Friday, December 24, 2010

Gritmas 2010

It's Gritmas 2010. Clevelyn is kind of ...buzzing. The energy has gone weirdsmobile. All my friends are geniuses. I've been listening to GZA's Liquid Swords Instrumentals and wouldn't think it, but without the vocals, it's pretty much an entirely different record. There's a black and white cat that stalks territory outside The Volcano. I call him Grand Master. My Winterbeard's in fierce effect. My Ladybird's fierce. The Boss is still watching the over arcs. Dope Lights abound. Work, unyielding.

Go. Find your families. Eat something. Spend some time warm, and at rest. Don't worry, the Angels and Heroes will hold the line until you get back. With a full heart for 2011.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peace, Love & Rock n' Roll

My good friend Bonnie hired me to draw/design her holiday card this year. It came out great and I'm stoked I was able to nail it the way she requested.

Bonnie works at The Rock Hall, which you can see in the background on the left. The layout and everything is pretty similar to my postcard for Gritmas, 2009, but it's such a universal image I think it carries over pretty well.

I hope everybody is staying warm out there in Clevelyn and around the world. I had a couple minutes to kill yesterday so I stopped by Lakewood Park. I was the only person there. Just me and about... 100 geese? Anyway, Someone had made these enormous snow man components (three huge balls of snow), but then clearly had no way to lift them and create the actual snow man. I felt kinda bad for him, but... I was still pretty impressed by whoever did that.

Thanks Again, Bonnie!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Faster Than a Speeding Gritmas

Scanned this a while ago, maybe as long as a couple years. I'm pretty sure I would never be able to find the actual physical photo to look at and check. I guess this was somewhere between 82 and 84. I have no idea. I was busy saving the world.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Two back to back art shows
by JOHN G.

In January of 2011, local artists John G. and Jake Kelly are presenting two art shows in Cleveland Heights with back-to-back opening receptions. These two artists are well known for their rock-show posters, comics and murals that can be seen all over town. This will be the first time these artists have ever presented their work together on a shared bill and the first time either of them have opened two shows on two consecutive nights.

The first show, “10 IMAGINARY MOVIES”, will occur on Thursday, January 13th at the B-Side Liquor Lounge. (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., beneath the Grog Shop) For the last year, Jake Kelly has worked on a series of full-size movie posters designed for movies of his own creation. He has made up a world of fictional actors, directors and production companies down to the last detail (including involved synopsis and production histories for each) for 1970's style horror and exploitation films such as “DON'T GO IN THE YARD”, “HELLSHARK” and “THE LAKE ERIE MONSTER”. Kelly enlisted the help of fellow artist John G. to further add to the illusion of reality he was creating. John has used his considerable design skills to create a huge array of ephemera and movie memorabilia: VHS boxes, production stills, novelizations, action figures and many more odds and ends. The opening reception will be held from 7 to 10 pm and the artists will be on hand to discuss imaginary plot points and the merits of made-up directors. This show is proudly sponsored by Melt bar & grilled.

The very next night (Friday, January 14th), just up the road at Heights Arts Gallery (2173 Lee Road) John and Jake will be presenting the first major exhibition of their combined rock-show poster artwork, “A FEW HUNDRED POSTERS”. Best known for their striking and imaginative show posters, they have, combined, over 1,800 fliers and posters to their credit over the last 15 years. They will be showing nearly all of these. On the walls will be original artwork and prints as well as a mammoth installation and displays elucidating their mutual creative processes. This will be the first time their posters have been exhibited together and fans of their work (or Cleveland rock n' roll history for that matter) will have a chance to see their massive body of artwork together in one place. Special thanks go out to the Beachland Ballroom and the Grog Shop.

Both shows will run through February 2011, but we encourage you to join us at both opening receptions to meet the artists and take in the artwork.

*the B-Side Liquor Lounge
2785 Euclid Hts. Blvd.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118
(216) 932-1966

*Heights Arts Gallery
2173 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118
(216) 371-3457

*John G.

*Jake Kelly

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Killing Weeds

This is a piece I've been working on for a bigger picture type thing I'm in the middle of. I'll post a proper announcement soon, to get the promo ball rolling, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to throw this out there into internet-land.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Mighty Macaroni Melt Returns

This month's Melt Special is the much anticipated, with very good reason, Mighty Macaroni Melt. It's the gooiest, warmest, most cheesy thing you can possibly eat, and it's gotta be one of the best sandwiches known to man. The Mighty Macaroni Melt is Creamy Homemade Macaroni and Cheese that's been formed into a brick, breaded and fried, with another serving of a cheese of your choice on the sandwich. I personally would go with cheddar or pepper-jack. I've heard of people ordering both herbed cream cheese and cheddar and getting jalapeño add-ons to make it almost like a Big Popper/Mighty Mac lovechild.

