As promised, I’ve included a long forgotten character into the BEST OF ST LOUIS series from the archives of the YOU ARE HERE weekly column: “CHIP, THE DANCIN’ FOOL. I’ve intentionally chosen perhaps the most obscure and forgotten character to resurrect from the YOU ARE HERE columns, for no other reason than that I always liked Chip. Chip’s unique skill is his uncanny ability to interpret just about everything into dance. Although Chip received very little airtime on the YOU ARE HERE show, I had always hoped to include him in more programs – he’s a fascinating interview. It was a sincere pleasure to have found this new platform to showcase my friend, Chip. Incidentally, the art director for this project has been on vacation. The only illustration he’s seen for this project is the RESTAURANT image. His words before leaving went something like: “Go ahead, just keep turning out the junk food!” And so I have. I wish I could be present when he returns to find my latest contributions. I’m sure he’ll throw even MORE money at me, out of pure gratitude. It can be painful having so much money thrown at you. Of course, there’s a better chance that things’ll go the other way: The art director will discover what I’ve done, realise that giving me free reign was about as safe as unleashing a dog in the middle of a freeway and saying, “Go play!”….in which case, I will be receiving less money. Much less. And I wonder if his job will be at stake (after a vacation, no less!). Certainly mine will be. But how many others will I take down with me? NEXT UP (If all goes well): Santa Claus getting socked in the gut at dawn in the middle of a strip club parking lot. That’s the subject of the next illustration. Anyway, I’ve been wearing the exact outfit every day, all summer. Not the same clothes, though: I found what I believe to be the perfect trousers and perfect t-shirt, so I bought seven of each (because there are seven days in a week, if you get my logic). So if you see me and I’m not wearing that outfit, well…it isn’t me you’re seeing.
Archive for August, 2009
OF COURSE that projectile is the Venus of Willendorf! The idea behind this image is the manifestation of asking myself, while eating breakfast the other day, the question, “What would it be like to punt the Venus of Willendorf into outer space from the surface of the moon?” For the remaining section illustrations, I’ve decided to dust off and include a few characters first introduced through the YOU ARE HERE columns I used to produce for the RFT. “Cap’n Clown” (or “Cap’n Carny” or Cap’n Carnage”…haven’t decided yet), shown here in a space suit, is not one of those characters. But I included him in the masthead of the MUSIC section illustration and thought he deserved to be showcased elsewhere. What better place than in outer space on a planet (or perhaps the moon?) where gravity is practically non-existent?
Above is the 2-page spread that will be appearing in the third issue of Glenn Head’s comics anthology, HOTWIRE. I’ve always loved those old postcards that advertise for the location they describe by depicting elements of it in illustrations captured inside bold, garish letters. I’ve split the image in half so it’s easier to see some of the illustration work:
It seemed a natural for Glenn’s anthology. Below is the concept sketch I sent him.
As you can see, I changed the imagery somewhat. Below are a couple samples of the kind of postcards that served as an influence. Maybe the most famous one being the “GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, N.J.”, depicted on the cover of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s first album, Greetings from Asbury Park.
As the story goes, the record company was trying to decide on a good cover for Bruce’s debut album. He came in and showed them this postcard – one that could be found at any tourist place in Asbury Park at the time – and said, “What about this?” For those of you who are “Tramps” like I am, you might appreciate the inclusion of Springsteen in the 2-page spread (yes, that’s him in the “I” – as he appeared in the middle 1970’s, with that ridiculously funky & floppy, oversized stocking cap he used to wear). For those of you who aren’t fans….well, you should just listen to more Springsteen. I suggest starting with “Greetings from Asbury Park” and making your way forward.