Thursday, February 23, 2012

KING KONG by Jake Kelly

Jake Kelly's hand painted poster for one of the greatest movies ever made, King Kong, screening at The Capitol Theatre this Sunday, February 26th at 10:00 AM as part of the Sunday Classics Brunch and Movie Series.

A limited number of 12" x 18" prints will be available at the movie for only $5. I know it's early for a Sunday morning, but seriously, it's one of the greatest movies ever made! Get yourself up early, hit Gypsy for coffee, saunter across the street and start your Sunday on Skull Island. ALSO: After the film you can present your ticket stub at one of their partner restaurants (LUXE, Latitude 41˚n, Reddstone, Stone Mad) and enjoy a discount on brunch.

If you can't make it to the screening but are still interested in a poster, feel free to email me, I'll do my best to make it happen!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Electric Eel Shock + Hot Cha Cha

Recently had the opportunity to do this non-specific tour poster for the shows Electric Eel Shock and Hot Cha Cha are playing together this March. I'm not a super huge fan of going the visual pun or literal graphic translation route, but in this case I think it works better than if I had tried to marry the two band's styles in some other, less overt way. Somehow, I think this image even is a graphic marriage of the two band's styles.

This being a non-specific poster, there's the huge empty space at the bottom for the different venues to fill in the date, and supporting bands. I found out this is called "Admat", short for Advertising Material. I've been doing posters for YEARS, and this is news to me.

Question: Where have I been? Answer: Cleveland.

Here's a black and white version I did just to do, and since it is less expensive to print black and white, I figured I'd give the promoters the option. If you have booked this tour and would like pdfs of either the color or black and white versions of this tour poster for printing and posting, please email me. Obviously, these are not for resale. I don't know if it's necessary to actually say that, but... maybe it is?

Here are the tour dates for Electric Eel Shock and Hot Cha Cha:

3/19 - somewhere in Baytown TX w/TBA
3/20 - Hi Ho Lounge , New Orleans, LA, w/TBA
3/21 - The Hi Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN, w/TBA
3/22 - Sluggo's North, w/TBA
3/23 - Strange Matter, Richmond, VA. w/TBA
3/24 - The Black Cat, Washington DC. w/TBA
3/25 - The Cake Shop, New York, New York, w/Hard Nips, Eric Davidson (DJing)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

6 x 9 Commissions

I've added a 6" x 9" Commission piece to the ol' Shiner Comics Big Cartel Store, as an easy way to offer fairly inexpensive commissions. These are original brush and ink drawings on nice heavy watercolor paper. I draw these pretty loose, but as you can see there's still a nice amount of detail. I usually spend somewhere between an hour and 90 minutes on each one.

If you have something specific in mind, I would be more than happy to take requests. However, if you're just interested in piece but don't mind leaving it up to me to just draw something, I'll guarantee that you'll be happy with what I send you. If you don't like it, you can send it back and I'll draw something else for you.

Here's a scan of the drawing in the photograph above. As I mentioned above, even though these are smaller, quicker, looser drawings- I don't chump out on the details. This particular piece is a gift for someone, but here are some more samples, of these, there one is already spoken for, the other two are available for purchase:

BUDS is available HERE, for just $25!

FUR is available HERE, again, just $25 and it could be yours!

Pac Man vs. Ghosts

This poster actually evolved fairly organically, it started off as a totally different poster for something else I had on my desk at the same time. I was in the middle of trying to do something more surreal and weird, and had this idea of this skinny oddly swirling dude with an iguana head falling into these ghosts, but then I was having a hard time with the actual iguana head... at one point I starting thinking about what else would fit in there, and roughed in a slightly too large circle where the head is, then everything clicked- "BLAMMO", Pac Man appeared and I realized this was the perfect for for The Ataris.

I had actually never heard The Ataris, but when I checked them out, it seemed pretty wide open, thematically, like they didn't really have a focal point to draw from and nail down an image for. Rock and Roll bands are often strange like that- there's bands that have a sound that is so visceral, so visually inspiring, like when I hear it I can see what that sound looks like in my mind's eye, but then on the other hand there are bands that have just a wide open space, a vacuum that literally anything could fit into, and fill, visually. It's not really a value judgement, I'm not saying those band's aren't as good though I guess I do prefer bands that roll with a heavy theme or focus. Anyway, though I never owned an actual Atari system, I played a lot of Pac Man in my day. It's a wonderful game. I really dropped the ball by not including any fruit on this poster. Goddamn, at least some cherries or something?

