Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Leon Beyond's Guide to Field Sobriety

Have a fun and safe New Year's Eve everybody!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mort Hog!

It's the penultimate (PEN-ultimate) honor for an artist to have a drawing he or she made emblazoned on another man's or woman's bowling shirt, ranking just ahead of tattoo and just behind airbrushed-panorama-on-side-of-van.
I hated to add any more psychic power to team Liquid Striketogen but I drew this for my buddy Brad anyway. See you in the second-half, X2O!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Memory Fast Lane

At my folks' house for Christmas, I snuck a few of my favorite Hot Wheels - still stored in the custom oak case built by my Dad 25 years ago - away from my nephew long enough to doodle them in my sketchbook. It's nice to see the slightly bent axles and dinged-up paintjobs and remember the elaborate demolition derbys we put these little cars through.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blast Off!

Here are a couple of big paintings I made for my friend Owen who was just born a little while ago.
They are inspired by Owen's rocket-styled crib and bedclothes:Originally I was gonna do a big ol' mural in Owen's room, but Meghan wouldn't let me paint a cat on her house. She was cool with the monkey. Here was the mock-up.
So I just ending up doing these instead. The kitty ended up not making the cut anyway, and I replaced it with constellations of a bunch of stuff Owen is sure to hate when he grows up. He'll probably be into the oboe, lacrosse, microfiche and street-luge. And cats. Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 36". Happy Birth & Merry Christmas, Owen!
(NOTE: Owen is not scared of Santa, he's just pooping.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kramers Ergot #7 Signing: Chicago 12/13

I'll be in Chicago this weekend, and while I'm there will be doing a signing for the massive new Kramers Ergot book. It's tomorrow Saturday at Chicago Comics and I'm honored to sitting along some of my favorite cartoonists in the world.I did a big crazy fully-painted 2-page strip (which can be seen 2/3 of the way finished at the top of this post) about football goalposts and the people who wanna tear them down. Not to give away too much, but here's the first panel:Looking forward to seeing pals in Chicago!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ewige Blumenkraft!

Apparently Macy's was selling Illuminatus and other NWO (not to be confused with the nWo) themed T-shirts a while back. The Riverfront Times trys to figure out the who, what, when, where & how. I made a drawing. Purely speculative, mind you.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Beasts! Book 2: Giant Squid

I've got a four-page comic strip in the new monster/ cryptozoological/ mythological anthology published by Fantagraphics Books, BEASTS! volume II. I am honored to contribute a tall tale featuring Architeuthis Dux, also known as the Kraken, the Leviathan, and most modernly the Giant Squid. While doing research I came across a bit in Richard Ellis' book THE SEARCH FOR THE GIANT SQUID about sperm whales (natural enemy of the Architeuthis) that mistake undersea electrical cables for squid tentacles while hungrily scraping the deep sea floor for food. This led me in a direction that involved the laying the first Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, it's subsequent breaking, and the gigantic ship commissioned to locate it. Here are some bits of reference I used in the first page of my strip (shown above):Particularly helpful was everything on the HISTORY OF THE ATLANTIC CABLE & SUBMARINE TELEGRAPHY website. The geography and timeline of the voyage coincided with lots of 19th century squid sightings and battle stories coming from the North Atlantic, especially Heart's Content, Newfoundland. This was also the exact place where the great cable connected to the mainland. Here are what the thumbnails for strip looked like, and some anatomical notes I made on the squid itself:More info on this sure-to-be-great book here, or you can buy it here or here. In conjunction with the release of the book, there's a print show happening in Seattle with an opening this Saturday, December 13. I wish I could be there! My print -- mentioned in earlier blog posts -- is meant to be a sort of commemorative print of the events that take place in my comic. Here's the original art:
And just for the heck of it here's another nature drawing I made featuring the Giant Squid:
And now I've got some of these, courtesy of my pal Andrew "Feelin' Up" Robbins:

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cherokee Print League TOMORROW

I'll be setting up on Cherokee street tomorrow to hawk some printed wares. More info here and here. It should be a cool thing, and a chance to get an awesome burrito. I recommend the place on the corner with the white picket fence, or right across the street at Tacqueria el Bronco.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pirates of Puntland

I've been sorta obsessed lately with reading about the exploits of the modern Somali pirates, and here's a couple of quick watercolour sketches I did last night.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

