Monday, July 28, 2008


If there was ever an illustration with my name on it, it was this one I did for the Riverfront Times talking about this upcoming event at the St. Louis History Museum. James Eads + Ulysses S. Grant + Civil War Ironclad battleships = LET'S GO!!!
Rough Sketch (to scale):Vector Layout and Palette:Tighter Color Sketch:Ink Drawing:Final Vector Art (the finished illustration with some photoshop voodoo sprinkled on top is at the top of this post):BONUS BLOG INFORMATION: If the synchronicity of this job isnt' staggering enough -- I've drawn an entire comic book about Civil War ironclads, and am working on a print commemorating James Eads -- get a load of this: When I first got the job I was telling my lovely fiancée Jenny about the staggering synchronicity. Meanwhile, Judge Mathis was on the TV set in my studio (important process note: I usually am watching a daytime television judge whilst drawing during the daytime). When they cut to the defendant dude who owed his ex-girlfriend money from an unpaid loan, his name flashed on the screen and it was ... JAMES EADS.
Don't let the smooth-as-silk process sequence presented in this blog post fool you. I do lots more sketches, starts and stops, etc. For a while I was gonna have Eads and Grant be childhood pals playing with ironclads and a toy version of the Eads bridge in the tub:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Scribbles N Strips

Our pal Leon Beyond has been up to a lot this summer; here are a couple of recent strips. And so you don't feel ripped off, included are some DVD special features.
Here's the thumbnail I was working from:This is the sort of reference materials I gather:For this strip:We had just gotten back from Raging Rivers Waterpark and I was watching extreme waterslide videos on youtube like this one:

Which led me to read about the ill-fated loop-de-loop slide at Action Park:
then do this thumbnail:
etc! Here is a bonus pin-up drawing of Leon and a one-page review of the best show I've seen this summer, Torche in Louisville last month.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Print! Mike "Moon Man" Shannon

Following last year's Lou Thesz poster, I've finally got back around to my series of screenprints celebrating beloved St. Louis folk icons. This one depicts hometown South City boy turned outfielder turned 3rd baseman turned Voice of the Cardinals Mike Shannon.
He ostensibly earned the nickname "Moon Man" because of his long-ball homeruns; I heard he once apologized to owner Gussie Busch for breaking some of the outfield lights at old Sportsman's Park, (historical footnote: Shannon hit both the last homerun there, and the first at the new Busch Stadium in 1966) who replied "You keep breakin' them and I'll keep replacing them." When he was forced to put down the bat and pick up the microphone, his nickname has come to represent his broadcasting voice, equal parts sage baseball knowledge, an off-kilter cosmic logic, and hillbilly vernacular. This post from the sadly defunct Redbird Nation I think does a good job of explaining the appeal of the Moon Man, and of why I love baseball in general.
Here's a sketch of sorta how I wanted the poster to look, a portrait of Mike with microphone and a cold frosty one...

...surrounded by a bunch of classic "Shannonisms", which I copied down from a few different online archives, and a couple I wrote down right as he said them on-air while I was working on the sketches.
Here's the ink drawing. Note that the two big quotes in the moon itself are Shannon's two trademark phrases, "Get up Baby, GET UP!" being his home-run call, and "Ol' Abner's has done it again!" being his dedication to the "inventor of baseball" when the meat of the batting lineup is due up in the 9th inning of a close game.
And here's the final digital art, in 3 colors. Get a load of that fancy used-car salesman plaid sportsjacket pattern I did the separations for!
I did two print-runs, one of 75 handpulled prints with white, blue and red ink on 18x24" double-ply brown chipboard (the picture at the top of this post), and another of 25 on thicker greyer chipboard. I'll be selling these around town and in person (maybe at the gift shop at Mike Shannon's Steak and Seafood), but if you'd be interested one in the meantime let me know. I think I'm selling the two editions for $35 and $50 apiece, respectively.
Let's go you Redbirds!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


STREAMING doodle I did the other night in REALTIME. I'm also available to draw designs for your new tattoo, skateboard deck, or side of your 70's conversion van.