Sunday, August 22, 2010


I've been working on a lot of various big time projects and random jams. Too busy to post up regular. Aside from the kitten picture. Been amassing this bunch of stuff I can put up in the meantime while I type/write about the others.

The above is a weirdo warrior dude I just kinda free-styled. I don't think this fits into any particularly accurate historical depiction of any kind of actual warrior. Some kind of weird Pagan/Celtic Gladiatorial Thug. I actually ended up using this on a poster I'll post about later.

This is a panel I'm not going to use from this project where I replaced it with something else that worked better for that specific joint. I like this though.

I really like porchin' it. I remember, as a kid, walking down Edwards in Lakewood, where I grew up. I saw one of my neighbors just sitting on this step that was part of the walkway that lead up to her house, which was one of the only houses set back way off the street. I asked her what she was doing and she answered "Watching the world roll by." I remember that kind of blowing my mind at the time, that a person could just sit down and watch the entire Earth turn. Since then, loitering, porchin' it, stoopin' it, it's all pretty much a valid use of time. I'm a busy dude, but if you don't take moments to watch the world roll by... you are wasting it.

This is my dude, my cat Rider, one of two. He's a big bozo- a Tuxedo Buddy, the most lovable and loving bag of fur that's ever purred and meowed. That's my dude.

This is a sketch, just a sketch... doesn't really mean anything other than it was an excuse to draw. Holy shit, do I like to draw. I sent this to my homie, Food, in a box cramjammed with other stuff. It looks like this:

THIS is CMD7. Or, the seventh volume of Caveman Diaries, a zine I put together every now and again. This box actually contains seven separate zines, CMD7A through CMD7G:

I kind of explained it here back in May when we put this out, but in the above blurry phone snap you can get an idea of the scope of that box.

CMD7A: Get Monastic (A collection of random illustrations and rants and shit)
CMD7B: Month of Flyers (A month's worth of fliers/posters)
CMD7C: See You At The Show (A whole lot of rock show fliers/posters)
CMD7D: The Five Ws (the other, non-show, fliers/posters of the last year)
CMD7E: Year One in The Meltification Machine (the first year of MELT posters)
CMD7F: Draw Hard (A collection of sketches, roughs, inks, unused pieces, stuff)
CMD7G: The Splatter Effect (Ink)
Guerrilla Gangsterism (by Asbestos Breath)

This volume was limited to 50 boxes, and I think I have about 25 or so left. If you would like one, they're $25 plus shipping ($5?). I'll throw in a sketch and maybe a bunch of other junk. Maybe I'll add it to the Shiner Comics store, but until then feel free to email me about it:

Speaking of my dude, Food One, he just put out a new zine: Scum of The Earth. It wa super limited and I guess you could only really get it if you caught him at a con this summer, like, in Paris or at San Diego. Unfortunately it's sold out, which... well, there's an interview I did with him in this issue, so, that pretty much ruled. I spilled coffee on my copy though, look!:

I'm certain there will be future Scum of The Earth issues, so keep your eyeballs peeled! In the meantime, for your earballs, there's always one of my favorite podcasts, The Beat Bee Sessions, hosted by Food One & Jane Dope! I'm currently a little behind, I'm listening to Vol. 14, right now, as I type this. It launched with Fishbone's Everyday Sunshine! (Oddly enough, also the name of a documentary about Fishbone I haven't seen yet but would love to (BOOYAH))

This is the cover art for the self titled CD that Hiroshima Vacation just released through Ithaca Underground. I'm not entirely 100% certain how to get it outside of Ithaca. I'd guess that if you get at the band through their myspace page, you can get it from them.

Here's the full on wrap around front and back. Those track names are great. "Bashing Emo Kids" and "I Hate Everyone" are probably the best songs that have ever been written or recorded in the history of Ithaca punk, ever.

