Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Business Plot™

An idea I've been kicking around some time is to adapt the book ' The Plot to Seize the White House' which involves the story of The Business Plot.

It was a very real 'coup attempt' that involved World War 1 hero Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler being approached by men who claimed to have the backing of some of the biggest major companies of the day (a purported 30 million dollars). Butler, in a testimony before Congress alledged that the conspirators asked him to head a military takeover of the US Government in 1934, that would enable a corporate junta to be in charge of the United States, and appointed General Douglas MacArthur as it's leader.

Smedley Butler ended up going directly to the press with this information, blowing the Plot's cover. All parties involved immediately denied involvement. After a lengthy Congressional Investigation, it discovered Butlers' claims to be factual.

Monday, August 30, 2010

1985 Vol. 3 Page 12

Getting there, slowly but surely. Below is a sequence of a page 12 in progress. Not quite halfway, but close enough:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


From the pages of Spray Can Art, one of my favorite graff writers was a guy from Amsterdam named Shoe. The book featured some pics of his around his town, and a shot of his graffiti supply laden room. I remember thinking "that 's how I want my room to look!"

From the 'Where are they now files', Shoe is alive and well and directing his work more torward caligraphy. And it's still incredible stuff. Check em out here:

An oldie...

Something done waaaay back in art class just resurfaced. It appears as though I was quite taken with a Taco Trays ability to be used as a bodyboard:

I'm not condoning the theft of the trays, but I think the McDonalds tray worked a bit better from what I remember. These are the things you get involved with growing up in a surf town.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

John “Johnny Mojo” Munnerlyn

In 1995, I was hired as an illustrator/ graphic designer at Santa Cruz Skateboards (which I've sounded off plenty here).

John Munnerlyn, or Mojo as he's known, was the art director and my boss. He'd been at Santa Cruz since the salad days of the 1980's when the company was up there with Puma and Nike in terms of prominent sports brands. He'd worked under then art director Jim Phillips, and Phillips influence carried strongly to Mojo's work. Mojo created a vast number of the skateboards (about 6 a month), and his work never ceased to amaze me. Here's some of my favorites:

Also an accomplished musician, playing blues/ rockabilly guitar with a number of outfits as well as a stint as drummer with the infamous Diesel Queens.

After a good 12 years of creating skate art and merchandise, Mojo has since moved on full time fine-art career creating skate graphics now and ten and also heading up his own brand American Sideshow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Page 6 Inks

Moving right along. The inking process can be a slow and arduous one, but, 25 more pages to go:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wild Style

Everytime I watch this, I seem to find something new. I was showing this DVD off to some friends who'd never seen it, and couldn't believe their eyes. While it's a ultra low-budget, terribly acted, nonsense of a storyline. The actual players of the early days of Hip Hop actually play themselves in this. Fab 5 Freddy plays himself as an opportunistic scenester, while Lee 163d plays the lead role as a rough around the edges young graffiti artist.

Also, the portrayal of the Downtown hipster art scene is hilarious and totally accurate. Look for cameos by Chris Stein, Biz Markie and Mr. Magic.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Graffiti Scultpure

Some pretty amazing stuff:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fantastic Planet (1973)

This French animated film originally called La Planète sauvage directed by René Laloux, stands out as one of the most strange and amazing animated features.

The story itself is really beyond explanation, but it mostly delves in the idea of humans being kept as pets by a strange foreign species. One of the humans decides to escape, and film is his advnture. Mostly told in pantomime, I belive the english speaking version is posted in full here:

The music is a weird electronic, funky mixture. Aficionados will recognize the samples from most of Madlibs Quasimoto LP (2000).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Understanding Comics

During my days at NHS, a co-worker of mine introduced me to Scott McCloud's 1994 book 'Understanding Comics'. What at first seemed like a shallow primer on 'how to draw your own comics' turned out to be an amazing study on the basics of storytelling and symbolism of imagery. he puts all of these elements together to make the case for 'sequential art', which is term that Will Eisner coined in his also groundbreaking book called 'Comics & Sequential Art'

He followed up with an even more detailed book on the transfer of the printed page to the digital realm called 'Reinventing Comics'. This book goes on to explain Scott's theory on digital distribution, and hits on the concept of 'micro-payments'(which is what Apple's been successful with with iTunes').

THese books have gone on to win numerous awards as well as be required reading for most graphic design/illustration courses (CalArts requires it as a text book).


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Studio One

One of the greatest ska/calypso/reggae labels also boasted some of the greatest LP covers. Founded in 1954 by Clement Dodd (also known as Coxsone) the label would be one of the first of it's kind to feature some of the earliest Ska and Blue-Beat. Back in 1998 I had a chance to interview the man himself, who was well into his 70's, on a phone line that sounded like it was underwater. He'd been living in Brooklyn where he passed away in 2004.

Pretty much having the Skatalites as it's house band, Studio One Records featured the likes of Delroy Wilson, Toots & The Maytals and the Wailers (with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer). Many of which are featured in this mix.

The artists behind these covers are mostly unknown and their names will unfortunately be forever lost in the annals of music-dom. Here's some of the classics:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Font central!

For the uninitiated, House Industries have been making and designing typefaces for a good 20 odd years. These guys found an ingenious way to take something so ubiquitous as fonts, and package and sell them as specialty items.

They introduce a new series every couple of months, and, span the whole spectrum ashtecially from, Tiki, Hot Rod, Planet Of The Apes, Punk etc. They go as far as to track down the original typeface designers, and work alongside them as use their original letter outlines, and transfer them digitally.

They have a great case study with their 'Las Vegas' series released a few years ago, in which they researched the designers and architects of the original Vegas casinos, and made complete typefaces based on the letters used in the signage.