Metal Men

This was a recent project for a cover (seen below). Like most odd one-offs, I was approached with others hesitation regarding a somewhat whacky idea, and immediately said "no problem". They needed a school-desk made of money, and they got a school-desk made of money. Luckily the pennies could be recycled back into usable cash. But that didn't happen without a substantial effort to separate the hot glue from the coppers. In fact, it was more difficult doing that then it was constructing the chair to begin with.

Nuff said. 

Just In Time For The Weather To Confuse Its Way Further...

I present a recent cover illustration, or as I like to call it: "a chance to crack out some (sub-)Crayola watercolors". Going through a few "changes" as it were, sometimes one must muster their strength and figure out a way to make "magic" on the cheap. I had to make a skywriter presentation illustration, and on the "fast and furious" at that (ok, enough quotables). 
I figured such a cover would be a bit of a loose puzzle, so away I painted. Using red, I knew I would be able to subtract the lines and text, plus a fair amount of the watered down sections, so that I would have little to do to make a decent, airy skywriters vapor. After a little working and re-working, I managed to put something presentable together.  
... and such is the "make" of the venture. 

Another recent illustration of a fairly felonious simian. The classic "monkey on your back" for the out of work with criminal pasts. 

Splatter on!

I present the current Piladelphia CityPaper Cover! This story (like many) was presented simply as "a quick look into the variety of Fairmount Park goings on". Ok. Looking into it, I saw that the drinking/ fireside drum circles/ cricket/ outdoor clubbing seemed to be the primary focus'. So off the ideas went into the pot and voila, to the yellow paper I went.  You can spy the process below...
The First Stage

The Second Stage

And finally, here is the finished spell. 

The Water's Rising!

Byberry...the ghostly remnants of a living hellhole. Anyone familiar with the old (now bulldozed) legend of the Philly State Hospital (Byberry) knows the haunting stories that were scarier when the living inhabited the place. Here's a cover where, for some reason, I spent longer finishing the tiny beds (shown below) than I did on the whole final caboodle? 

I wonder what's going over top the old haunted houses? Hopefully its not gonna turn into a real-life "Poltergeist". Maybe hopefully it does?

Pump Yer Brakes!

Random, last minute, "We needed this yesterday" projects are certainly one of my specialties. This fit right in there. This was for a cover story highlighting a new production of, oh you can read what it is. Anyway, apparently a few sources fell out, and the powers that be needed something fast and good. I am pleased to say I was called in for just such a job. To get the old, worn-in look of classic posters, I relied on the classic, worn-in #2 pencil for the whole shebang. There is a huge difference to the more refined graphite, and should not be ignored when needed. 

Also, recently I attacked this cover job for a mis-trial story. A bit of a late update, but the home studio is abuzz with new projects! More on that, as things move forward...

The Nerve of this Empty Pen!

I have done many small cartoons/illustrations for print before, but never have I been given  a full two page spread to illustrate, until recently. I can tell I like a project when my mind begins working on different ideas as soon as I am given "the lowdown" on the it. This was absolutely the case. Its been a long time I had worked on a full comic, and I was ready for it. 

This story, written by Jess Bergman, tells the tale of Harriet Cole. Harriet was a maid/washwoman in the late 1800's who donated her body to science. Dr. Rufus Weaver was, using her donated corpse, able to accurately separate her nervous system from the rest of her, for the first time ever. Back then it was a scientific miracle. These days, it is still on display, but is mostly seen as a creepy thing in a case. 

I had been avoiding comics, mostly because I was unsure of my ability to really do one justice. Reading: no problem, even writing: no problem, but illustrating....ehhhh. After this, Im ready for more. I have already begun another. 
A small portion of the comic was separated (much like her nervous system...ehhh folks?)  for the cover.

These are the first and second sketches made for the comic. The first was just me ramblings during the initial meeting with the writer. using those, I was able to craft a more solid idea of what the comic would be. Some things were changed, but this (like all in the sketching process) were vital to solidifying MY nerves in making this comic. Fun too.

Like Catching Salamanders.

Some stories take forever to tell, some just take forever to write. This story is nether and both, and still slightly unknown. This cover was one whose scant details I was given before this past summer. For that cover, I drew out a few options (as seen below). This past week, I was hired to illustrate the cover above. Who's on first? Exactly. 

A version of the middleman? I believe so. 

In other news, I recently had the opportunity to wrangle the idea of a holiday "Gift Guide" cover. These days, the illustrative idea horse is a bit rowdier than usual. But such is the challenge of illustrations sometimes. I appreciate a challenge. 

"Will She Trick or Treat - I Bet She Will"

Ooooooooooh Man, Halloween is comin' and I am raring to go! Shame there's so little time to finish my costume. The cardboard and hot glue never cease their call. Aside from that, I present my All-Hallows cover! Lovingly titled "Trick or Tremble", it is the culmination of many hours tireless work. The funny/excellent part of this piece, was that I was given the "do whatever you want" request on this. 

Although slightly tampered down from the immediate ideas I had, this is just what I wanted: A demon parent, bringing their ghoulish kids out to trick, and make others tremble (as shown in the concept sketch below). The ensemble was first made as individual characters, for as-yet-to-be-decided future plans. It probably took twice as long to do so, but turned out to be more fun, and a bit easier to fit into the right assemblage. 

Prints of this (as well as phone/ ipad/ laptop skins and cases. and T_SHIRTS!!) are available at my Society6 store! So check it out!

Also, thanks go to Type-O Negative for the lyrics borrow, for the title. R.I.P. Peter Steele. 

The Knife in the Dictionary

You May perhaps be confused about the title of this post, maybe not. Its a direct reference to one of the many possible title origins to the art movement "Dada". Not far removed, is the connection to this piece  , and the story its for. 

There are some artists close to, and inspired by Marcel Duchamp (as well as both Surrealism and Dada), featured in this article. Since all involved are being shown within Philly's Art Museum, and with a slice of simplicity, I bring you my cover piece above and below. 

I really wanted to provide a cover treatment that followed some of the free-form concepts within Dada-ist works, without going completely unreadable. The framework for the text is supported with angle reflections of the architecture of the museums arches, as well as the famous 72 steps (all of which are present here". 

Though understated, the framework is much clearer in the concept sketch above. Less so, but close in the concept sketches below.