Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Reuben Melt: Enter The Third Chamber

Alright, here we go. SO, this is the diptych for the Reuben Melt at Melt bar & grilled for 2011. This is the first of the THIRD YEAR of Melt posters. The last two years, we've gone from doing a single poster for the monthly special that also runs as an ad in Scene Magazine, to doing a diptych for the monthly special (one for each Melt location), multiple posters for the movie tie in specials with Cleveland Cinema's Late Shift Series, multiple ads for multiple media outlets, and monthly table cards for the desserts and specials (with a variation on the specials when the movie tie-in sandwiches are available). It's been a wild escalating ride, but Year Three is looking to get that much more off the hook. We've got some other things percolating, and I think by Year Four I'll be typing up a blog post about the Reuben 2012 from our studios above the Melt Base Restaurant on The MOON.

Here's a link to the Reuben Melt Posters from 2009 and 2010. It's tried, it's true, it's TRADITION:
The Reuben Melt:
Fresh Lean Corned Beef
Barrel Aged Sour Kraut
Zippy Russian Dressing
Swiss Cheese

Here's the rough and tough, afro-puffed jam that took me about ten tries to get right. I knew I wanted to draw a parade for this one, and knew that the dippy-tych layout would allow me to stretch the vantage point a little, but I still wanted to have some depth, rather than a string of characters walking across the posters (which I like, and used for last October's Mom's Meatloaf posters).

Brush and ink, micron pens, splatters, bleeding eyes, cramped fingers... I think this took roughly 10 hours to draw, maybe a little more if I count the layout stages where I was figuring out the angles. I know the parade route doesn't really go anywhere near Public Square or Tower City, but also Robots can't rock like that and Animal People do not exist. It's fun to draw the Terminal Tower, but I kinda wish there were about 20 more skyscrapers in Cleveland.

This was a lot of fun to color, with the very specific pallet for the characters. I think it came out pretty good. I've only ever been to the St. Patrick's Day Parade on accident. One year I scheduled an appointment with the Free Times on St. Pat's, when they were on West St. Claire (or was is Superior? I don't remember). I had a bitch of a time parking and then dodging drinkie 19 year old revelers while navigating the downtown streetscape. I think that was the same day a bum actually offered me money, which gives you a little insight into how awesome my tattered state was at the time. Hobo-esque, like Batman in Year One when he's in disguise.

I'm pretty happy with this text. Sometimes the Melt sandwich descriptions get really wordy, so I instinctively left a ton of room on the poster for the text. It surprised me when I had a TON of room to play with this one. I don't think I used it as effectively as I could have, but at the same time, it works. I like having a bit of negative space. It makes creating the ads easier when I have to resize the art for different proportions.

Here's a slightly bigger version of Side A. There was a lot of confusion about the fact that the posters for each Melt location, and East and a West, were different, and are meant to go together. Especially over the Dude Abides posters. So, from here on out, starting Year Three, we'll just include both locations on both posters so they can hang at both places and people can get the full on dippy-effect and limit the amount of confusion.

My initial intention for doing two different posters was to encourage people to maybe go to both locations, not that the posters are the reason why anybody goes to Melt, obviously the food and atmosphere, maybe the giant beer list, are all what make Melt what it is. However, I thought that it would be an added bonus element for people that are on both sides of town, or are paying attention to the fact that these things are going on. I don't know, I just sensed an opportunity to draw both sides of Cleveland together in a way that was lacking. Ended up just keeping each side of town separate and also confusing everyone at the same time.

Here's Side B! I think my favorite characters on this one are the Robo-Dad and the girl on his shoulders. I also included Lolly The Trolly and the Rocket Car, in this diptych, keeping that Cleveland vibe strong.

I posted the Dessert card art HERE last night, I've got the illustration for that now up in the Shiner Comics Big Cartel Store! You can totally buy that drawing of an octopus eating seven sandwiches. Also, high quality archival prints of all my posters are available, including these Reuben Melt posters, in both 11 x 17 and 13 x 19 sizes. They are signed but not limited or numbered (unless I indicate that they are part of an edition), so they're only $24. Head over to http://shinercomics.bigcartel.com and check it out!

More Melt posters to come later this week! Also, a bunch of other blogging may occur! Stay tuned!

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