Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Neal Adams!

Since I was about 9 years old, the name Neal Adams has always had mythic proportions. I started to get serious about my comic book collecting at about that age, and all I knew was the particular issues that he had drawn were all about $30 in value. I didnt even have the ability to SEE the art close up, much less own any.

For Christmas a few years later, my brother Joe had bought the full X-Men/ Adams issues for me (these would the first work he'd done for Marvel, and would go on to become very valuable). I'm not sure how my brother knew to get those particular issues, but, it was surprise to me!

Over the years, I would start to accumulate more of Neals work, and ended up with a nice little collection (as I said, most of his books were a bit too expensive for me, but I managed to find some in relatively good condition). Little did I know, Neal had also become a huge proponent of 'Creators Rights' among the comics industry, and was solely responsible for some of the aging creators to see profits from they're characters (that were now being made into multi-million dollar movies/ properties).

Fast forward almost 20 years, and I was heading up the 'Animation' section of the newly formed 'Digital Entertainment Network'. We were having meetings with random content creators, and they told me I was to have a meeting with "Neal Adams' who was there to pitch us content. I wasn't sure it was the same guy, but, sure enough, here I am having a meeting with the man himself. Once our 'business' was over, I had him sign a few things. I was starstruck, even though most people in the office had no idea who he was.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Displays 2!

A couple more displays in the works.Was hoping to get these up and out before the holiday, but considering 1985 Vol. 4 is about a month away from completion, this will have to wait a bit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jeff Jank

Every picture has a story, and in this case, every album cover. I had a chance to sit down (ok, virtually sit down) with the art director of Stones Throw. The LA, via San Francisco, vanguard Hip Hop label. Home of artists the likes of Madlib (and his 5 personas), J Dilla, Mayer Hawthorne and a host of others.

We get together from time to time and talk album art, art, film, Herzog, GG Allin. This was one such conversation:

How long have you held design/direction duties at Stones Throw?
I joined Stones Throw as the first employee (just weeks before Egon, the second employee) in summer 2000. I had no duties to begin with, so I invented the job.

With ST moving it's music selling business online, how do you see the role of design/lp art changing, or continuing at all?
In the 70s I think that cover designers had to think about how the records looked when they were in record bins, and in the 90s they had to think about how the CD covers looked on the racks. Today I have to think about how it looks as a 100x100-pixel image on the web, plus those other things too since we still sell CDs and vinyl.

Proudest release you've designed to date?
My proudest release is J Dilla's Donuts, which is one of my worst covers. My proudest cover is Madvillain's Madvillainy because it's a classic album and has one of those classic headshots that every record label should have. Except the head has a mask on in this case.

You originally published a magazine called 'Jank'. Will there be any more issues planned for the future? Any on EBAY?
"Jank" was a one-page magazine/newsletter/flyer/newspaper before it was my name. It's only my name because I'm hiding my real name from the cops. The next issue of "Jank" has been only hold for 8 years while I try to secure my first-ever advertisement. I am charging $50,000 for a full page ad if
anyone is interested. "Jank" is only two pages.

Can you clear up the urban legend about your past residency in a laundromat?
This urban legend is fact. I lived in a laundromat in Oakland CA for one very interesting year with 4 hooligans. We had clean clothes all year, but everything else was a mess. On our last night at the laundromat we had a wild party. I fell through a plate glass window and suffered not even a scratch. I avoid laundromats now because I figure my luck has surely run out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Adventures Of Herge'

 This is amazing, and I'm surprised I've hadn't heard about it yet! With all of the popularity and attention Tin Tin is getting now, a European artist has created an adventure about Herge himself. Herge had a pretty incredible history, especially surviving 2 world wars and keeping his character relevant throuought the years. Below aree some sample pages thanks to Slate.com:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ampersands Are Sexy

Herb Lubalin's amazing ampersand.
Below are a few other images of his design work...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


On of my many ambitions regarding 1985 is someday to apply color. This isn't happening now mostly due to time constraints and printing costs (the latter being the bigger issue). Shelf price on a 32 page color book would probably have to rise to the triple digits. No dice. Some would argue that black and white suits the medium, but I'd like nothing better than to one day color these pages.

As far as running it online, it's a bit more practical (though I'm still one of those huge proponents of 'physical comics' over online). Till then, it's fun to dabble in.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I came across this great Intermission clip form the 1950's. My guess is that it was created by UPA,
which is United Productions America. Those guys were around since the 30's and produced numerous animated cartoons, safety, military, industrial shorts. They never really recovered form McCarthy's persecution in the 50's, and eventually folded.

That smorgasbord of media known as YouTube has tons of their stuff. Check it out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Brief Rant

Bret Victor is a user experience guru. He worked at Apple for almost 10 years, in their UI, design department, which tries to answer the question 'what would users want'. And basically devise the new generation of 'tools', in the form of interface design, engineering etc.

He's written a 'rant' here explaining these ideas and where he thinks UI design is going and where it SHOULD be headed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Design Markers 2

I still have my entire set, and still break em out from time to time. This pic below is back when I didn't even have my own computer yet. That blue fade was created using spray enamel of all things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

R. Crumb's Genesis

If you havent had a chance to check out this exhibit at the Hammer Museum, I highly recommend it. Robert Crumb spent the last 4 odd years adapting the book of Genesis, and he does it with surprising accuracy and detail.

From 'Creation' all the way to Josephs burial, all of the events of the book as well as the depicting all of the different successions of relatives throughout the ages.

No rod is spared in this version and some of the brutal and graphic nature of the Bible is clearly represented.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Album Art

The long lost art of the album cover. Ive noted my ideas here as far as what is the equivalent nowadays to album art, but, the LP still stands as the best format for the art covering it. Here are some favorites: