Monday, September 22, 2014

OC Weekly Covers

Been a while...I know...

Gonna post a couple recent OC Weekly covers that I had the pleasure of working on.

I was fortunate to work with Art Director Dustin Ames, on both covers.  So a BIG thanks to Dustin for throwing me some work!

The first cover had to do with the false savior of The Orange County Register, Aaron Kushner.

Kushner, a Boston businessman bought the newspaper with claims he'd transform journalism.  He was supposed to be the guy who would save "print" and hired a ton of new staff to bolster his creative vision.

Basically he sucked, and he ruined the paper.

Dustin had the idea to have Kushner riding a wrecking ball ( a la Miley Cyrus) into the building of the newspaper he was supposed to save, with staffers running for their lives.

He came in like a wrecking ball!

Ok so on to the next!

This was another fun cover to work on.  This time the focus was on the embattled Mayor of Anaheim, Tom Tait.

Tait is splitting from his political party in certain ways, and in doing so he is becoming less popular with the Republicans, Democrats and business interests.

He is pissing off Angels, Mice Elephants and Donkeys!!

Here's a thumbnail sketch followed by the final cover.

                                                                 Batter Up!!!

I was really pleased with the end result. I experimented with a little bit looser painting technique, plus I got to paint one my daughters favorite characters, Mickey.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Optimus Prime and The Sacred Matrix?

                                   "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
                                                                                             -Optimus Prime

As a product of the 80's I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the best cartoons and the greatest toy lines as a kid.

One of the greatest cartoons and toy lines were the Transformers! I still own my originals and when I can, I seek out the elusive Masterpiece Transformers manufactured today..30 years later.

 So yes it is the greatest toy line ever!!! suck it Go-bots!!!

So enough about how awesome the toys were.  The greatest Transformer of all time was Autobot Optimus Prime.  He was the leader of the good guys and led his Autobots against the evil Decepticons.

In 1986 Transformers the Movie was released.  I went to see it in the theater, and to my horror, Optimus Prime was killed off about 10 minutes into the flick. My 9 year old self shed a tear for the fallen leader...OK several perhaps...OK I may have been was a long time ago...

He was killed off to make room for the new line of Transformer toys, and they eventually brought him back to life later in the TV series, so no big deal.  I can say that now with getting choked up.

Anyways so I had an idea for this illustration quite a while ago but never got around to drawing it. I'm sure everyone at one time or another has been to a grandparents house or an older relatives house, and seen a picture on the wall of Jesus with his fingers in the air and a glowing heart on fire. Here is a version of the pic I'm referring to.

 You know what I'm talking about now, I bet. The eyes would follow you wherever you went in the room.

Well for some reason I wanted to draw Optimus in the same gestured pose only instead of the Sacred Heart, It would be the Sacred Matrix.

The Matrix was introduced in the 86 movie that made me cry. It was carried by the leader of the Autobots, whomever that was.

So I figured Jesus came back from the dead...Optimus came back from the dead...and blah blah blah blah blah...

Here is the initial sketch, followed by the finished illustration.

                                                     TILL ALL ARE ONE!!!

NY Gov Andrew Cuomo High on Power...

       OK this is a piece that I did because I am a New Yorker, more specifically a Long Islander.

The Guv introduced a reform bill to restructure Long Islands power utility LIPA.  This was mostly due to LIPAs failures during super storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene.  Basically LIPA was given the boot, to be replaced by Jerseys own PSEG. 

The Guv also seeks to decriminalize Marijuana and is looking to introduce a program allowing up to 20 hospitals to prescribe and distribute medical marijuana.

So yes I painted the Governor taking a bong hit out of a LIPA smoked stack with his prescribed medical marijuana.

So begs the question...Is the Governor "High on Power?" or doing a good job.

All I know for sure is that my electric bills a "high" as Hell.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Merry Belated Christmas...Shitter was full.

Every year I come up with a Christmas card to illustrate and mail out to friends and family.  I'll get around to posting some from the past sometime soon, but for now I'll focus briefly on this years edition.

National Lampoons Christmas vacation is becoming my favorite Christmas time movie to watch.  I was always a big fan of The Christmas Story, but Chevy and the gang see more airtime during the season and not just on Christmas Eve through Xmas like Ralphie and the crew.

So I decided on drawing the worlds most famous Cousin in-law...Cousin Eddie, portrayed but actor Randy Quaid. 

We all know the famous scene in which Eddie is emptying his RV's septic tank into the storm drain, while while wishing a Merry Christmas and informing everyone that the "Shitter was full."

