Below are a few other miniature cut-outs that I've produced in the past. Incidentally, all of these, including the Temptations diorama, will be on display at the Scott Eder Gallery in New York City, among other 2-D work, in January for the HOTWIRE #3 show. I'll have more details about that soon.
cut-out miniatures from Abandoned Cars
Above: Good Cop/Bad Cop; Below: "BUST", which was inspired by an incident I witnessed from my apartment window when I was in my mid-twenties. Although I originally designed and drew these characters over ten years ago, I still like their energy, and think, once the Temptations diorama is finished, I'll redraw them and design a backdrop.
I have several cut-out designs from around the time I produced the scene above: Others include two drinking buddies fighting in a back alley, Frank Sinatra, an old man (Retiree) working at a Union 76, a growling dog, on and on. In fact, two of those earlier designs - "Man Practicing Tai-Chi" and "Crazy Dude" - were revamped and included in the "American Standard Minature Cut-Out Collectible Series" of Abandoned Cars. Originally, the idea was to produce these as life-size lawn ornaments. I didn't occur to me to make them as miniatures until relatively recently. Nevertheless, the designs for them have accumulated over the years. Although I like them as miniatures, I still want to see them all some day as life-size depictions, even the dioramas. I don't see why they can't exist as both. Below is a more recent one, about six years old: A bum I saw sleeping outside a bodega near where I lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn:
Here's a woman with her child I saw on an Upper West Side (around 105th St.) street corner:
Below is a busker named Ken, who I met in Geneva and was one of my buddy Jesse's friends:
Here's a young Chuck Berry. This is one of the miniature cut-outs from Abandoned Cars. You can still see the old Chuck Berry perform at a bar called Blueberry Hill (roughly once a month) very near where I live now in St Louis:
Chuck Berry above; Rocker Chick below
These are also fun to group together, as well as stand on their own:
This was one of those great freelance jobs that comes along once in awhile. Jason contacted me directly, after reading Abandoned Cars, and asked if I'd be interested in illustrating and designing his new upcoming CD. Jason's a great Canadian singer/songwriter who's music would be considered American Roots music, I guess - by that I mean it's very steeped in traditional country music, without any of the psuedo-country elements that seem to fall under the category of "contemporary country music". Jason and I also share a similar interest in exploring the Great American Mythological Drama, each in our own way. The best way to describe it is to give you a sample of Jason's songs: go to his website at www.jasonhaywood.com or check out his last album on Itunes or at http://www.haysalerecords.com/store/store.php
This was the first time a client specifically asked that I use a character from one of my graphic stories: In this case, the freight hopper (i.e.:Me, at the age of twenty-four) in the SPIRIT trilogy. After getting to know his music, I quickly became a fan, and the rest of the project went well enough to establish the makings of a friendship between us. I highly encourage you to check out Jason's new album, "A Thousand Miles Since Yesterday". It's very solid.
Continuing with the theme of 1950's B sci-fi movies first introduced earlier in the summer with the St Louis Filmmakers Showcase, here the UFO-like movie camera lands in presumably a field covered in snow. Meanwhile, some locals investigate matters. I couldn't help breaking from the 50's genre in one way: The boy wearing the Darth Vader mask. I couldn't help myself. I guess he's kind of a portrait of the artist at the age of seven. And the guy standing next to the little boy looks a lot like my grandpa Bert, who did everything he could to help me construct and engineer a time machine, but it never really worked very well.
So now that these commercial projects are completed, I can finally get back to comics....and thank God for that.
Here's the revised version of Arts & Entertainment. The art director decided - quite rightly - that the borders and frames of this piece needed to be more consistent with the other illustrations in the series. Hence the new hand-drawn typography and banner. I decided to leave the rest of the illustration frameless to emphasize the "vastness of space", etc. I hope this'll be the last time I upload a picture in this series. The love affair is over; the feeling's gone. C'est la vie. Ooo-wa...ooo-wa...
Think you already saw a Bars & Clubs illustration for the series? You're right: It was Santa Claus getting a knee in the gut in the parking lot of a strip club. The client decided to use that for a different purpose, so I had to come up with a revised illustration. This new idea came to me in a dream, actually. Anyway, this is the last in the series.
Another in the Best of St Louis section pieces, SPORTS & RECREATION introduces Bad-Ass Burning Baby to the series. Burning Baby finds his origins in a poster I produced in collaboration with my friend Derek for a Halloween show being put on by a band called Dark Star Orchestra - a Grateful Dead cover band - in 2003. I thought that, for the Best of St Louis series, it would be interesting to pit the Burning Baby against a Kangaroo in some sort of boxing match - a sideshow event quite popular in the classic days of the traveling carnival. It seemed a great venue to show the full capacity of Burning baby's menacing nature. To emphasize that point, I placed him in the famous pose first struck by Muhammad Ali over the body of a felled Sonny Liston in 1965. Below is the original Halloween poster in which Burning Baby made his debut:
I liked the menacing quality of the baby's expression so much that I decided to include an echo of it in one of my absurdity posters (see the "absurdity projects" section of my website, jackienoname.com, for more details). See below:
Here's a picture of some of the absurdity posters in their final state: Pasted to a wall somewhere, in multiples. I couldn't find a photo of a grouping that included the PLEASE DON'T CRY baby. I remember pasting some down in New Orleans a few years ago, but I can't find the pictures I took.
By the way, we have copies of this poster available. Let me know if you're interested: They are $20 a piece.
Although Burning Baby has a traceable history, Kickapoo Kangaroo has not. Nor will he ever, most likely, be making another appearance anywhere else.
While I was searching for the PLEASE DON'T CRY absurdity poster, I stumbled across aonther one that I never put into production, and had, in fact, forgotten all about. So I decided to post it, for old time's sake.
And, speaking of absurdity projects, below is a picture of myself with one of my lawn ornaments, MAN PRACTICING TAI-CHI. This picture was taken on Nantucket Island, I believe, in around 1959 0r 60. It was taken by my ex-wife Grace, who, as it turned out, never really loved me.
This illustration came to me while I was watching the Royal Tenenbaums: The a scene in which Pagota stabs Royal with a pen knife and calls him a son-of-a-bitch. It seemed natural to me that a similar scene might perhaps take place in the parking lot of an East St Louis strip joint at dawn. I thought a stabbing would be a little brutal, though, so I went with a knee in the gut. I once saw three men dressed as Santa Claus hanging out together at a place called Pop's, right next to the OZ. They were smoking cigarettes over drinks in the wee morning hours, and the scene was very strange, especially to the soundtrack of a band called Two-Dick Bob. And it was in the middle of the summer. At any rate, that's why I chose Santa Claus as the victim of the beating shown above. I would've depicted the whole scene in the parking lot of Pop's, but the parking lot outside of Pop's isn't as barren as the one outsize OZ. This turned out to be the most depressing scene I've ever illustrated.
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.
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.
Above is a recent op-ed piece for the New York Times for an article that dealt with a jounralist who had been kidnapped and jailed in Iran's notorious Evin Prison.
The above image is the cover for the 2009 Riverfront Times Best Of issue. The concept for this year's issue is pretty clearly based on old circus posters. One of the most tempting aspects attracting me to this job was to be given the opportunity to tackle the entire design, including the hand illustrated text and the central illustration, making for a completely integrated final piece. There will be several insert illustrations for eight seperate sections: So stay tuned...
This year's concept for the summer St Louis Filmmakers Showcase and the Int'l Film Fest this fall is a play on B-movie science fiction movies from the 1950's - specifically 1958's "The Blob", starring Steve McQueen. Above is the cover for the showcase bulletin.