Centerfold at NY Comic Con

This past weekend was Comic Con at the Javits Center in NYC.  Unfortunately I was only able to make a quick scan of the con which was wonderfully packed for a Friday night.  I did get the chance to check in with the Men from Mammal who had a table hawking their creative guts laid bare for all to see and unveiling  issue #3  (The Fear Issue) with a stunning cover by Tom Forget.  What a talented bunch of guys. The issue looks great with a lot of new contributors and a 6 page fold out done by me , “Fear of Cubicles” (see earlier posts ) on one side and  Devin Clark’s “Fearscape” on the other side. Devin is also the creator of the animated series  Ugly Americans on comedy central.

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(Above) Tom Forget ( left ) and Dan Meth (right) working harder than a Glengarry-Glen ross sales team.  …Always Be Mammaling…

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(Above) Tom  and Dan making my fold out spread in issue #3 look good.

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(above) Dan and his newsprint 4 pager

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(above) Ben Marra (left) and Mr. Forget.

Fear

Previously I posted about Mammal Magazine and my Hemingway contribution to last year’s “Macho Issue”.   The next issue of Mammal is devoted to the topic of Fear.  As bad a pun as it is I can’t help but feel a little apprehensive and yes…fearful about tackling such a  loaded topic. Sort of the artist’s block that occurs from the pressure you feel when  great things or at least something very clever seems expected… you don’t want to fail. Hmmm…maybe I should have done fear of not living up to expectations? In any case below are my preliminary fear sketches from my trusty moleskin.  I latched on to the idea of  a fear of cubicles (cubicle-phobia?).   The fear of cubicle claustrophobia…of being trapped,  dying a slow death in your cubicle. The conditioned rat in a box…    It’s all there.  the one possible hitch is I designed it as a large mural.  With a little bit of luck I can wrangle some type of fold out page  in the next book, if not , my contribuition will be broken up into 2 single pages and two spreads, which would read well too.

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Color Mural Test

Above is entire piece. The I’m still trying  different type treatments for the title at this point but there’s something about the mouse speaking the title that I like.

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Mammal 002 is Out

96 pages of hairy-knuckled madness featuring the work of Devin Clark, Jim Cooke, Matt Dorfman, Eric Eley, Tom Forget, Chris Hosmer, Les Kanturek, Ben Marra, and Dan Meth. Illustration, comics, Picture Editorials, Successes, Misfires & Odd Choices” Get your’s today!    http://www.mammalmag.com/

Mammal # 1 is can also be picked up at the following locations.
Rocketship Comics (208 Smith St. in Brooklyn, NY)
Zakka (155 Plymouth St. in Dumbo, NY)
Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers (218 Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, NY)
Cosmic Comics (10 E 23rd St. NYC)
Jim Hanley’s Universe (4 W 33rd St. NYC)
Giant Robot New York (437 E Ninth St. NYC)
Midtown Comics (200 W 40th St. NYC)
St.Mark’s Comics (11 St.Mark’s Place NYC)
St.Mark’s Bookshop (31 3rd Ave. NYC)
Forbidden Planet (840 Broadway NYC)
Comic Relief (2026 Sattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA)
Zanadu Comics (1923 3rd Ave. Seattle, WA)
Floating World Comics (20 NW 5th Ave. #101 Portland, OR)
Lucky’s Comics (3972 Main Street, Vancouver, BC)

Mammal and Hemingway at ComicCon and MoCCA

This is a bit late but Mammal was present at MoCCA Art Festival 2008 of course showing off their very cool wares (issues, posters, tee shirts, original art). I’ll be stopping by their table and checking out what’s going on. I just can’t say enough nice things about them.

Tom Forget (left) and Devin Clark (right) man the Mammal table at ComicCon in the Javits Ctr.

Tom Forget (left) and Devin Clark (right) man the Mammal table at ComicCon in the Javits Ctr.

There’s a lot of talent there between Tom, Ben, Matt, Devin, Dan and Jim. Ben (Marra) has been gracious enough to stop by my illustration concepts class at Parsons School of Design to show his work and bare his very strange soul. With a little luck, in the fall, I’ll be able to wrangle all of the founders/contributors of Mammal into my class to have them discuss the ups and downs of self-publishing, branding, and their creative process in general. It should be a great discussion and an interesting class.

A Hemingway spread from Mammal #2

A Hemingway spread from Mammal #2

Here is a Hemingway spread from the 2nd Mammal issue “Machismo”.

What to Do With Your Old Cardboard

When I’m working on an illustration that involves a particular object I’m not familiar with and find hard to draw (or I’m having trouble visualizing the hand position on the object), I’ll often mock up a prop. This might involve using something as a stand-in that has a similar shape ie: a swim kick board for the ten commandments, or it can get more complicated. Every once in a while I get a little side tracked and I find myself challenged by making the prop and It takes me on a little…uh…detour.

Here is one of my finishes for my story based on Ernst Hemingway’s suicide part of which appears in Mammal Magazine #2. Hemingway pg.6

While researching Hemingway’s suicide, I found that he killed himself with a shot gun (a Boss & Co ordered through Abercrombie and Fitch). I felt that the gesture he would have used to shoot himself was something I would have to see to draw accurately. At first I thought I’d just take a broom stick to get approximate the shotgun. That was not to be, 2 hours later I had my glue gun out and was scouring the studio for cardboard (a very underrated medium for sculpture). Here is my lovely, supportive wife Deb demo-ing the safe handling of a cardboard firearm.

cardboard-prop gun1cardboard-gun2I’m sure I spent way more time than I had to getting the gun to break at the breach and making a little shell to fit in one of the barrels. I’m actually quite proud of it and sat in my studio staring down the sight for more time than I’d care to relate. For those of you wondering, though tempted, I did not fold origami birds and yell out “Pull!” as Deb threw them into the air. I do plan on designing more objects out of cardboard. There are some wonderful trophy heads sold on line created out of cardboard (cardboardsafari.com), so I am far from alone. I do think that I created a better illustration having made the gun. Which after all, was where I started.

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Ready for any big cardboard game.

Me and my card board gunBelow is one of the reference shots I took of me as Papa Hemingway. A particularly gruesome way to commit suicide. Not only using a shotgun but also that position. It seems not exactly fool proof, but then Hemingway spent his life around guns and a lot of time musing about death and dying. His act in itself was done out of despair over his inability to create and despondency over his bad health.

On a much lighter note I’ll post more photos of props I’ve constructed. Most of them aren’t this macabre. I can only image that there are a number of other artists and illustrators with trunk fulls of pasted together objects used as props in projects, or a least the reference photos of them.