This year has been an incredibly fun year, filled with trying new things. At the end of last year, my goal was to get my work into some gallery shows. I was lucky enough to have work in both Bottleneck and Gallery 1988, and it has been quite a learning experience for me. I was lucky enough to be asked to be in the final (and biggest) group show of the year for Gallery 1988, and it was my chance to do a piece that I have had in my head for so long, for my favorite movie of all time, John Carpenter’s The Thing.
I wanted this piece to reflect some of the biggest influences in my work, horror comics. The subject matter for The Thing fit that perfectly. Tales from the Crypt and other EC Comics were that biggest influence in this piece, but I also took queues from silver age Marvel and DC comics as well. A lot of the drawings are readily available in books and online, however it was a bit more difficult finding out how they were colored back then. I began hunting high and low, and found out just how complicated the coloring process was for older comics. The process is a lot like screen printing. I located a 1970′s DC Comics color guide, and used that as my starting point, and ran from there. The piece is an homage to the opening page in a horror comic, that sets up the entire story (before telling the whole story again, but with more information). Once again, Danny Askar was the right person to help me achieve the old comic book look that I was going for, with CMYK screen printing.
Gallery 1988′s Crazy 4 Cult show is in New York again this year. The opening is December 13th and the show will run through December 21st. Pieces will be available online December 14th. More info on the show can be found on their website.
*sidenote: there are a small number of Night of the Demon’s AP’s in my store!
Holy crap November went fast didn’t it? During Halloween, I felt so ambitious, thinking I was going to do a bunch of blog posts…and as you can see, that didn’t happen at all. My family came to visit me right after I posted the “Monster Cereal” blog post, and after that I got super behind on work. Took on a couple huge projects (one of them being the new season of Goodbie Skateboards), and all of a sudden Thanksgiving happened and now it’s the beginning of December. I swear it was just the end of summer.
In between my last post and now, some pretty cool stuff has been released that I helped out with. This would include some new things from my good friends Paper Root. Some classic streetwear stuff right there.
I also helped out with the branding for new company High Supply. You can check out the lookbook here.
Now I am sure there is a ton of other stuff I have missed, so I am going to try and hunt things down so I can post them. Thankfully, this is the first time in years, where I am actually caught up with client work, and can kind of take a deep breath and start getting my life back on track. The first step in that direction is being a part of Gallery 1988‘s annual Crazy 4 Cult show, which will be in NYC again. For this show I am doing a piece based off of John Carpenter’s The Thing, my favorite horror movie (and possibly favorite movie) of all time. If you follow me on Instagram you have seen a few previews, and I am thrilled with how it turned out. My man Danny should be printing these very soon, and I can’t wait to see them. More on that later…
I had stopped eating cereal for breakfast in the past few years. I suppose that when you start growing up, you look towards other breakfast meals that can provide a better source of nutrients. I grew up in, what I would say is the final decade of the “golden age” of cereal. This was all before a lot of the major cereal brands changed their ingredients to be appear more “healthy”, some of the favorite mascots went away, and some cereals disappeared completely. I grew up eating the classics like Fruit Loops, Corn Pops, Honeycombs, Cap’n Crunch, Sugar Smacks, Lucky Charms and the like, but I can also recall how much I loved short lived cereals like the Batman Movie cereal, Nerds cereal and even the Ninja Turtles cereal. I never got into any of the monster cereals growing up, but I definitely knew about them, and would always pause when I’d see the boxes in the cereal isle. For some reason, my mom never bought them for me, and when I was old enough to buy cereal for myself, I never grabbed them. Things changed this year, after my man Dinosaur Dracula broke the news that every single monster cereal was being released this year. Count Chocula, Frankenberry and Boo-Berry had all been available the past few Halloween’s, but this year General Mills was re-releasing Frute Brtue and Yummy Mummy as well, both of which haven’t been around since 1984 and 1993 respectively. And not only that, but Target was releasing them with their classic packaging…it was too much of a cool thing to pass up, so I bit the bullet and bought all of them, in multiples.