I wanted to mix it up a little, and have Eddie holding the famous Moose Mug instead of a beer and lost the cigar he is seen chomping on in this particular scene. Trying to keep it classy people!!
I have yet to draw the RV in the background of this sketch yet.

As you can see, I had to find somewhere to include his catchphrase, and had to do it without angering my lovely wife.  So I came up with a silhouette of the moose mug and "Sh*tter was full" tastefully on the back replacing the "i" with a snowflake. 

A Merry Belated Christmas to All!!! and to ALL a Goodnight!!

Ryan Lochte...Jouch!

Jeah.. That's right. I said "jeah" which means I owe Ryan Lochte money now.

I was contacted by the wonderful Jane Fields, art director of Charlotte Magazine and asked to illustrate something for their annual Cracked Crowns article.  Which basically cover a bunch of ridiculous things that happen in Charlotte every year.

The story that caught my eye and thought would be well suited for an illustration was the Ryan Lochte story.
A young female fan of the Olympian gold medalist ran towards him and basically knocked him down. In the fall he injured his MCL and screwed up his training regimen and most likely his ego too.

Here is a rough sketch.

Here is the final painting and the article as it appeared online.


Shaun White, Utne Reader cover.

OK, Had yet another cover for the good peeps at The Utne Reader. This was for the Jan-Feb 2014 issue, which is still on the stands people!! stop reading this and go buy an issue!!

The topic for the cover had to do with Climate change, and how it's affecting the snowfall in the California mountains. No snow in the mountains makes it bad for skiers, snowboarders and ski-towns in general. However the bigger problem is that, this means less spring melt for the valley adversely affecting everyone in the surrounding areas.

The concept was to have high profile, gold medal snowboarder, Shaun White standing on a barren, dried out mountain, with no snow.  How is he to train for the Sochi Olympics with not a ounce of snow on the mountains?

So I got to work and came up with an approved sketch.

Shaun White had previously cut his trademark "Flaming Carrot" hair, but Utne felt he would be more recognizable if he still had that "do" for the cover.
Plus I had to tweak his expression so that he didn't look too constipated.
final painting
and here is the final cover.

Beware the Bat-Affleck!!

A few months back the comic book world was sent into a panic! Well not the real comic book world...the movie comic book world...and the panic sent the Internet ablaze!!

It was announced that there would be a sequel to the Superman flick "Man of Steel."  This sequel would be titled "Superman vs Batman."

With Christian Bale hanging up the cape, Warner Bros were looking for a new caped crusader.  Little did everyone know at the time but they were looking through J-Lo's garbage heap of ex boyfriends.
C'mon don't act like you don't remember "Ben-ifer"

Yes!! Ben Affleck! The man who crapped on the Daredevil movie, but won an Oscar for directing the movie "Argo."

The Internet lynch mob wanted Affleck to stand down and resign from the flick within seconds of the announcement. Pandemonium set in, and petitions were forged in hopes of kicking Ben out of the tights before he even squeezed into them.

Illustration I did of Affleck being driven out of Gotham by angry Bat-Fans.

C'mon peoples of the intranet...that's right I said intranet...lets take a step back and remember the reaction to Heath Ledger being cast as The Joker... See where I'm going?  So in the meantime put down the torches and pitchforks and let's give Benny boy a chance.  And if he screws up...well...

College Kitchen Nightmares!

I'm going to blame the lack of posts on the Holidays...who am I kidding? I was abducted by Aliens.

OK so enough about that...I don't want to talk about it.

I had another cover illustration for the good folks over at The Utne Reader back in Sept-Oct 2013.
This was quite fun.

The issue itself had several articles dealing with some of the hardships College students have to deal with after they graduate and whatnot. One article in particular had to do with making the most out of a little. Basically how someone on a fixed income can still make amazing, inexpensive meals.
So the concept became having celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay of Hell's Kitchen make some kind of exquisite meal consisting of typical College dorm ingredients.

This was fun because I was able to crowbar some goodies in the illustration reminiscent of my own college days..or daze.  I was able to let loose a bit and come up with something pretty cool.
This was the initial sketch, with tons of scribbled notes.  This was approved so I got to work.

Presto! the finished illustration.  I stayed pretty true to the initial sketch, and if you look close, there are quite a few cool details.  This is loosely based on what I can remember of my old dorm room.

It was fun coming up with phony names for the food products, while staying close enough so everyone knew what I was going for.