Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

Illustrators' Workshop: Airing of Grievances / Feats of Strength

Here's a pile of stuff I generated while working on a recent illustration. It might give you a window into my working process. You could either look at this or come over to my actual window. The drawing was for an annual event put on by Downtown St. Louis shopping association called Festivus. Below: spec's doodled in my lined sketchbook. I am jealous of people who can keep nice sketchbook, because all of mine are filled with production notes, long division, and things to look up on wikipedia once I get home from White Castle.And here's the first idea I had, focussing naturally on the "airing of grievances (via radio)" and the "feats of strength (via greased-up armwrestling)":
Here are some tighter thumbnails, including more stuff that would attempt to describe what the actual event entailed (shopping, holiday merriment):
I got some feedback, gathered some more reference, and drew this revised sketch at the bowling alley. I mixed and matched elements from the thumbnails and worked out a palette when I got home:Once I got the go-ahead, I started the final drawing by constructing the shapes of color - which I wanted to have an old-fashioned, mechanically flat look - with vectors in Illustrator. I also laid out the letters, pulled from a font called 'Breite' which I scanned from an old book of decorative carnival typefaces...Then I did an ink drawing, tracing the vector shapes on a light-box, for the line-art parts... I wanted to do an overall background color behind everything, but due to the fact that this these posters were gonna be xeroxed and a full-bleed wasn't possible, I decided a rough, dry-brushed style edge was the way to go. Having tried to artificially simulate this kind of texture in the past, this time I decided to get my hands dirty (literally) and break out a little stub of charcoal found at the bottom of my art supply tacklebox: Having already thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this illustration I decided to do one last thing in photoshop and add a layer of distortion, suggesting an underinked silkscreen or letterpress. Fun Fact: I got this distrissed texture by scanning in the inside back cover of a beat-up old copy of a Milt Caniff's Male Call.Then I combined everything into a crazy frankenstein file which made me wish my computer was faster. I would get into the Photoshop nitty-gritty but I'm boring myself just thinking about it. Let's all go to the batting cages instead. Anyway, here's the final:

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Humanoids / Vans / Eyeballs

There's a hot punk show happening over on Wyoming at South Grand tonight. There might be some t-shirts available with the drawing I did (above) printed on them. Both bands (Off With Their Heads from Minneapolis & The Humanoids from Parts Unknown) are great. Boy, it is getting harder and harder for me to do a drawing that does not involve eyeballs popping out of sockets. (Help?!)
In other Greg Stinson related news, here's a poster I drew advertising his business a long time ago. This must've been done prior to my heavy eyeball popping phase. Nowadays I would have eyeballs popping out left and right, from headlights, guitars, hubcaps, everywhere!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

Crime Blotter Funnies

Courtesy of Unreal and Concierge Preferred magazine: "... He holds up a jar — it looks like a pickle jar, but there's this black stuff in it. He says, "Her last request [was] she wanted her ashes sprinkled at the hotel..." India Ink and charcoal on Bristol board, 10" x 6 2/3"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

STL Int'l Film Fest / Star Clipper Signing

There's gonna be a lot of great movies playing around St. Louis starting this Thursday, as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival. I'm lucky to be a part of it, having done the illustration for the program cover, posters, ads, badges, etc:
Also, Jeff Harris made a series of sweet trailers for the festival using my drawings as raw material:

In conjunction with the Film Fest, I'm gonna be involved in a signing at Star Clipper this Saturday, sitting alongside Terry Zwigoff (director of Bad Santa, Ghost World, & CRUMB), Monte Beauchamp (editor of art/comix anthology BLAB), and Tom Huck (printmaker extraordinaire). I reckon I can sign copies of my recently published work in the Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, Kramers Ergot #6, or Private Stash. Or I could doodle on the SLiFF program cover (which would be FREE) or a used Falafel wrapper from Al-Tarboush. I think it starts around 4 o'clock on Saturday. Dear friends, please come by so I don't get lonely! Also, bring me a falafel from Al-Tarboush.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Trick or Treat?

Top 5 Pumpkin-Flavored things I've had this month:

5: Pumpkin Cheesecake Cappucino from 7-11
4: Pumpkin Spice candles I bought from Big Lots
3: Jack's Pumpkin Ale made by Anheuser-Busch
2: Pumpkin Muffies from St. Louis BreadCo.
1: The Great Pumpkin from Ted Drewe's custard stand

Dishonorable mention goes to the Reese's "Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cup" which isn't pumpkin flavored at all, just a normal peanut butter cup shaped like a pumpkin. Booooooo!

Have a safe Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Let's Go You Redbirds!

Above is the first page of a new comic strip I drew about the magical 2004 National League Championship Series, when the Cardinals played the Houston Astros. It will appear in the next edition of the long-running comix anthology Not My Small Diary. As special as that playoff run was, it can't compare to this season's run, which will hopefully end tonight, with the Birds-on-the-Bat taking care of the Tigers in a way that the beloved '68 squad (pictured below) couldn't. This is for you fellas!

Edited to add more info on my pal Will's playoff beard. Apparently he's gonna be on the radio tomorrow talking about it. UPDATE! Will was on the radio. Listen to the little story here.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Pissed Jeans at the Slaughterhouse

Show tonight! (100% analog flyer made with a Motec Japanese Brush Pen, White-Out pen, home-made Zip-a-Tone, and xeroxes lifted from a book of old carnival typefaces):If you haven't heard the Pissed Jeans LP put out last year on Parts Unknown Records you are missing out. Plus it also has a swell cover drawn by the great cartoonist Ron Rege, Jr.:
I'm sure there will be a radio at the show to listen to the game. I'll also have a few of those 'Pond Scum' shirts (see below) with me. See you there!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I've got a few of these shirts left if anybody wants one. Holler at me in the next 24 hours or so. GO CARDS.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Haunted Urinals of the Midwest

Here's an illustration I drew for this week's RFT for a story about the investigative work of Missouri Paranormal Research. It's based on a particular incident at Route 66 landmark the Tri-County Restaurant, out in Villa Ridge. Here's a snapshot taken later in the very same bathroom. Note the misty apparition hovering to left of the urinals.

A few years ago my pal Ted turned me on to the greatness of old Harvey Comics Casper covers, especially the ones where he shows up and freaks people out. For a while I was into doing doodles of that cute little spook popping out of weird places, despite the fact that a) I had no idea how to draw Casper and b) could never really figure out how to spell his name. Please keep in mind I usually drew these in bowling alleys or lame punk clubs.

And clearly, this idea had been something on my mind, even years ago - an ancient archetypal image if I ever saw one:I've used the same device for a bunch of drawings. Usually it doesn't make sense, but sometimes it does, like in this illustration about Wilco's album A Ghost is Born getting "leaked":
The only thing better than a good ghost is a good urinal. Here's the one my brother and I bought for my Dad for Father's Day a few years ago, in our basement in Louisville. He'd been angling for a facility in the basement (closer to his workshop/studio) for a long time, and the only way we could get our Mom to go for it was to hide it behind a curtain or door or something. Dad more than obliged her, as seen in this before and after shot:

A couple of things about that picture:
1) The word 'Toots' (as in 'Tootsie Roll'), sculpted in classy gold wire above the door, is my Dad's nickname.
2) That crazy bell overhead is for pulling a prank on first time urinators. I'm not sure who the prank is on, since we are the ones who'd have to clean up.
In a final bit of chilling convergence, here's the album I was listening to while doing that original ghost-hunting drawing - The Repo's new LP, "Hearts and Heads Explode", on Youth Attack Records:

Monday, October 02, 2006