Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Labor Day Nitty Gritty

If you find yourself nearby a St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday the 31st, check out the Get Out section to see a bunch of illustrations I did, including the cover. Reporter (and pal) Diane Toroian Keaggy wrote a bunch of funny descriptions of Labor Day events around town this weekend, specifically regarding the real men and women whose hard behind-the-scenes work manufacture good times for the rest of us. I drew them in kind of a Labor Propaganda / WPA poster mode, both to reflect the origins of Labor Day and in fear that my normal cartoonier style would be overkill alongside Diane's funny character profiles. The one at the top of this post is for an unsung hero of the St. Louis Labor Day Parade, and here are ones for the Fall Festival of Art and the Japanese Festival at the Botanical Gardens, which will feature displays of Sumo Wrestling.I love the crisp shapes and interlocking 2-D "clockwork" compositions of those old WPA posters, but also the dramatic lighting and textured shading. Ideally, I would've actually painted my illustrations also - especially to to get those kind of textures - but given the mechanical concerns of newsprint reproduction (and the practical concerns of newspaper deadlines) I decided to suck it up and give it my best shot using vectors (warning: shop talk ahead!). I've experimented in the past with achieving a gritty blend using series of dots, like here:
But that still feels too digital. This time I tried creating a custom "pattern brush" tile using more jagged organic shapes, like charcoal on a toothed paper might create:
It still looks kinda crummy up-close, but looks okay in print. If anybody out there has better suggestions on how to create this effect, short of actually using scanned or pixel-based textures (my antique computer can't handle humungous file sizes), give me a holler. Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Instead of thinking we play Donkey Kong"

In honor of seeing the almighty Gorilla Biscuits last weekend in Chicago, here are a couple of ape related drawings. I had recently watched the movies King Kong and War of the Worlds and was inspired at Drawing Club to deviate from my normal diet of hot-rods and white-out to do these:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bowling Archaelogy / Private Stash

The other night I unearthed a bunch of my old bowling scoresheets from the Saratoga. I had it in my head that I'd do doodles every week of the 2004 Fall/Winter/Spring League and make a zine out of them. It looks like I made it four weeks before cramming the results between a dirty Blues Rally Towel and my teammate Will's spare ball in our rusty old locker. (I'm actually trying the project again right now, during the less ambitious Summer League). As you'll see, most of my doodles fall into one of three categories: 1) Peculiar shots executed that night 2) Plotting future bowling-related projects (like fashioning a model rocket built out of a bowling pin) and 3) Expressing my irritation at shitty songs coming out of the jukebox. Click for larger views:I would've just cropped those images down to just the doodled areas, but in the interest of providing any armchair sports psychiatrists out there with a data set to analyze (comparing my drawings to my actual performance during that game), I decided to show all the gory details. Oh, and in case anyone's curious - when you see a little drawing of a beercan or mug next to a bowler's name it means that unlucky soul got beer framed.
In other bowling/art related news, I've got a keggling-themed drawing in Private Stash, a new accordion suite of pin-up drawings done by some of the world's greatest cartoonists (plus me), published by Buenaventura Press. The images at the top of this blog entry are tantalizing tidbits from my sexy (I'm talking about that cut-away of the bowling ball) pin-up. Also, see if you can pick me out in the awesome wrap-around cover by Rick Altergott:
Finally, here's an old photo of me at St. Louis' own International Bowling Hall of Fame, standing in the hall of Women's International Bowling Congress, which houses beautiful and life-like oil paintings of each inductee. I highly recommend visiting next time you are in town!
(photo by my friend Alyssa. Hi Alyssa!)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Power Trivia Recall

My buddy Paul C. put on a real clinic the other night, showing off his powerful metal recollection abilities. Not only could he recognize every song in the "name that monster ballad" category within 1.5 seconds - often sooner! - he regaled us with various details surrounding the song: back-up guitarists, what the tour t-shirts looked like, etc. Needless to say, we scored a perfect 20 that round. Take note of Adam laughing all the way to the bank (the bloodbank).
Note: after I made the drawing at the top (ink and white-out on construction paper, 6" x 5.5") I remembered that the Scorpions song they played wasn't "Still Loving You" but "Wind of Change". Anyway, we did just well enough in other categories (e.g. "Obscure St. Louis Cardinals Stats", "Historical Assassinations", "Scientologist or just Nutjob?") to come out on top. Here's the loot we took home:
A) Hostess® brand lip balm (HO-HO® flavored)
B) Novelty Washroom Placard (Text reads: "If you sprinkle when you tinkle... Be a sweetie and wipe the seatie")
C) "Animal" Kaleidoscope (supposedly "Lion" themed - just looks like the standard colorful polygons and shit to me)
D) $56 (most of which was spent within an hour on fried egg sandwiches).
In related news, congrats to Paul and Meghan on an awesome wedding shower and upcoming nuptials! I heard Nuno Bettencourt is playing at the wedding.