I tried to look up the opening bands and could not find anything about We Were Kids. Originally, the first results for looking up Beat Kids were just videos from Wondershowzen's Beat Kids segments that are all pretty funny. It took me a bit of digging to find Beat Kids, after deciding that the Beat Kids from Vancouver that evidently broke up on New Year's Eve was not the band playing this show. After doing hundreds and hundreds of fliers and posters for shows, I gotta confess- I pretty much hate all band names. It's not you, Band Names, it's me.

UPDATE: I've been informed We Were Kids has a bandcamp site:!

The show is at Now That's Class, March 2nd!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity is the band that I think best cultivated a fan base by way of that insane logo with the radiation symbol in place of the eyes and nose of a skull with pointed spikes popping out all over it's dome, back when that was a move a band could make. It's very much an thing of the 1980s, that move, especially the specifics of incorporating the radiation symbol, which at the time, I feel like the fear of a Cold War nuclear missile attack had lessened it's grip a little and the overall paranoia had moved on to fear of just... radiation poisoning from any number of sources. I could be wrong, I mean, Red Dawn was made in 1984, and that was basically a propaganda film. Anyway, Pushead designed that logo, and I probably saw it on at least a million jean jackets and Trans Am bumpers when I was a teenager. It just seemed like it was everywhere, and I had never once heard the band, or knew anyone that had heard the band.

Valient Thorr was probably one the best live bands I have ever seen in my life, the last time they were here. It was seriously the most fun I've had at a show in years, and the crowd was amazing. I think Valient Himself said some of the funniest, most insightful, and entertaining things I've heard someone say into a microphone in a long ass time. In stark contrast to the vibe at a lot of metal shows, there was just an overwhelmingly positive vibe during their set at this show. If the Cleveland Winter Demons got you down, I highly recommend you get to The Grog Shop on Monday, March 5th for this, because it will make you super duper happy to have seen Valient Thorr.

A side note: Valient Himself writes a pretty great blog about bad movies that he somehow updates pretty frequently. It's a straight up "What's What" of awesomely terrible movies.

I did a poster for the show the last time Torche played, but I think I missed them at the show. Or, maybe they've been back since, but I missed them then too. I dunno, I know I've done multiple Torche posters and probably never actually seen them play. Maybe this time I'll hang out and pay more attention! I don't really know anything about A Storm of Light.

I liked drawing this poster. It was fun. Though, it kind of feels like I'm cheating, playing to my strengths and basically repeating something I did for the Red 7 New Year's Eve poster: A Cavelady with Lots of Weapons in Front of A Shadowy Large Thing. Still, it's fun to draw that stuff, and someday I'm going to do that as a comic. Just pages and pages of Caveladies and Shadowy Largeness.

EDIT: I forgot to mention this initially, so I'm adding it. That bag of skulls this blue Cavelady is carrying was meant to be the same Bag of Heads that Frankenstein had in the Goathwhore poster I drew recently. Continuity, these posters are all CANON.

Go to this show, it's going to be super fun. Wear your jean jacket. Under your winter coat.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Converge is playing again at The Grog Shop, April 9th. Another show with RINGWORM! Plus Loma Prieta and some band called Git Some, which is just about the worst name for a band this side of The Lottery League.

The inspiration for this poster came from a clip in a Converge video reminding me of specific pages and panels from Katsuhiro Otomo's AKIRA books. The video is for the song Wretched World, and right about 1:50 there's just these scenes of cities being blown up. The video takes a pretty sharp turn right after that, but it stuck with me and just made me think of AKIRA. I actually really love thinking about AKIRA, so I was stoked to run with that imagery. There's a scene where all of Tokyo gets destroyed, it's in ruins, and this one character that was right at the center of it all, The Colonel, somehow survived and is standing on the edge of a building's roof that is now knocked over looking out at the devastation (vol. 3, pg 275 of the Dark Horse printings). I'm not really sure where I got the idea of the black sun.

I've got some more bonkers things to post, some housekeeping, some updates and hopefully announcements. Go to this show, it's going to be pretty awesome.

The Castle of Uncle Robert

All Dinosaurs are playing this Friday, February 17th, 2012, at The Happy Dog with other local stalwarts Ultra Ultra and Vince Roy. There's a facebook event page for it HERE.