When I first got my first cat, Rider, his name was Macaroni at the kennel. I never asked why they called him that, but I changed his name to Rider because he was super chill on the ride home. It wasn't until a hot minute later when a friend's little 4 year old dude came over and immediately yelled out "That cat looks like a
Macaroni Penguin
!", and it blew my brains out the back of my head.

Last year, I drew Santa's Meltshop, this year I really wanted to do something else that was fun, and as much of the winter season, but not really tied to any religious holiday. Also, Macaroni Penguins are pretty good at sledding, so I've heard.

I'm pretty happy with the colors. I wanted the sandwich to look as warm as I could, and the scene to look as cold and chilly as it actually is outside here in Cleveland. Man, I love drawing.

I also just want to mention the Personalized Melt Posters again, for full on details check out this blog post: HERE.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

An Art Massacre/Killer Yeti Unleashed

This Saturday, December 11th, 2010 AD, it's another huge ridiculous overkill art exhibit thrown by the lunatics that brought you MAYhem, and a gajillion other bonkers art shows. This time way down the street on Waterloo in Collinwood. Right across the street from Blue Arrow Records. This time called "Heather Young Presents: A Holiday Art Massacre on Waterloo". There are three separate facebook event pages for this event, but here's the true one: HERE

My contribution to the show is a pretty big print of the full color art from the poster (above), and then the actual original black and white drawing (below).

Here's the drawn text, in all it's inked out glory. Look at all those names. I think I possibly spelled a couple wrong, but that was how they were given to me.

Then I used this splatter pattern to color the thing. It's endlessly fun to make this shit.

A Bachelor in Cleveland 7: Our Beard Flint

After a long busy busy absence, the Cleveland Bachelor has returned to bring to the city a couple shows that Jessie Torrisi, all the way from Austin, Texas, is playing this Friday. One at Blue Arrow Records, then at Arts Collinwood Café!

This poster is kind of different from my usual, and I'm pretty happy with it. It was pretty much a riff on the art for the In Like Flint poster, originally painted by legendary poster artist Bob Peak. I've never seen In Like Flint or Our Man Flint, but I've always loved that design work. Note the Blue Arrow rescue kittens and the Bachelor's own dogs.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Enter The Gritty Melt/Personalized Melt Posters

This, my friends, is a poster for the signature sandwich I often order at Melt bar & grilled. It's bothe Pepper Jack and Herbed Cream Cheese, with an Avocado, Fries and Vegetarian Chili Add Ons. It's an awesome and ridiculous sandwich. Feel free to order it, and ask for it by name.

So for the art, I opted to go with a likely scenario. The Robo Version of Melt Madman, Matt Fish in his, sneaking up on the fairly accurate Magenta Wolf version of myself, in a crusty bombed out background. Matt sneaks up on me pretty much every time I see him. It's all very disconcerting. In the drawing I'm holding a Gritty Brew Root Beer, and I've got on the bag I almost always wear. This is a brush and ink drawing on an 11 x 17 drawing board.

Here's the background by itself, a separate drawing on a smaller piece of drawing board.

Here's a thing of splattered ink I used specifically for this poster, when I colored it in photoshop. I ghosted this texture over the background.

This drawing is, again, on another smaller piece of drawing board.

Text drawn with pens on a regular old sheet of 8.5 x 11 copy paper.

Here's the rough drawing I drew to start this whole shebangalang. Pencil sketches, again, on copy paper.

I know what you're thinking. You're looking at this, and asking yourself "Who the hell does John G think he is that he deserves a signature Melt sandwich?" or "Why didn't I think to order fries and chili on my sammich??" Well, to be honest, as much as I love this sandwich and have a huge ego, I drew this poster to exhibit something I'm going to offer from now on.


That's right. You can now get a poster of your, or a loved one's, favorite unique Melt Sandwich featuring your own personal requests for the artwork. I'm pretty sure this would make a great gift for that Melt Fanatic in your life.

The way it works:

You have to come up with a name and some sort of reference points for the images in the poster. For instance, your best friend in the world is named Fred Gunn. He loves Melt and usually opts for getting a Kindergarten with Smoked Gouda, a Pirogi, Roasted Garlic, and Bacon Add Ons. This we could call The Smoking Gunn. Let's say this friend really loves, I dunno, Brit Pop, The Cavs, and the movie Danger: Diabolik. So I would use the graphic sensibilities of those things to come up with a poster using the likeness of your friend Fred Gunn in some capacity. This is where I would need a photo of your friend. Even if you're interested in my drawing your friend as a robot or animal, I'd need a photo to capture "them". I can help with the naming part too, if that's something you need help with.