James Buchanan Eads: Master Engineer of the Mighty Mississipp'

Here are some nuts 'n bolts from the creation of my James B. Eads poster, the most recent entry into my screenprinted St. Louis Hall of Fame. Below is a crummy snapshot taken with my steam-powered digital camera: EADS: 3-color screeprint on chipboard, 18" x 24"
Here was my first idea on how to organize the print:Initially, I imagined the great and iconic Eads Bridge itself to be the primary focus of the print, as it was the thing that had initially drawn me to Eads as a local hero.The "St. Louis / Illinois Bridge" under construction, c. 1870sThe more research I did and the deeper I got into Eads' biography -- particularly this program -- the more fascinating information I found that I wanted to build into the print. The fact that he patented one of the first submersible Diving Bells (fashioned out of a 40 gallon whiskey hogshead), that he made a fortune raising shipwrecked steamboats off the floor of the Mississippi...... that he named every one of his hi-tech surface snagboats SUBMARINE (nos. I - XIII [hey he was a revolutionary engineer, he didn't need to be a creative ship-christener]), that he unwittingly brought about the first outbreak of "The Bends", that he built the first inland "brown water" ironclad battleships for his buddy U.S. Grant...... the idea that the Scientific American nominated him to be President of the USA on the basis of his scientific knowledge, was all too good to leave out. So I started sketching to figure out how to squeeze as much biographical info I could:Although we love James Buchanan (named after the president) Eads like a native St. Louis son, he made many enemies and engineering rivals. A friend described Eads as "… a bitter and unrelenting foe. … To him the unfolding of great and correct principles was more than personal friendships. His beliefs were his friends."You can see I moved to a more symmetrical diagrammatic layout in an effort to carve out more space for fun factoids:And it worked somewhat. There was still a lot more, like the fact that during the grand opening of the Eads Bridge they drove a fully loaded locomotive -- in addition to an elephant --across it to assuage public concerns about how much weight it could handle. Anyway, here's how it turned out:
EADS: vector art, Adobe Illustrator v.CS3
Here is a scan of the only known remaining drawing done by Eads himself:
BIBLIOGRAPHY (of the print and this blog post):
American Experience: Secrets of a Master Builder,
Kouwenhoven, John. "The Designing of the Eads Bridge." Technology and Culture, October 1982
Petroski, Henry. Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America

Washington University in St. Louis Library, Special Collections,
Woodward, C.M. "A History of the St. Louis Bridge: Containing a Full Account of Every Step in Its Construction and Erection and including the Theory of the Ribbed Arch and the Tests of Materials." St. Louis, 1881

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

R 'n R Craft Show / New Prints!

I've got ink all over me! This weekend is the big Rock and Roll Craft Show and there will be a bunch of my stuff -- including some brand spankin' new prints hot off the squeegee -- for sale there. The show is at the Third Degree Glass Factory and from what I can tell will be awesome. Consider this blog post your holiday shopping guide. (more recommendations here.)

1) Giant Squid! Huge 22" x 30" print. Four colors (metallic silver, grey, dark grey, orange) on warm white Stonehenge paper. Based on a comic I drew for the upcoming Beasts! anthology to be published by Fantagraphics Books. Signed and numbered edition of 50.
2) James Eads! The newest addition to my series of St. Louis folk icons. 18" x 24", signed and numbered edition of 75. Three colors (metallic silver, brown & red) on chipboard. More behind the scenes on the making of this print and my research on Eads later.
3) Mike Shannon! 18" x 24". Three colors (navy blue, white & red) on chipboard. Signed and numbered edition of 75. More info here. These are almost all gone so get 'em while they're hot.

4) Lou Thesz! 18" x 24". Three colors (metallic gold, navy blue & red) on double-thickness chipboard. Signed and numbered edition of 75. More info here. These are also almost all gone so act fast.
5) Star Clipper! 22" x 30". Two colors (bright blue, fluorescent orange) on Rives BFK paper. Signed and numbered edition of 34. More info here.
I've also got copies of some comics/zines/booklets with handsome screeprinted covers for sale too. Brand New is volume 1 of the collected Amazing Facts & Beyond, The Factoids of Life: And I'll also have copies of the classic Schematic Comics and Redbird #1:
I'll be working at the show all day Sunday and I hope to see lots of you there. Happy Thanksgiving friends!