This show is actually also the World Premier of the All Dinosaurs video for "The Castle of Uncle Robert", by Turnstyle Films. The few stills they made available for this video was largely the inspiration for the art for this poster.

Having seen these, I drew up this rough, and laid it out pretty quickly. I actually had in mind the way I wanted this to look, and I knew I what I wanted to get across. The idea that this was not just a regular show, but the Premier of this video really got the visual narrative/comics part of my brains going into overdrive. I've been working those muscles a lot lately. I'm always pretty stoked to be able to incorporate graphic elements or techniques commonly attributed to the language of comics into other projects. It still kind of feels like I'm getting away with something, like it somehow subverts the established standard of expectations and/or what's acceptable. I'm sure that's all just in my head, though. Culturally, I think we're sinking deeper and deeper into the visual narrative comics pool.

At any rate, here's the rough I did, and sent to All Dinosaurs for feedback and approval. I mostly wanted to make sure is jibed with the content of the video. I also wanted it to be as awesome as it could possibly be. Back to the comics front, breaking up the page like that gave me the space to ad the extra information about the video and make it pretty clear without having to worry about it.

Along with the feedback, Dave from All Dinosaurs also sent me this:

So, I knew I wanted to change the idea of the tree stump with the bird to an alpaca. I knew they filmed the video on a farm, but didn't realize it was an alpaca farm. Pretty great. I immediately changed that and we were off to the races.

Here's the final inked lie art. I drew it mostly with a brush and ink, then went in for the details, cross hatching, and texture with a 01 Micron and a crusty old toothbrush.

Here's the final again, I was going to go through the coloring process, but I changed my mind. At any rate, I did that in Photoshop, pretty straight forward on this one.

We went the extra mile and did an extra print run of these posters over at Jak Prints, and they look incredible. The poster is 12" x 18" on this really nice heavy matte card stock. If you're interested in getting one, we'll have them at the show and they'll only be $5. I wish I had a better photo of it, but this should give you an idea of the size and what it looks like.

For those of you not in Cleveland, or able to get to the show on Friday, I added this one to the Shiner Comics Store, still only $5 but there is a $2 shipping charge. I usually don't list specific posters, but this time I wanted to make it available online too. I think I'm going to update the store soon and list a bunch of other original art, so if that's something you're into, stay tuned!

This show is going to be great. If you are in Cleveland on Friday, you should definitely get over to the Happy Dog! Witness "The Castle of Uncle Robert", see Vince Roy, Ultra Ultra, and ALL DINOSAURS.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mike Doughty

This poster is for the free reading Mike Doughty (former front-man of Soul Coughing) is doing of/for his new book The Book of Drugs at B Side Liquor Lounge, sponsored by Mac's Backs. The Ol' Cleveland Bachelor commissioned this one. I liked working on this, it was a lot of fun. About halfway through this I realized I had drawn something slightly similar before- for a charity Bingo event. But I think the two are different and distinct enough that I'm cool with the comparison. The sheet of paper in the typewriter looked screamingly blank to me, so I had Susanne over at Mac's Backs choose a piece from the book to place on the page. I'm super glad we did that, I think it makes the poster better by a huge margin. It's probably impossible to read on this jpg, so here it is:

"Beer, I thought is the ANSWER.

The next day I awoke with my first hangover, and swore off liquor. If you hang around twelve-step types you'll hear tales wherein an alcoholic wakes up with a hangover, swears off booze forever, and then is drunk later the same day; a bleak joke repeating itself throughout her or his drinking life."
-Mike Doughty, The Book of Drugs

I hope it's okay that I'm posting that, as you can see, it's a passage from the book Doughty will be reading from. I haven't read it yet, but The book sounds pretty interesting. Here's the paragraph I grabbed from Amazon:

Mike Doughty first came to prominence as the leader of the band Soul Coughing then did an abrupt sonic left turn, much to the surprise of his audience, transforming into a solo performer of stark, dusky, but strangely hopeful tunes. He battled addiction, gave up fame when his old band was at the height of its popularity, drove thousands of miles, alone, across America, with just an acoustic guitar. His candid, hilarious, self-lacerating memoir, The Book of Drugs—featuring cameos by Redman, Ani DiFranco, the late Jeff Buckley, and others—is the story of his band’s rise and bitter col-lapse, the haunted and darkly comical life of addiction, and the perhaps even weirder world of recovery.