Here's a poster I drew for Troy over at Star Pop, for his Christmas in July celebration. He's been over there for over a year now, selling all kinds of toys and clothes and other oddball sub-pop-cultural things. Star Pop is still going strong! This piece came from a really detailed request that Troy sent me, breaking down all the elements and references to the toys like Crocodile Mile, Skip-It, and the Pogo Ball. Looking at it now, it's kinda got me stoked for Christmas in December this year.

I just did some other work for the entirety of Waterloo that I'll be posting soon. I've got a bunch of other posters that I've done recently too. I hope to get them posted before they're irrelevant! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Can't Stop Laughing

So, Keelhaul is going on tour. Saturday they're playing The Haunt in Ithaca, a spot I coincidentally just did a poster for. They're playing with Hiroshima Vacation, a band I just drew a CD cover for. I haven't posted that yet though. (Stay tuned!)

At any rate, on August 27th they're playing Lansing, Michigan with Ozenza and Beast in The Field.

I kinda threw this together, with the intent to have it screen printed. However, there's not enough time for the screen printer to screen print before getting in the van and driving around the middle of North America.

There's a hyena. And a butterfly about to kill a milkshake. There's multiple weirdo characters. There are multiple bullet wounds. They don't matter at all. The bullet wounds, not the weirdos. The weirdos matter. They matter the most.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Strap-On Slapstick!

Legendary punk rocker outfit Blanks 77, pogo-ing their way into your heart, by way of your ear-holes. Elyria's own Antiseptic, some band The Reserves, Cleveland's Six Six Sick, and Milwaukee's Number 9 Hard are all opening to throw down a big ridiculous night of ridonkulous punk frolicking. This is a Now That's Class show of Classiest of dimensions!

I'm actually really proud of this poster. Which, maybe that's saying too much; maybe that's revealing a little more about the nature of my relationship to my work than I would typically like to reveal. Maybe it's just that I feel like I nailed this motherfucker to the floor. That I think I actually really stabbed the beating heart of what this genre of bands is all about. How weird and confrontational, and physically humorous this type of music, and by extension, show, could possibly end up being.

That being said, this is how it was done:

Here's the rough draft, pencil version. Actually, I think it's the third or fourth version. The brainstorm that ended up being the blueprint for this masterpiece. It's a guy in a creepy Clown Mask! Ha! Yes, the mask is most definitely, heavily influenced by what is easily my favorite youtube video of ALL TIME.


This video completely destroys me! There's so much about this 38 seconds that I love. It makes me laugh, like, verge-of-tears-if-not-full-on-crying levels of laughter, every time I watch it.

Firstly, what the fuck is up with that creepy ass clown mask?!? Clearly it's based on Pennywise, the evil clown from Stephen King's IT, but seriously- Where did this poor girl get that thing?? Aside from the fact that it's hysterically funny, what would posses a person to put that thing on and dance around to Beyoncé? OR, do that and TAKE VIDEO OF IT??

Secondly, I wonder if Beyoncé has seen this shit. How do you think she feels about it??? I'd like to think that if I were Beyoncé, I would be super stoked on this and hire that girl to put on her creepy clown mask and smash her head into TVs at all my shows! Maybe I'd have an entire crew of dancing IT-Mask wearing dancers with that exact build straight up blasting TVs with their noggins!

I wonder if Gwen Stefani was jealous of this video. Nobody put on a creepy ass clown mask and brained themselves on a TV while dancing to Hollaback Girl. That we know of. I bet there's just a gaggle of Divas that saw this and are seething with envy.

What the hell is even on that TV?? A Purina commercial, with kittens running around. Kittens. I bet there were Purina execs shitting their pants over this video. What show do you think they were watching? Do you think there's somebody off camera watching that TV that wasn't part of making a Clown Mask Beyoncé video shenanigans? Just like, Uncle Dude, or whoever, trying to ignore this absurd bullshit the zany kids were up to- until one of them cracked their clown enveloped dome into his TV?

It occurred to me to include the cream pie for two reasons.

