Monday, December 24, 2012

Vera Ellen

I have become obsessed with the movie White Christmas. Only merely aware of its existence before this holiday season, we started watching it on Netflix and after a couple of viewings I fell totally in love.

Nearly everything in the movie--the performances, the music, the comedy, the Technicolor cinematography--is perfect, but the real stand-out to me was Vera Ellen, who plays Judy Haynes, half of the musical act The Hayne Sisters. She does virtually all the dancing in the film, and she is tremendous. Her vitality practically jumps off the screen, and she is a joy to watch. She's funny, cute, sexy, and more than matches the movie-star wattage of her much more famous co-stars.
Of her co-stars (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney), Vera-Ellen went into--and came out of--White Christmas as the least famous participant, and sadly it seems co-starring in the one of the biggest movie hits in history didn't do much for her career: she appeared in just one more film, then retired a few years after a personal tragedy. She died in 1981.

I was inspired to pay tribute to Ms. Ellen, so I did this little portrait of her as a way to say "thanks" for her amazing work in White Christmas. I see myself watching the movie again and again, even after the season is over...

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Walking Dead

A friend commissioned me to do this original Universal Monsters-style poster for his current favorite TV series, AMC's The Walking Dead. I asked him what three characters he wanted represented on the side, and after he gave me his choices it was like rolling down hill!

People have previously asked me to consider doing posters this style of more modern horror/sci-fi icons, and for the most part I've rejected that idea, since I really can't bring the same level of passion to drawing Freddy, Jason, etc., that I did to Frankenstein, the Wolf Man. But this design I've constructed seems so durable, and is so fun to work with, that maybe I'll reconsider...