I'm especially curious about how Redman fits into it all. I fucking love Redman! Actually, it all sounds pretty interesting. I bet this dude's got some incredible stories. In general, I really like when someone just up and drops something at the height of popularity. I mean, not necessarily when they do it if it's because of a drug addiction or personal problems that heights of popularity can amplify or exacerbate, but just overall. I think getting to a certain point, then getting out before the pendulum swings the other way is a move that is definitely challenging to make, and hard to understand in the moment. This reading should be pretty great.

Mike Doughty is also playing a show at The Beachland Tavern after this event, and will be doing more reading, and a Q & A.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hey Ladies

This is happening RIGHT NOW. Har Mar Superstar and Marijuana Deathsquads are currently at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas for a February Residency. This is only the second Mohawk poster I've done but I'm pretty stoked on it, especially since I drew this in a blur of illness recovery in the early middle part of January. I got so sick, I was torched alive- then the drugs I took to get better were like being in a crazy maze filled with waterfalls worth of the opposite of good ideas and barely any sleep. However, that week's worth of madness I got this done. So, that was the best feeling that week. Getting shit done always feels pretty awesome, but getting shit done in spite of reality caving in... that's a special kind of gratifying.

I sent my dude at Transmission Events a couple different roughs to give him the option of going with ladies, or just going bold face APESMOKE. The ladies mostly come thematically from Har Mar Superstar's whole projected persona, especially the more recent videos. I saw Sean Tillman's other band Sean Na Na a reeeeaaaally long time ago, and it was pretty dope, but nothing like the direction Har Mar Superstar has gone.

I feel like this variation has some longevity to it. I will use this for something in the future. Something will definitely come along that will need a close up of an ape with giant sunglasses, smoking a smoke. That's a certainty, not even any room for doubt. Probably won't give him a mullet, but ...the question is when, and what will it be? Maybe you've got the answer to that.

Outrageous Deliciousness

February 2012, and Melt bar & grilled is bringing back all the most insane and popular special sandwiches from 2011! I know it's already the second week, starting today with the return of The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Melt, but I haven't had the chance to post this yet. The last month has been so busy and the last week has been a huge whirlwind of drawing and working. A lot of it was hustling to get this series ready for the 1st.

In celebration of Chinese New Year and The Year of The Dragon, from the 1st to the 7th, Enter The Sweet & Sour Dragon Melt starring Bruce Lee, Crispy Asian Breaded Chicken, Stir Fried Peppers, Onions and Carrots, Year of the Dragon Sweet and Sour Sauce, Flavorful Steamed Rice, Kung Fu Kick Pepper-Jack Cheese and a Hot Mustard Dipping Sauce was available. This was a Special just for a couple days when Cleveland Cinema's screened Enter The Dragon in June, as part of the Late Shift series. I don't think I ever posted the poster I had made for that one. I need to rectify that soon!

This one, I did post, from when Tremors played last November. Hickory smoked bacon, Applewood smoked bacon, Black pepper-crusted slab bacon, Italian Pancetta, Sweet candied bacon, Herb Cream Cheese with bacon bits, In-house made mayonnaise infused with bacon, Sharp Cheddar, Fresh romaine lettuce and tomato. It's insanity. I actually had this back in November, and I gotta say, it's outrageous and delicious.

It was fun choosing the six different versions of Kevin Bacon to include, but I gotta admit, it was a challenge. I wanted there to be a wide array of his roles, but also have distinct enough characters that you could tell them apart and from what movies they are from. Luckily the man has been in a ton of movies and some of the roles have been pretty crazy. I think my favorite one is the Murder in The First image, oddly I think it captures him the most accurately of the drawings. Doing likenesses is hard and never look perfect, but doing 6 likenesses, I just kind of ran with it. The other films are Footloose, Tremors, JFK, Hollow Man, and Apollo 13.

Week 3 is the return of one of the popular things I've ever seen, people were freaking out about how much they loved this jam, and with good reason! The TMNT Cowabunga Pizza Roll Melt is a serious sandwich. I'm really looking forward to this one again: Authentic Cheese Pizza Rolls deep fried till extra crispy and atomic hot, rich homemade marinara, green ooze basil pesto cream cheese, provolone and romano cheese.