Look at how beautiful this cereal looks! I’ll go out on a limb and say that these might be the best looking cereals ever. From left to right, starting with the top row, we have Yummy Mummy, Frute Brute, Boo-Berry, Frankenberry and Count Chocula. I don’t have any prior knowledge on how this cereals used to taste, but I can say that all of them taste great. I dislike most things chocolate, especially cereal, but Count Chocula tastes amazing, almost like a brownie in cereal form. Both Frankenberry and Boo-Berry taste like Crunch Berries, I have heard that the flavor on both of these is a little dull compared to how it used to taste. Frute Brute tastes like Frute Punch candy, and was shocking at first to taste a cereal like this. Yummy Mummy is my absolute favorite out of all of them, and could be my favorite cereal ever. You’d think the orange cream flavor would be gross, but if you get a handful of cereal with the right combination of marshmallows, it’s life changing. It sort of reminds me of what the Nerds cereal used to taste like.
Halloween is such a fun time, and with the addition of cool things like this, and companies like General Mills listening to their fans and bringing back things that people once loved, it makes it that much better. The only thing that I could top this, would be if Minute Maid brought back Ecto-Cooler Hi-C, but I am not holding my breath.
Finally, I can show you something that Strange Kids Club and myself have been cooking up just in time for Halloween. I was late to the game when it came to Night of the Demons. It was a movie I always knew about, I would always see the VHS cover growing up when browsing the horror movie section at Blockbuster, but I never watched it. A couple of years ago when i was living with some of my college friends, we decided to take the leap and watch it. We would always watch horror movies and try to scare the crap out of each other during them, and Night of the Demons was the perfect movie for that kind of atmosphere. From the amazing music from the opening credits, to the very last scene, it’s 80′s b-movie horror at it’s best.
Strange Kids club approached me a while back to do a collaboration print with them, and this was the perfect opportunity to do a poster for a movie I love so much. When we began working on the poster, Rondal (SKC owner) realized that it was going to be the 25th anniversary for the film coming up, so we are releasing it 25 years later, to the day, when NOTD hit theaters. It’s a 3 color screenprint plus glow in the dark element on Grapsicle french paper, an edition of 50, signed and numbered. Once again my man Danny Askar knocked it out of the park on the printing. You can grab one right now, and if you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading this and go watch it now!
*Poster was done in collaboration with SKC and is only for sale on their website.
The Halloween season is almost over. I have been slacking on my Halloween related posts, but I decided to start with my list of Horror movies that I will be watching this year. I have compiled a list of movies that I haven’t seen or had only seen parts of. I have already knocked out about half of these, and so far From Beyond is my top pick out of the bunch, quickly followed by Deadly Friend and Chopping Mall. Demons, unfortunately I disliked every much despite critical praise. I’ll of course be watching the staple movies like The Thing, Night of the Demons and Return of the Living Dead, but finding and watching Horror movies that I haven’t seen is refreshing and exciting.
September and October seems to be the busiest months for me, but there is a lot of cool stuff coming out, and it all starts with something brand new from 8-Bit Zombie. As soon as we finished up the summer release, we immediately discussed what we were going to do for Halloween. I just presumed we’d work on another lunchbox, but Ross didn’t have enough boxes to be able to do it, so he had something a little more outside the box in mind. He mentioned he wanted to do a Halloween skeleton decoration and I jumped at the chance. I knew it had to involve Tarman, or “The Barrel Zombie” as we care calling it, Return of the Living Dead is a much watch movie, every Halloween. We threw in a bunch of other references (Boglings, The Never Ending Story, My Pet Monster, Nintendo) to keep with the fun 8BZ vibe. I can’t wait to get this guy and hang it on my front door, and then hand it on my office door all year-round.
Another cool thing that was released today, was a Cobra Kai shirt I worked on for Fright Rags. It’s funny, I had been a Cobra Kai skeleton for Halloween a few times, it’s my favorite part of the movie, so it felt perfect that I’d get an opportunity to work on a shirt design like this. I’m going to be working on a couple more things with Fright Rags in the near future, and I am incredibly excited to be able to add them to my client list.