One: I recently re-listened to the podcast Sound of Young America Live in Chicago from 2007, which was the very first time I heard some stand-up comedy by the hilarious Hannibal Buress. He did a bit about how he felt about an ex-girlfriend in the context of Slapstick Comedy. It's a good episode but Hannibal begins right about the 25 minute mark.

Two: I needed something for that other hand, and I wanted it to be something comical and ridiculous. I think punk rockers seriously need to laugh at themselves some more. Seriously. Punks aren't really that funny.

Years ago, I was at a 9 Shocks Terror show at the old Grog Shop where a box of cream pies was released upon the unsuspecting crowd of punkers and hardcore enthusiasts. I'm not entirely certain how well it went over, at that point I think I had lost interest in watching and migrated over to the bar area... anyway, cream pies.

I always thought it would be awesome to get a couple different outfits out of taking multiple types of camouflage patterned articles of clothing and cutting them into sections and then grafting them onto each other. At the very least it would be a great clown suit. A militant clown. I bet this has already been done.

I knew I wanted to keep the background super duper sloppy and a big giant mess. I knew this piece needed to keep the focus on the character. I like drawing like this... loose and crusty, just brush strokes and splatter. Still, I knew I wanted to represent something that would be great for a militant clown to go buckwild at. A big box store like Target, with their vast expanse of empty parking lot seemed like a good idea.

I went in and colored the hell out of the line art, which adds to making the focus of the jam the character in the foreground. I think I actually did this after I had colored the background on a separate layer.

So, yeah, I added the colors to the background first. I knew I wanted it to be hot, filled with warm colors, like a muggy burning landscape. I dunno, there's something about a hot background that works well. I decided to keep the character mostly cool colors, contrasting with the setting.

So, there ya have it, I guess. The final before adding the text. Like I said, I'm pretty proud of this piece. It's totally ridiculous, but I don't think that takes away from the level of craft and effort to keep it relevant. If anything, it enhances those aspects of this poster. I took this concept as seriously as I did any other piece I've done this summer. I think it paid off.

I admit, I boned it and laid out the band's name wrong with the first shot at this. Can't win 'em all! I just had to redraw it. No big deal.


This was taken outside The Root Cafe in Lakewood, one of my favorite coffee spots to haunt these days. It's actually where I am right now as I type this. I love seeing this poster out in public. So fun.

August 30th Karen Novak Benefit Print

This poster is for the August 30th benefit show being thrown in support of Cleveland photographer Karen Novak, who's house burn down on June 7th. Really though... c'mon! It's UNSANE, goddamn CRAW, and NonFiction! This show promises to be incredible! So, here's the thing, Ms. Novak lost just about everything, and though there was a benefit in July over at The Beachland, it's time for you to make your way to The Grog Shop to donate some of your hard earned greenbacks (no less than $10, por favor) and watch some loud heavy ass music get played, hard.

The plan is to have this poster available as a 9" x 24" four color screen print, that I'll sign and number in a limited edition, for sale with 100% of the loot going straight to Karen. I'll update this when I know for sure, but I'm pretty sure they'll be $10. If you're from elsewhere or not going to make it to the show, and would like to mail order one, please feel free to email me:

This show is seriously going to be killer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heads of Fire

Another banger at Front Room, this time brought to you by Durable Stimuli. This jam is a "Must See" of the "Can't Miss" variety.

Chicago's Psychic Steel and Fielded with Emeralds' Mark McGuire and then the living legendary Pimlo.

Here's the ruff draft, weirdo:

Monday, August 09, 2010

Summer in The City 2010 Part 2: The Revenge!

I posted the first two poster for this Rock Hall series, and the main big full on jammer, last month, Here: Summer in The City 2010!

Now I'm back with the final two posters for this series of awesome totally free shows. Firstly, this Wednesday Deer Tick from Providence, Rhode Island and locals The Modern Electric are playing. It looks like it's supposed to be a beautiful evening, but it looks like it'll be hot. So, be careful, stay hydrated, use your sunscreen. Yes. I've turned into your mother. Moms, yo. Hi-fives for my Moms!

