indistinct, but you can still sorta make out what's going on. I need to do more of that!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tall Tales

This faux-paperback book cover was entirely inspired by the model; I loved the idea this girl was so tall that she had to stoop over just to fit on the book cover!

Once I had that conceit, it was easy coming up with a tagline and title, which in this case leaned much more towards a girlie/"nudie" book rather than a murder mystery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

American Pit Bull

I was pretty disgusted over the recent news that Nike signed Michael Vick to some endorsement deal, so that inspired me to do this pro-Pit-Bull, over-the-top patriotic portrait of the breed.

As a model, I used my favorite pit, the gorgeous Dolly Menck!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Misadventures of Patriotic Patty

"My first instinct is to say this is the last in the series ('Independence Day Irene' just doesn't have that alliterative snap),"--me, 2/14/11.

Well, here we are, and yes, this is the fourth cover in my "Misadventures" series of smutty faux-vintage paperback book covers. For the longest time (since Valentine Vickie, actually), I didn't even consider doing another in this series--the Fourth of July just seemed too "thin" a holiday premise to try this again. Then, for whatever reason, a week or so before today I decided there was no reason not to complete the cycle and whip this up.

I was initially correct--Independence Day Irene is very ungainly--but it didn't take long to come up with another appropriately alliterative title, and the word "fireworks" just screamed to be part of the tagline.

My instinct to say, once again, that there won't be any more of these, since there's really no big holiday between now and Halloween, which is how this whole thing got started. But who knows how I'll feel a couple of days before Labor Day?

Friday, July 1, 2011

From The Vault: Martin Short - 2006

I used to have all the "Hot Seat" portraits I did up on my site, but now that I trimmed that page down to a manageable size, I figured it would be fun to dig out some of the older and (IMO) better ones and put 'em up here!

This portrait of Martin Short--who was promoting a one-man show on Broadway at the time--was one of the first Hot Seats I did for Time Out New York after they had redesigned the page and changed the orientation of the portraits from vertical to horizontal.

Feeling creatively invigorated, I really tried to give these portraits my all, making them more complete illustrations all around--giving the magazine more bang for its buck, so to speak.

So I thought the name "Marty" all up in metaphorical lights was a really neat desig element. Plus, it tied in visually to the picture, and sort of commented on Martin Short's on screen/stage persona, which was kind of an attention hog, the kind of guy who chased after the spotlight. Nothing would make that Marty happier than seeing his name in giant, twenty foot glowing letters.

But...for whatever reason, the magazine had some weird rule about no text ever being in these portraits, so they asked me to take it out. I kinda thought that ripped the guts out of the piece, but by that point I knew not to argue. Even if I had, they would have gone ahead and taken it out themselves, so I said sure, got rid of it, and the resulting printed version was okay, but not as good as what I had.

Some days, the bear gets you.