Wednesday, May 11, 2011

East Side Victory: Year One

I as going to wait until May 21st to post this, but I feel like jumping the gun a little and get it up online today. The East Side Melt bad and grilled opened a year ago, this month. To celebrate, I drew this poster featuring the return of the Dog Soldier from the East Side Invasion poster.

Going propaganda can be tricky for a couple reasons. Firstly, while the source material was stronger than a Yeti, aping that style is the most cliché, overused, go-to for lazy designers, and can so easily fall face first into the deep end of the snooze-pool. Seriously, it's an epidemic of weaksauce out there, ripping off the propaganda poster style, especially of the Soviet kind. That's the other main reason to steer away from the aesthetic, it's so blatantly political, and not just in a good way. I avoided Soviet Propaganda, and specifically looked to the design leanings of the poster art from the WPA Program during the Depression and then World War II era in the United States. I know Melt still took some flak over these posters, being accused of warmongering and whatnot.

My initials sketch was super rugged rough, as I had an image in mind, but I wasn't really 100% on if it would work or not- just needed to get a better idea of what it would look like on paper. Some ideas are better than others- and even though by now I'm pretty good at gauging what works in my head, sometimes I'm still kinda way off. I think this one was good though. This is actually drawn really really small.

Second attempt was drawn a little bit bigger, with slightly more details, and quickly getting a better idea of where the text should go. Still really rough, but drawn about half the size of the final. After this I just blew this version up on my copier and then used a lightbox to redraw it on a piece of Bristol Board.

Here's the finished inks. I drew it mostly with a brush, then went it with pens to add the details and the cross hatching, then splattering the thing with ink using an old toothbrush and my fingers. I used to be really into flags, for a while. I feel like I used to incorporate them into my fliers and posters a lot more. Right now, hanging off the front of my house is the flag of Commodore Perry, most famously flown from the Lawrence and Niagra during the Battle of Lake Erie.

Here's the final again. I was just at the East Side Melt again last night, and had a blast. It's such a great spot to hang. We even got to slam that Banana Split Bread Pudding, which: DUDE... astronomical.

These posters are only available at the East Side Melt, but you can also order an archival print at the Shiner Comics Big Cartel Store, as well as archival prints of any of my posters, various original drawings, and my other zines and stuff.

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