As for the rest of the month, there is something very special happening on Monday with my friends at Strange Kids Club, so keep your eyes peeled. I also haven’t forgotten about writing some special Halloween blog posts (non-art related) and hope to get to a few this weekend. I have just been so swamped with work that I haven’t had the opportunity to do anything else. But I have gathered a bunch of great Halloween related stuff to talk about (complete Tales from the Crypt on DVD, Aaahh! Real Monsters, Treehouse of Horror, Halloween Home Improvement, Real Ghostbusters, monster cereal, candy, etc…) I hope I have enough time to get to it. I have also finally figured out what I am going to be for Halloween, my scientific hero Doctor Dreadful. I hope everyone is having a great Halloween season. It’s almost over, so soak it up and watch as many Horror movies as you can!
Later this month I will be a part of a really cool show in the Denver Area. Ink Monstr is running a one night art show competition featuring myself, along with some other amazing artists. You can find more about it here, and if you can, show up and support me! It’s free entry, and free drinks, so you really don’t have an excuse to not go!
Coming off a pretty amazing summer so far, and having the 3 Ninjas print sell out at Gallery 1988, things have been incredibly exciting. Coming up in a few weeks, the Halloween season will begin. I will be shifting my blog, for the month of October, to focus on some Halloween theme posts, similar to what I used to do a few years ago. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I will be focusing on some of my favorite horror themed televisions shows and Halloween themed TV shows that I loved as a kid. I am also working on something top secret, and Halloween related, with my friends at Strange Kids Club right now. More details will follow as October approaches, but it does involve one of my favorite horror movies of all time.
With the success of the 3 Ninjas print, I now have a small number of AP editions for sale in my shop. As of now about half of them are gone, so make sure you grab one of those before they sell out. And as always, you can keep up to date on things by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.
Well, here it is, months and months of work and planning and finally, the new 8-Bit Zombie release is finally here! This drop is filled with a lot of exciting things, some that have been in the plans since the very beginning of this year. Obviously the most exciting thing to come from the release is the new Thrashor toy, and I’ll get to that, but let me talk about a couple other things first.
Ross (8BZ Owner) put in a lot of time and hard work on this and I think it clearly shows. I love working with Ross and it feels like every time we create magic. Our conversations on the new release started way back in January when we were thinking about new ideas for the new Lunchbox, which actually ended up being the very last item we finished. We had some difficulties focusing on some aspects, and we thought that we wanted a new character to be featured on the box. After we finished the Zombicon design (a little mix of NES and That’s where Noxious comes in. This was an incredibly fun and challenging design to work on, and I am thrilled with the results. It’s so much fun trying to design characters that could fit in the existing worlds of our favorite cartoons. Designing the character, picking out the accessories and coming up with a backstory are all incredibly fun aspects when working on something like this.
Once Noxious was created, the elements for the Lunchbox just fell right into place. We both wanted to feature characters that you don’t normally see from 8BZ, and this included the cartoon version of Robocop, Krang, Alf, Gizmo and my personal favorite, Captain-N. Noxious was to be featured on it as well (just like Thrashor from the first lunchbox), committing his evil act of sliming Captain-N. The lunchboxes are my favorite (and most time consuming) pieces to work on, and I love seeing people flip out over them. Luckily Ross found a huge stock of red lunchboxes so that hopefully everyone who wants one will be able to get them this time around. Unfortunately, due to Ross not being able to find any more large quantities of blank luncboxes, this might be the last lunchbox for quite a while.
