This is a poster I created for my niece’ annual combined birthday and Christmas present for 2012. I was asked to draw a maze featuring cats. Not the easiest of briefs, however, this was a fun hybrid maze (follow Kaos as he kauses all kinds of twubble), comic (yes, a sequence of panels, temporal shift, etc) and a lot of my typically oblique cultural references scattered throughout. A prize to anyone who is dumb enough to try and list them all. Bigger prize for someone who manages to point out things that even I was not aware of, hence pointing to possibly disturbing emanations from my unconscious. I’ll make prints and sell them at cons. I’ve done 8 of these now, so if I make my century, I might have a nice book in it.
Dirty Harry at it Again
This image was designed as a back cover to a printed serial comic called Stripshow that I was planning to release many, many years ago – before I started winning grants and getting fat-arsed books published etc. In short, getting full of myself. Still, I’m fond of this pic; Harry is a teenaged boy after all. I’d of been tempted at that age, but now it’s just in my mind as a adolescent man. I’ll probably make prints of it and sell them at the cons.
Planet of Sound – Program Guide, The Trip, 3RRR subscriber magazine, 1993.
Hard to believe I drew this nearly 20 years ago. For a couple of years in the early nineties I was an unofficial station artist, creating all manner of ads, cartoons, comics and magazine filler. I even designed their bag and a couple of wine labels for their own rather dodgy vintage. This poster caused a lot of problems upon publication as hosts of various shows were either enthused or dismayed by my representation of their program. I had no idea they would take this so seriously or personally; welcome to public radio. When I drew it, my only goal was to be irreverant and funny, using the program titles as a basis for puns or some sort of free associative image. What ensued was a on-air debate about its merits and for me, exposing the bifurcated volunteer workforce between essentially, the non-PC and PC crowds. I drew another program guide for the next issue that was very sedate. No one complained, but also, no-one was much enthused either. I recently sold the original art to a man who currently works at the station and it appears the people and attitude at the station are much more relaxed, which is good. I may well start doing some things for them again.
If there is one area I struggle with, it is cover design. The gap between my ideal and that of my publishers has sometimes been as wide and deep as the Valles Marineris, on Mars. Yes, I like ‘design-like’ covers. I do not like them to be literal or illustrative, but suggestive and symbolic. Okay, so they don’t indicate that the interior of my books are graphic novels, but so what? Part of my plan to make graphic stories no different to any other literature in the sense that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
St Joeys Art Auction
When my sister asks me to do something for her, I jump. Well, especially if it pertains to doing something I can actually do, such as this for the art auction she organised for my niece’s primary school. It’s family. Uncles do this sort of thing. Funnily enough, St Joseph’s is a catholic school, so my sister was very anxious to make sure I didn’t offend anyone, such that even really benign gags had to be chopped. I think she was being too cautious, but hey, someone might have a red phone to God…
Under The Clocks
OK, so it’s clichéd, but let’s face it, you’ve seen them all at some point under the clocks, except maybe that head with the pig nose. Now, to explain the two versions: well, one is the original A3 landscape image I created. I submitted it, but to my horror I learnt that the exhibition is strictly A3 portrait to suit the space. So I had to work some Photoshop magic to make a new one to conform to the dimensions.
Yes, the full image will be available as a print at the upcoming Melbourne Armageddon convention in October, and other such-like shows thereafter.
Rejected Stripshow Covers
If there is one area I seem to struggle, it is with cover designs. Stripshow had numerous cover designs, of which these are the rejects. I personally liked one of these the most, but I will not say which. They are here for your edification. The stylised yellow cover was based on a poster for some grind-house movie from the early sixties, whose title I have long forgotten, as with where I saw it.
Street Smell Covers
The mid 90’s were a peak in the waxing and waning self-published comics industry, led by chief evangelist Dave Sim. No question that this route is a good one to take, especially when publishers now tend only to pick up new artists after they have established a track record. The internet has made this much easier, but that was still a nascent, geek phenomenon at the time I was publishing. As you can see, I produced four issues: #0 in 1994; #1 in 1995; #2 in 1997 and #3 in 1998. The covers were all hand drawn or painted in the case of #0, right down to the type. They were laid out in old-fashioned finished art, photographed in bromide and then plates made off that. Not a CAAD program in sight. The books were off-set printed in editions of 500 or 1000 copies, almost all of which are now sold or pulped, though I still have a few copies left for propriety. They will not be reprinted no matter how much anyone pleads.
Catz Can’t Sing
This is a digital painting I did for my niece Christmas 2011. She loves cats, but like all little kids, they go through phases of intensely liking something and then moving on without a sentimental look back. I have done six of these over the years and I will upload the others when good images come to hand. For the copyright holders: hey, it’s satirical!