With my 2nd full year in the books of doing gallery shows, I was lucky enough once again to end my year with Gallery 1988’s Crazy 4 Cult, this time it’s back in Los Angeles. Ever since finishing my Twin Peaksposter, I wanted to revisit the “Red Decoder” process that I used. One of my all-time favorite movies, They Live was the perfect movie to use this technique. However, instead of doing only a small portion of the poster as the Red Decoder, I decided to use the process on the whole poster.
The Red Decoder actually fits well into the theme of They Live, where Nada finds a pair of glasses and can all of a sudden see the the real world around him. Magazines and signs reveal their true message, and certain people begin to show their true appearance. The same happens with this poster, when you put on the special Red Decoder glasses, things begin to change.
Danny Askar once again did a fantastic job printing these posters, and even helped me create custom They Live glasses, which come free with each poster purchase.
Working a full-time job these days, it doesn’t leave me a ton of room to do much else outside of it. However, when I do have the time, it’s nice to be able to experiment and try different things for these gallery shows. The poster is up for sale right now on the Gallery 1988 website, and you can also stop by the gallery and see the poster in person.
If you have been following me for a while, you probably already know that I am a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. From my countless rantings on twitter about TMNT, to my endless action figure postings, it hasn’t been something that I was trying to hide. This year marks the 30th anniversary for the turtles, from their very first appearance in their Mirage comics. Bottleneck Art Gallery teamed up with Nickelodeon for an art show the celebrate the anniversary, and I was lucky enough to be involved.
Like the majority of everyone else, my introduction to the turtles was through the 1980’s cartoon. Aside from The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is at the top of my list of favorite cartoons and action figure lines. I remember watching my old F.H.E. VHS tapes until they weren’t able to play anymore, and it seemed like my dad would bring home a new TMNT action figure weekly. I still cherish all of those things, and they hold a permanent fixture in my collection. However, as I got older, I started to become familiar with the comic book, and became a huge fan of that as well. Eastman and Laird’s work has become a huge influence on me in the recent years.
For this piece, even though I loved the cartoon so much, I wanted to pay tribute to the comi and to the art style that Eastman and Laird perfected when creating the turtles. A few years ago, I explored the Duo-Tone process (but digitally) for a Threadless shirt, and wanted to revisit that, but on a grander scale. Brawl is a one color screen print edition of 40, and you can go grab it now on the Bottleneck Gallery website!
Man, it’s been a while since my last post hasn’t it? A lot of things have changed for me, the biggest one being that I took on a full time job with Primitive to focus mainly on their new skateboard division. But before I started working for them, I had a slew of other fun projects that I was working on, and the main one was the new stuff for 8-Bit Zombie‘s summer release. The 8BZ releases have been getting better and better with each drop, and it seemed like last year’s halloween release couldn’t be beat, until now…
Thrashor 2.0 is here, and he is better in every way from his previous version. We tried to replicate the feel and look of the old Masters of the Universe toys as much as we could, even down to the packaging. Ross took on the huge project of getting these produced, and I know that it was a huge headache from him, but the end result is just fantastic. I will admit, I was a bit skeptical on how everything would turn out when he would give me updates, but having these toys in hand, all the hard work paid off. Those of you who buy the figure will get a better look at the packaging, specifically the back and how we tried to keep it as true to MOTU as we could. The back also showcases potential action figures in the future if Thrashor 2.0 turns out to be a success. It’s a dream come true to see something that I designed turned into an action figure that I can hold and play with.
The first 100 orders also get a limited edition Thrashor patch, so make sure you get in early to get this. And what would an 8BZ release be without a lunchbox? These things seem to be getting more and more popular, with these ones selling out incredibly fast. We tried to cram in as much nostalgia as we possibly could, and I hope everyone enjoys the characters this time around. This might be the very last one due to limited supply of lunchboxes. Lastly, we have another action figure shirt, this time referencing my favorite toyline, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Roadkill’s backstory is crazy, but you’ll have to grab the shirt to get the full story of who he is. You can read more about the release, and get Ross’s side of things over at the 8BZ blog.
This 8-Bit Zombie release marks the end of a big chapter in my life, the end of full-time freelancing. But with this release, it’s an ending that I am extremely happy with. I’ll still be doing projects on the side when I can, but the bulk of my work will be moved towards skateboard designs, and a bunch of gallery shows I have coming up in the next few months. So keep a look out for all of that on my instagram and twitter, and I’ll try and update this blog as often as I can.