I'm offering Personalized Melt Posters for $100. I would prefer to get half up front, in cash or check, or paypal is also fine. Then we can hash out the details and get the show on the road. I don't have a problem getting things done quickly, but please allow at least two weeks before you need the finished prints in hand. My email is

What you would get for the hundred is:

All the original drawings from the poster, including the roughs, splatter, and text.
Six 11 x 17 full color posters of your design (additional prints would be extra).
Also, higher and low resolution jpgs of the posters for internetting it up.

I'll also make a few to hang up at the two Melt locations along with the monthly specials and movie tie-in posters. I'm going to look into getting some kind of "Personalized Melt Sandwich Catalog" for the restaurants if this turns out to be a popular thing.

The Dude Abides

This month at The Cedar Lee, the Late Shift feature is the amazing Coen Brothers piece The Big Lebowski. Oh, hey, The Late Shift has it's own facebook fan page. If you're into that kind of thing, become a fan!

In celebration of this cinematic achievement, Melt is offering the insane "The Dude Abides Melt", AKA: "Balls And Pins", AKA: "The 7-10 Split". It's Homemade Italian Style Beef and Pork Meatballs, Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Provolone and Romano Cheeses, and Marinara Sauce. There are also specials on White Russians and a White Russian Bread Pudding desert special.

Here's the black and white line art, for your full on bowling image pleasure. I was skeptical when The Big Cheese, Matt Fish, asked me to draw the meatball and the mozzarella sticks in a bowling motif, but I gave it a shot and I think it worked out really well. Another thing I will say, it is reeeaaaly fun drawing The Dude and Walter. Seriously had a blast with these dudes. I should have scanned my roughs and other notes, but I forgot to.

Speaking of forgetting, last month's Late Shift film was The Road Warrior, and melt threw down with The Lord Humongous Turduckin Melt. I can't imagine what it would have been like to eat that thing, but goddamn. I mean, GODDAAMN. Apocalyptic.

Here's the colored illustration:

Here's a desert card I made for Melt this month, but the White Russian Bread Pudding is only available this weekend:

Here's the table card for the rest of the month, featuring the Sugar Cookie Peppermint Bread Pudding!:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tradition + New

Heights Guitars has been there since the dawn of time, but has recently been taken on by new owners, so they're making some positive changes and throwing a great grand opening party this Saturday!

I know it seems like this poster is for an event in direct competition with Genghis Con at The Beachland Ballroom, but I beg to differ. I think this exemplifies the amount of awesome stuff going on in Cleveland, the East Side, even. You can easily go to BOTH of these events, and get some of that crazy holiday gift shopping nailed down in one afternoon.

I initially had no clue what to draw for this poster. I was at a loss. I knew where the store is located, had driven past a million times, but never been in. I was pretty familiar with some of the bands some of the employees are in, but again... that's not really information that should play directly into the approach for the store. If anything, it's a great thing to keep peripherally in mind.

In the end, I opted to represent a traditional/psychedelic Robert Johnson, electrified deep in a colorized splatterfield with zip-a-tone. It's a slight departure for me, but that's something I'm more interested in doing than repeating myself at all. I actually really like how this played out. Tradition + New.

Here's the famous photo I used as a ref, obviously.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hellmail 3 (sort of)

So, I've made no secret of my unyielding affection for the depths of awesome that is the thing called HellBoy. Part of that love has manifested itself in the form of postcards that I occasionally send to the publisher, which the comments scrawled on them have occasionally found their way into the letters column of the comics (here & here). Beasts of Burden is another comic that Dark Horse publishes that I have been pretty enamored with since day one. After the first issue I fired off a Lucky Sunshine postcard to tell them so. Then I forgot about it.

The other day I was reading the Hellboy/Beasts of Burden crossover, and got to the end and turned to the letters column, and BAM. There was MY FACE:

Holy Smokes, a mention of Blue Arrow Records, and my dude Lucky Sunshine's story, in the back of one of the best comics ever.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Freestyle Hip Hop + Battle Nite Vol. 2 at Now That's Class, THIS WEDNESDAY. Had to bang this out right quick. Wanted to get colorific but... no time. I will probably go to this, if for any other reason than to eat some vegan gangsta food.

Sponsored by RAP SNACKS:


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pachyderm Deity

Bonkers avant-jazz show at Now That's Class. I couldn't find much of anything on Ballister online, but here's Fred Longberg-Holm, Dave Rempis, and here's Paal Nilssen-Love. I'm a little bit out of my depth, kind of unfamiliar with this genre, but all universal omens point to this being a ridiculously amazing show. The Alex Henry/Nate Scheible Duo is something you probably don't want to miss.

Here's the really rough ruff. This shit has been brutalized, but I just scanned it anyway. Ganesha influence, replaced lotus with the goat, other things with other things. Here is way we meet each other half way.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tre Deuce

My great friend Nicole, AKA: Big Granny, gave me this card for my birthday.

Out. Fucking. Rageous.

Friday, November 05, 2010

New Bomb Turkey 2010

There's a scant two weeks left to get yourself to a Melt location and grip what I think is quite possibly be the greatest sandwich to grace the gap between two thick slices of fresh baked bread ever. Give thanks, goddammit, for the NEW BOMB TURKEY:

Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast
Mom’s Sage Stuffing
Roasted Butternut Squash
Muenster Cheese
with a Sweet Cranberry Dipping Sauce

I think the Mom's Sage Stuffing, coupled with the cranberry dippy, really kicks this sandwich into the realm of the ridiculous. It's really good. Also, there's a particularly awesome Vegetarian/Vegan version available with great homemade (All Hail) Seitan! That's the version I had, and I'm definitely planning on having it again before the end of November.

Squeezing my mind grapes to juice out some good ideas for this poster. I definitely didn't want to do a repeat of last year's homage to the New Bomb Turks. I really wanted to run wild with ideas about bombs, and turkeys. I could see a turkey flying a bomber jet dropping sandwich/bombs all over Cleveland. I was going to hope the fact that a turkey, which doesn't fly but is piloting a plane, would be enough to not directly equate the turkeys dropping sandwich/bombs to turkeys straight-up pooping on the city in the esteemed eyes of the poster viewer. I also thought of drawing a cartoonish old-timey bomb and adding obviously crafty legs and feathers to it. Sort of like when elementary pups add construction paper tail feathers and head, tooth pick legs, and a healthy dose of imagination to an everyday apple to create a tiny turkey. This path of thought would lead to obviously sketchy, possibly offensive, territory.

Turkeys playing football is a thing that's just about as much fun as you can have drawing a thing. Taking it to the next level and making one of the teams The Browns and one The Steelers was fun, but making the QB Number 19... that's just... Clevelandish. I have no idea who the other birds are, or if there even are players with those numbers from that time and place. Late 80s, Brownstown.

Speaking of Apples, I split the Apple Crisp Bread Pudding with a very special lady the other day, and it was bonkers delicious. Bonkers Delicious.

I've got more Melt jams to post up soon, so stay tuned!

Scratch Wolf

Here's a postcard design I recently did for RedHeaded StepChildren Collective. There's a Facebook Event page, here.

Been super busy lately. Times are haywire. Moving, for the first time in over 11 years. My knuckles are getting even more busted than usual.

Genghis Con rapidly approaches. I think it's gonna be pretty goddamn good!

Speaking of Hip Hop, I really love Odd Future. I'm so glad I live in times where this shit is even possible.

Friday, October 22, 2010

GYAKUSHU! Dipp, Mr. Hipp

Here's a diptych for a pair of what promises to be some seriously great metal shows. It's actually an homage to Gyakushu!, a comic by my dude Dan Hipp. RIGHT NOW, for the next ten days (until Oct 31st, 2010), you can read the entire series of graphic novels FOR FREE at THE THIEF IS DEAD! I highly recommend you take advantage. It's an awesome, weirdo, epic fantasy adventure tale of REVENGE and HEARTBREAK. These are easily some of the most fun designed characters to draw. What's better than a guy entirely wrapped in bandages?

Seriously, also look at Dan's blog, he regularly posts pretty amazing pieces based on your favorite movies and comics. All of which are super good, all of which are for sale, super cheap.

This rough is really small, a couple inches by a few inches.

Line art, drawn as one big piece, then broken up for the posters. There's a climactic fight scene that takes place in the snow, so I knew I wanted to add a shload of snow falling. I used three layers of splatter at various levels of opacity. I also used another laying of splatter which I stroked with a tooth brush to give a kinetic vibe to it.

The Invincible KEELHAUL, from Cleveland, is playing at Red Seven in Austin Texas on November 19th. Pack of Wolves, Eagle Claw and Curse The Heavens are also playing.

SkeletonWitch from Athens, Ohio is on tour with Withered and the frantically female fronted Landmine Marathon. Sounds like a completely apeshit show to be at.

Here's a video of Landmine Marathon:

Scion A/V Video: Landmine Marathon - Shadows Fed To Tyrants from Scion A/V on Vimeo.

GODDAMN, I love Heavy Metal.