I got pretty into this theme of summer activities where giant vibrant aquatic life swims in the sky like gods above robots. I kind of, sort of, stole the initial idea from my little buddy Owen, he's seven. I teach him Drawing every Wednesday afternoon, and the first class all he wanted to draw was giant jelly fish (though admittedly, they were destroying the city). It struck a loud chord and I followed the idea through with the remainder of this series; feeling out what kind of undersea creatures would work well with each bill, and hold on the most organic with each robot component of the summer in my mind and memories. The colors of these were actually a pretty thorough challenge, too. I pushed it to the limit, and took way longer than I should have.

Next Wednesday, August 18th, Trans Am from Bethesda, Maryland and local Genius Juggernauts MEGACHURCH are playing. Hey, if you see Megachurch, and you love them as you should: Buy the Record, Buy The Poster.

There was a time when summer, to me, was defined by riding bicycles. Then there was another time, the time when summer was defined by riding BMX bikes. BMX represents a freedom unknown to the uninitiated. There's something about seamless days spent outside of time, at dirt trails over the edge of sanity, or unyielding nights riding street in a mob of hooligans. It didn't always have to revolve around actually riding the bikes, we could shoot the shit as accurately as anyone, but that's how independence is given and taken. It was never something organized or planned or thought up other than we'd ride out and ran into each other. Then we would ride together. There were no cell phones, in fact when the first of us got a cell phone, what we did... was call the police on ourselves to get them to chase us. That was years later. That time, summer lasted forever, and everyday was burning with fun and danger and life and finding out what the hell was actually going on in the world we lived in, and who we were and why that mattered- if even for just that summer.

I feel like Steven King writing about the 60s or whenever he was a kid. Que the Sky Sharks. I think this one, this last poster, is the most appropriate. I love them all, but this one fits the best. This one feels most like Summer to me. Summer in The City.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Swamp Metal

This Grog Shop show is going to be loud, heavy, and ridiculous. I've never actually seen Fu Manchu, but I feel like I've been at at least three or four events where they were playing. Someday I will see them. Black Tusk from Savannah, Georgia, apparently rocks the genre of "Swamp Metal", which makes me extremely happy. I've never seen them either, but goddamn I think I'd like to. It's Casual has got to be one of the worst band names of all time. Were they a Lottery League band? Venomin James are the local; I feel like I've been at shows they've played but missed them too.

This is the first of what I hope will be many posters from Ithaca Underground, some rad DIY lunatics in Ithaca, NY. Again, with the mighty Black Tusk on the bill, so I opted to carry the characters along. The move was slightly backwards though. I drew the posters in order of sequence based on how they came across my desk, rather than by date chronology. Probably would have been smarter to do it the other way around. Well, I never said I was smart.

I like these characters, I like the post apocalypse, I like kittens, and apparently babies. I guess the big tough grayed out gladiatorial type lends itself to being the guardian of the blinded baby-mama. There's obviously a story before that first poster. What the hell is going on? Who are these people? Why is he GRAY? Why is she blind? Who's baby is that?

There's clearly a story that happens BETWEEN the posters. After taking a beating, our gray hero folds into the role of needing protection- the baby-mama rises up, dons the Antlered Helm, and holds her own with sword in hand. What happened? How the hell did that one antler break? Who's cat is that?

Will these questions ever be answered???

Most likely only in your minds, my friends.

Champange of Fests IV

I didn't spend nearly enough time at this year's Champagne of Fests. I showed my face long enough to see SLOTH and the Scheible/Smiley duo on Saturday, then Nautical Almanac, the J Guy/Forbes Duo, and Emeralds on Sunday. I feel like I saw something else, but I don't remember what. It was all kind of a blur. Especially Saturday.