Ghostbusters has always been a huge part of my life. There is something about that movie that just speaks to anyone, at any age. I think my first introduction to The Ghostbusters was through The Real Ghostbusters cartoon and the classic Kenner action figure line of the same name. It’s one of those few cartoons you watch as a kid, that is still incredibly watchable as an adult. Once I got a little older, my parents showed me the movies and they both immediately jumped to the top of the list of my favorite movies. I am terrible at quoting movies, but Ghostbusters is one of the few movies I could probably quote from beginning to end, verbatim. The 2nd one, while not as critically acclaimed, is still one of my favorites as well.
Gallery 1988 asked me to be a part of their official Ghostbusters art show, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the movie, and I was incredibly honored to be a part of it. Back during Crazy 4 Cult, when I did The Thing poster, Ghostbusters was on the short list of movies that I wanted to do in this old comic book style. This time, focusing on one of my favorite comedic scenes in the movie, with an 80’s title splash layout, complete with introductions and legal type.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the artwork printed in time for the New York stop, but it’s available to view at the LA stop, in their west gallery on Melrose. It will then travel to Chicago and end in San Diego during Comic-Con. The only way to buy the print is to attend these stops. If there are leftovers, they will be available on the Gallery 1988 website after the Comic-Con stop ends. If they sell out, I will have some AP’s that I will put up on my site. I’d suggest, if you can, to make it to one of these stops to check out this piece, and all the other great artwork as well.
Wrestlemania is upon us once again. Back when I was a kid, and well through high school, I was a huge fan of professional wrestling. Be it WWF (now WWE) or WCW, I did my best to catch it each week, and Wrestlemania would fall somewhere around my birthday, so my friends and I would get together and watch it. Once I got into college, I sort of lost touch with wrestling, until recently, a few weeks ago when I started watching it again (per the suggestion of Kyle Crawford). Electric Zombie will be releasing a bunch of wrestling related product in the next few days in celebration.
Of course, with any new EZ release, there is a bunch of fantastic shirts. I worked on one that is a mash-up with one of my favorite wrestlers, Mankind, and Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I only worked on one shirt this time around, but the other two shirts pictured are by the incredibly talented Brandon Hart, and there are a couple other shirts by another talented guy, Horsebites. If you grab some shirts, they come in a box (similar to last year), that includes art from my Legion of Doom shirt that I designed for EZ last year. This is, in my opinion, the best box that EZ has put out.
Now, possibly the most exciting thing to come from this release, is the inclusion of the Wrestling Buddies, or Wrestling Deadies as EZ is calling them. I loved these things as a kid, and I helped EZ update the buddies to fit in with the general them of Electric Zombie, emphasis on the Zombie. This first go around for these includes Hulk Hogan and the “Macho Man” Randy Savage (“Macho Man” is, of course, my all time favorite wrestler. These things will be fairly limited, but I can say without a doubt that you don’t want to miss out on these.
I believe everything drops friday, but I believe Kyle was thinking about releasing them a day earlier so you might want to check the Electric Zombie site tomorrow. I’ll update with the appropriate links when the items have been release. And don’t forget to watch Wrestlemania on Sunday!
Update: You can grab all the new stuff right now, unfortunately the Wrestling Deadies sold out before I could edit the post.
The best part about doing art for gallery shows is having the freedom to experiment. My very first screen print for a gallery show was “Three” for the the first “When The Lights Go Out” show for Bottleneck Gallery. Well, Bottleneck decided to have a sequel to the very successful show, and I decided to do a sequel, of shorts as well. Over the past year I have learned a ton when it comes to screen prints, and with “Three”, I learned what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to glow in the dark in. I took that knowledge and applied it to “Your Fate”.
*Actual glow photo
With “Your Fate” I wanted to take things a bit further in terms of the illustration, but I wanted to keep the similar themes of skulls, death and nudity in “Three” and make them work better. I took inspiration from those coin operated fortune teller machines, even down to the fortune ticket you would receive. I’ve had this idea in my head ever since the last glow in the dark show ended, so it’s nice to finally execute it. The glow this time around looks amazing, and I’ve found myself flicking the lights on and off, amazed how how well the reveal works. Danny really helped me execute what I wanted it to look like in print.
The “When The Lights Go Out 2″ opening will be happening this Saturday (March 22nd) at Bottleneck Gallery in NYC, so be sure to stop by. I hear that these openings are a lot of fun. I’ll post up links when it’s for sale online.
This new year has already brought some amazing opportunities for me, and among those, is getting to work with other galleries that I haven’t worked with before. One such gallery is Spoke Art in San Francisco. The timing for them to get in touch with my couldn’t have been more perfect. Last year I became obsessed with Twin Peaks, to the point where I would hunt through message boards and 10-20 year old articles just so I could get more information and knowledge on this incredible show. In turn, Twin Peaks lead me to the “Lynchian” world, where I discovered David Lynche’s wonderful, and thought provoking movies. It just so happened that Spoke Art wanted me to be a part of their David Lynch tribute art show, and I knew I had to do something with Twin Peaks.