I feel like with the lunchboxes and the Thrashor toy, these Garbage Pail Kids items might have went a bit overlooked. The 8BZ GPK stuff had been in the back of Ross’ head for years, and we finally made it happen. He enlisted Pitchgrim and I to tackle a couple cards for the Garbage Bags. I was lucky enough to work on Lucas and Pee-Wee (my hero). Lucas seems to be sort of a “mascot” for 8BZ ever since we made the Lucas shirt years ago, so having him be the “Adam Bomb” for the 8BZ GPK characters. Ross knows how much I love Pee-Wee Herman, so it was an obvious choice to include him as well. Pitch did an amazing job on Cobra Commander and Predator and I am privileged to have my work next to his. I can’t remember who came up with the idea for the “Make Your Own GPK” stickers (probably Ross), but it was one of those things that ended up working out perfectly. These things are incredibly fun and I can’t wait to see what people make with them! Randomly including in the Garbage Bag is a poster of one of the cards, but if you don’t feel like gambling, you can grab the set of four separately as well!
And then we have the toy version of Thrashor. Ross sprung this little guy on me randomly one day and I flipped out. We had joked a while back while designing the Thrashor shirt about how cool it would be if he was an actual figure! Little did I know that he was actually going to make that happen. With all the excitement (took every ounce of energy to not spill the beans on this), I was a little worried that it would be too costly of an undertaking and people wouldn’t want to pay a premium for something like this. But then he sold out in just a few hours and that pretty much shut me up. I am so thrilled that people love Thrashor as much as we do, and sitting here looking at the toy in person right now, I have to say, this thing is pretty much perfect. I still can’t believe it sold out so fast, but don’t worry, there will be more Thrashor figures on the way, and might have a slight variation to him.
Ross always spoils me on these new releases and goes out of his way to send me the stuff so I can have a look at it before anyone else. It’s just one of those things that makes working for Ross so great, he really cares about the products, the artists he works with, and the fans/customers. I have to say, the Heroes shirt by man man Chad Manzo is spectacular. Without a doubt say that once everyone starts getting their packages, they will not be dissappointed.
p.s. you can now purchase my 3 Ninjas print right here.
If you know anything about me by now, it should my my affinity for the things I loved when I was a kid. Action figures, cartoons, movies, and comics were the things that shaped me into who I am today. Naturally, when Gallery 1988 approached me to be a part of their “We Made Them Do It” show, this was a perfect opportunity to dig through my list of obscure ideas and art pieces that I have always wanted to do. Eerie Indiana and Pete and Pete were among the things I wanted to work on, but for this show, the emphasis was on guilty pleasures and my ultimate guilty pleasure movie is 3 Ninjas.
The 90′s were a time when Karate and Ninjas were on top. Coming off the huge popularity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, every kid I knew wanted to be a ninja. At my kindergarden graduation, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my immediate response was “Ninja Cop”. Piggybacking off the success of TMNT and Home Alone (the VHS/DVD cover mentions both of these movies), 3 Ninjas was the perfect movie for a kid like me. My sister and I watched this movie countless times, and even today I find myself watching it every couple of months. It’s one of those ridiculous movies that I know every single line and corny joke. I would unapologetically would rank 3 Ninjas on my list of favorite movies.
I wanted to do the movie justice and included most of the characters that make that move memorable. Color was the most important part of the design for me and included (as close as I could get) the same color scheme as the VHS/DVD cover. I enlisted Danny Askar to print these, and he did an amazing job. The color decision came down to the last minute with both of us not knowing how fluorescent inks would look on yellow paper (Danny had not used fluorescent inks prior to this). After a couple conversations with Danny, I got cold feet at the last minute because I was scared to take that leap, but Danny guided me through the whole process and in the end it turned out better than I could have even imagined. Kudos to Danny for helping me bring what I had in my head, on to paper.
The colors are jaw dropping (or maybe eye burning is better?), it’s interesting to see how these fluorescent inks react to different light. This poster looks different depending on the time of day, and the temperature of the light source andreally pops with colder, more natural light. You’ll be able to see and purchase these in person at the “We Made Them Do It” show at Gallery 1988 (West) this coming Friday (July 26th), and then will be up for sale on the Gallery 1988 website on Saturday (July 27th). I’ll be at the show, give me a high five if you happen to see me!
* 3 color screenrprint with fluorescent inks on yellow pop-tone paper. An edition of 35, signed and numbered, $35.
* You can now purchase my 3 Ninjas print right here.