This week's installment is a special homage to Chester Gould's early Dick Tracy strips, such as the two depicted below from March 28th & 29th, 1932. I love Gould's use of silhouette, and tend to prefer the artwork from the early 1930's, where you can tell that he's still developing his drawing technique.
Beginning this week, a weekly serialized strip I've been working on will begin running in the St Louis Riverfront Times: MYTH OF JACK THEATRE PRESENTS: BELLIGERENT PIANO. You can begin following it in print (if you're in St Louis), on the RFT's website (http://www.riverfronttimes.com/microsites/episode-one), or on this weblog. For back story to the Belligerent Piano drama, go to the "Belligerent Piano" category of this site. I've always loved serialized "dailies" such as Dick Tracy, and have wanted to produce one of my own for a long time. Above is episode #1. I actually began working on the concept of serializing this story during the summer of 2008. Now it'll actually see print, which is, for an old-fashioned guy like me, the best possible venue for a comic.
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.
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.