Both Nautical Almanac and Emeralds were completely amazing, in just incredibly divergent ways. Emeralds really really killed it. If you get the chance to see Emeralds play, DO IT.

Speaking of SLOTH, they'll be playing WRUW's Studio-A-Rama this year on September 11th! There's a bunch of other great acts this year: Afternoon Naps, Self Destruct Button, The Prisoners, and Sun God. Then the bands I've never heard of: Nick Riff's Freak Element, Fawn, The Ethiopians, and Teenage Grandpa.

Looking these other bands up, I was kind of hoping The Ethiopians were maybe, y'know, actual Ethiopians. That would have been great. I will be posting again about Studio-A, stay tuned!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Congratulations! Ellen & Steve!

Congratulations Ellen and Steve!

Ellen's brother, Joe, commissioned this poster for their wedding last Friday, July 30th, 2010. The Tossers played the reception; the couple met at one of their shows!

Here's the black and white line art:

With any commission of this type, I gladly give the original art to the client, which I don't usually do for any of the usual posters I draw. Usually I just add the originals to the giant, ever almost toppling stacks of originals that are crowding the shelves in The Monastery.

This is The GUITAR GYRO!

For August, as a tie-in with The Capitol Theatre's screening of This is Spinal Tap on August 21st, Melt is bringing back last summer's Gyro Melt, but it's been renamed The Guitar Gyro (pronounced yee-ro)! Here's the goods:


Seasoned Slow Roasted Beef and Lamb Meat, Derek Smalls Tzatiki Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, Fresh Tomato & Sweet Onions, Rich Feta and Creamy Muenster Cheese. An incredible vegetarian/vegan version is available with in-house made seitan gyro "meat" and vegan tzatziki sauce.

I didn't save the roughs I drew for this. There were a whole lot of them, and I think I just threw them in the recycling box with the stacks of fifty other roughs and useless sheets of ruined papers while I was working in a fury last weekend. So, this is the fully inked background piece, completely uncovered by text or what have you. That's pretty much the stage set from the movie, only without the keyboardist. I also included the Stonehenge prop, but it got covered with text too. Woops.

One of the things I was a little apprehensive about when working on this was getting the likenesses down. I'm not really certain I did that too well. Sometimes I can nail that and sometimes I just don't. I think I landed somewhere in between with this one. Three really iconic yet somehow generic 1980s looking dudes. I think these are decent, passable, but maybe could have been better. I had a lot of fun putting this together though. Such a hilarious group of characters.

I'm really really happy with this ridiculous logo design though. I used a grid system that I made, then broke to fit everything in. That was a lot of fun to draw. I need to do more logos for fake metal bands. I misspelled "Muenster", which I later fixed, but not until after I printed a really short run of these and dropped them off. So, out there somewhere are ten Guitar Gyro posters that have a misprint. I am just going to assume they've already been stolen by rabid Melt fans.

I had the vegetarian version of this sandwich on Sunday. It's pretty awesome. I dunno where they get their seitan, or if they make it there or what, but it's really really goddamn tasty. I'm glad I got this, I totally missed out on the Firecracker Chicken this year. I've been screwing around with various Kindergartens for the past bunch of weeks.

Here's the final minus the text. I really like how these colors came out. I watched the DVD something like eight or nine times while working on this. I dunno if these colors are indicative of any of the schemes from the movie or anything, but I think this came out good.

Here's the posters for The Melt Pig Roast, and The Firecracker Chicken. I didn't get the chance to post them, or, I never took the opportunity to post them. One of the horrors of being super busy is having to sacrifice things that are important. I'll be posting a bunch of stuff I drew but never got up here in the next few days. I hate when that happens, but it's like an avalanche at this point.

The Firecracker Chicken really is a great great sandwich. They have avocado on the menu all the time as an "Add On". So, at the very least, you can get a Kindergarten with chicken, pepper jack, and avocado if you feel like trying to replicate a somewhat devil may care version of that special. It's a pseudo-special!