Spoiler Alert! Click the image to reveal the secret identity of Bob.
[Spoiler Alert] I knew I wanted to revisit the same comic book style as my The Thingpiece, I feel that Twin Peaks really lends itself well to the comic book and graphic novel medium. However, I have also been wanting to experiment a little bit with some of those “secret decoder” images that were all around when I was growing up. Either as a prize in a cereal box, or in a pack of stickers, it was always something that I loved playing with as a kid. This was the perfect opportunity to show, possibly the biggest reveal in the whole series of Twin Peaks, the reveal of killer bob. The whole piece is a scene at the end of episode 14 (directed by Lynch), where Dale Cooper, the Log Lady and Sheriff Harry are at The Road House, listening to music when cooper gets a vision of the Giant telling him that Bob is killing again. And then we cut to the scene where Maddy is murdered and the reveal of Bob’s true identity, and the identity of who killed Laura Palmer. The title “Back to Missoula” is a reference to Maddy wanting to return home after her time in Twin Peaks, and also the name the the song in the background as she is being murdered. [End Spoiler]
This one is really fun, when you put on these special red glasses (that will be provided with each print), the true identity of Bob is revealed (watch a video of how it works, but it’s a huge spoiler if you haven’t seen the series). This is a 4 color screen print and an edition of 50.
The In Dreams opening will be at Spoke Art Tomorrow (March 8th), and all remaining pieces will be available the following Monday. I will update this post with the proper links on Monday.
Later this week, Bottleneck Gallery will have a new gallery show, “It Came From 1984″, showcasing movies that came out in 1984, and curated by Chogrin. My movie of choice, was The Toxic Avenger. I found out about The Toxic Avenger pretty late in the game. I think I was in college when I found out about it. I vaguely remember watching the cartoon when I was a kid, and I had a Toxie action figure, but I had never scene the movie. Upon first watching, admittedly, it was a little hard to get through. I am a huge fan of campy horror movies, it wasn’t the gore in The Toxic Avenger that bothered me, the movie is on it’s own level of crudeness, bad acting, and the campy dialogue. But I gave it a chance, watched the whole thing through, and then watched it again a few months later with a friend, and that made the whole experience better. And with each viewing after that, I began to enjoy it more and more, even seeking out the sequels, and while Part II isn’t my favorite, I love Part III. Part IV, is still a struggle to watch.
But, like I stated earlier, The Toxic Crusaders was my first introduction into the world of Toxie, so I had to pay tribute to that as well. As soon as the show was available for DVD a few years ago (when you bought The Tox Box), I had to own it. I didn’t remember much about the cartoon from when I was a kid, butI must say, it’s pretty rough. It’s sort of a mix between Captain Planet and Ninja Turtles, and while that sounds awesome, the animation and writing aren’t up to par with those shows. While that is part of the show’s charm, the action figures that accompanied the cartoon, are probably the best thing to come out of The Toxic Avenger universe. They were made by the same company that made the TMNT toys (Playmates), but were so much more crazier and colorful.
This piece was influenced by one of favorite skateboard series, the Roskopp Santa Cruz boards by Jim Phillips, that coincidentally first started in 1984 as well. I think that the skate culture (especially back in 1984), with it’s anti-establishment views, are incredibly similar to the way The Toxic Avenger and other Troma movies were made, and created a perfect mix, and a nostalgic nod tied to that time period.
The Regular version of the poster (Yellow/Green and Pink) is and edition of 30, and the Toxic Crusaders Variant is an edition of 10, both printed with fluorescent inks by Danny Askar. They even look cool under black light. You can grab both of these prints at the Bottleneck “It Came From 1984″ opening this Friday, February 7th. If you can’t make the show, they do an early release with a small number of prints the day before (Thursday, February 6th) at 8pm eastern, and the remaining pieces will be up on their website on Saturday at 12pm eastern.
UPDATE: The remaining pieces are now on sale, you can find the Regular Version here, and the Variant here!
*Pictures do not do the prints justice, fluorescent ink is incredibly hard to photograph.
If you remember, I teamed up with Strange Kids Club a while back on the Night of the Demons poster. Well, they are now preparing to release the 4th issue of their Magazine, through their Kickstarter. Not only did I contribute some art for the issue, but it includes a slew of other fantastic artists. This issue in particular, focuses on legendary toy designer, James Groman, who designed Madballs, My Pet Monster, Barnyard Commandos and more! So head on over to their Kickstarter right now and support a great magazine and great art!