Thursday, November 21, 2013

Don Martin

I'm always struck about how little I hear about Don's work. For me, he had to be one of the biggest sole influences on my illustration. And you can't help but notice his style in Matt Groening Simpsons or Family Guy. His bean-pole characters along with their huge feet endured torture and humiliation alongside a slew of illustrated graphic sound effects, that were as fun to read as the comics themselves.

Don got his start as a printer typesetter, and later was hired by newly founded MAD Magazine in 1956. He ususally ran 2 or 3 strips in each issue, usually with benign titles, that resulted in their protaganist being mauled or beat up in some way.

Don went on to contribute to some various animation throughout the years including this rare and early VH1 promo from the 80's:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

The World Of Vaughn Bode´

In the mid to late 60's, Vaughn Bode was a true pioneer of underground comic/illustration art. His work centered around 2 main characters: Cheech Wizard, an orange pair of legs with a gigantic wizard hat. And Puck, a simple minded lizard who acted as fall guy.

While this sounds pretty general, his work was some of the most imaginiative and detailed of any at the time. He often placed these characters in various stories and setting, including War Lizards, which involved his characters as soldiers in the Vietnam War. His work was incredibly detailed, and he would often include schematics to explain how his ships and vehicles would actually run.

He passed away in 1975, and his son Mark has kept his work going, as, he's adopted his fathers style and continued the stories rather successfully. His work has been influential amongst filmmakers like Ralph Bakshi and George Lucas.

I first noticed Vaughn Bode's work in graffiti art. Graff writers co-opted his characters into the art, and, they almost became mascots of the subculture. I've painted many Vaughn Bode characters,and, in creating the Quasimoto video 'Bullyshit', as a homage to Vaughn Bode, I had a cameo of Cheech Wizard in the video.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Musical Philanthropy

Amongst a rather ruthless and unforgiving business, you sometimes see great examples of a sort of 'Artistic' or 'Musical Philanthropy'. A good example of this came in the form of a road trip Eothen Alapatt and Chris Manak took back in 2000. Heading up the then fledgling label Stones Throw, the mission was to drive cross country and collect as many rare 45's for an upcoming, now classic, anthology, the Funky 16 Corners.

While they were scouring musty record bins in places like Houston and Tennessee, the shop owners would inform them that some of the original musicians still lived in the neighborhood. This would prompt a get together involving Eothen and Chris with the shop owner, the musicians, and a 6 pack of beer. Then the idea came to them that, why not partner on the anthology, and have the original musicians actually own part of the record, as well as participate in some live promotional performances. It seemed to be a win win for all involved.

I can't help but take away the idea that, as artists, we're here to not only help each other, but to possibly allow each other to thrive and to offer up opportunities what might not have been otherwise. Inspiring stuff!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Milt Kahl Before Disney

A great showcase of some of the legendary animators work before he became one of the '9 Old Men' of Disney:
Thanks to Cartoon Brew!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meanwhile At The El Nopal Press

The man himself Francesco Siqueiros, proprietor of El Nopal Press. Much thanks to Robert Matsuda:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kleenrz Album Art

Just got hard copies of this guy. Front and back images below. First LP art I've done in a couple of years:

Sketchings Vol. 5

Some images of dudes, tarot readings documenting another day in Santa Cruz.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Club Culture 1984

A flier from waay back in the days. A Club Culture Classic. We'd all line up to get into this spot on weekend nights, and we were all barely 14.

Time Boyz

Probably one of the most bizarre projects I 've ever worked on was an animated pilot, developed for MTV. We had an awesome character designer on board named David Preston. Dave had been designer for King Of The Hill, so, it was interesting to see where he was going to take things.

We were 3 animators on he project, and our job was to take Dave character artwork, and 'clean them up', in Flash, in order to have them animate and lip synch correctly. One co-worker of mine Joe Kossuth, took this to a whole new level and made the characters even more insane.

The story involved to punk kids who get hold of a bicycle time machine, and all hell breaks loose. There were about 20 different characters they were throwing at this, and the scope of the story seemed to be sprawling at times, but offered a lot of opportunities for the animators. I was just starting to be comfortable with my abilities as the crew expanded to about 20 people or so. Most of whom came off of the Flash movie Booty Call (And who would eventually morph into the animation production company Six Point Harness).

All he while during production, the studio with whom we worked at was falling apart. Literally, people were being fired, and equiptment was being taken away. The director of the pilot left halfway during the production, and one of our fellow animators was appointed the new director. This went on for another couple of weeks, until we were all notified that the studio was closing and the project was being killed.

It was a shame that it had ended that way, but it was a major learning experience for me, and not only did I get to work with some talented people, right after it ended , I had just gotten some music video work that I probably would have turned down if it'd stayed in production.