I got a margin of Love for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but not the same level of nostalgia that people just slightly younger than I have, which is cool, cause if there were a Wolverine's Jungle Adventure Melt I'd be first in line. Still, I wrote before a little about how drawing the turtles feels weird, HERE, and I'm happy to report that it was much less awkward this time. I think it might be that I just decided to feature one of them, or maybe after I drew them last time I got familiar enough to get acclimated to those characters. I don't know, but I'm pretty stoked on how this one landed. As luck would have it, one of my favorite sketch blogs, Ashcan Allstars, theme'd out TMNT this week. Go check out all the art over there, they're the cream of the crop.

Another hugely popular sandwich, this is the third time I've drawn a poster for The Wet Hot Buffalo Chicken Melt. Originally a tie-in with Wet Hot American Summer (which I don't think I ever posted), then the Special of The Month in September, this one is a huge contender for the best sandwich that has ever been made by man. Super Crispy Breaded Chicken Breast, Spicy Authentic Buffalo Wing Sauce, Fresh celery and blue cheese slaw, melted blue cheese, cool ranch dressing for dipping. Vegetarian version available.

I like this drawing a lot. I thought about how to keep this idea fresh and thought about going a lot more cartoony, almost into Looney Toons territory, but then brought it back a little closer to reality. Maybe next time I'll get more Foghorn Leghorn with it.

Finally, as the tie-in with the screening of Flash Gordon (1980) at the Capitol Theatre, it's Emperor Ming’s Merciless Mongo Melt: Tender Braised Asian Short Ribs, Crisp Vegetarian Egg Rolls, Mango and Mandarin Orange Slaw, Sweet and Sour Sauce, Pepper-Jack Cheese. I am really looking forward to this sandwich. This coincides with the weekend that the TMNT is available, and I may recommend a move I like to call "The Half and Half", you and a friend order two different sandwiches and split the halves and you get to have both. A really good Half and Half combination is getting The Godfather and The Parmaggedon.

With this poster I payed some homage to the cover of one of the greatest rap records of all time, The Chef Raekwon's Only Built For Cuban Linx... It worked shockingly well. Ming with Klytus behind him in place of Ghostface.

Here's the dessert card for February. I drew this in kind of a haze of sleeplessness and exhaustion, but I think it came out pretty good. These desserts all sound really awesome, too.

Here's something a little different. The deadline for the ad for Buzzbin Magazine was actually before I had the chance to finish the art for most of the posters, so I had to cobble this together using the new art from the Sweet & Sour Dragon, a totally different Kevin Bacon drawing that didn't make it onto the 6 Degrees poster, and art from the old TMNT and Buff Chix posters I did last year. So, look for this in Buzzbin this month.

I think that's all I have to say about this month's Melt stuff, is that enough? Should I keep typing? Should I keep drawing? What could possibly be next? A Month of DAILY SPECIALS FOR AT MELT. 31 different sandwiches in MARCH?

Thanks for check in, I'll be posting a bunch of stuff in the next few days and over the next few weeks, as I try to catch up, so please check back in. There's some really fun stuff coming up!

Doughboys Redux

Bringing back the Doughboys poster from a couple posts ago. Finally got a show for this oe,a nd it's oddly totally appropriate! The Casualties, Toxic Holocaust, Power Trip, Night Siege!

My homie Jake Kelly totally ripped me off, too. Man, he stole my original idea and used it for flier for a show in Cleveland, as if nobody would notice. Well I NOTICED. Because he asked permission first. Then gave me credit in the lower right corner. What a jerk! Actually, if anybody other than Jake had done this, I would hunt them down and terrify them until they curled up into the weak-sauce filled basket of quivering simpering puppy guts that they are. Only one dude's ever pulled this shit that I know of, and that dude has been dead ever since.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Bag of Heads

Do you ever wish you were Frankenstein's Monster? Do you ever wish you could stomp with a bag of heads? This show is tonight so I'm posting this right now. I have a bunch of other posters to post, and, of course, there's this month's monumental amount of marketing materials I made to move millions of Melt masterpieces I still have to get up and on this site. The trick is finding the moments between hard drawing and mad navigating the choppy waters of reality to type, upload, and employ the old hypertext management language skills to join the fray of the information superhighway. It's so time consuming, and I am still mystified as to why.

At any rate, GOATWHORE is playing Now That's Class tonight. I like Goatwhore, especially Carving Out The Eyes of God. Strong Intention, the mighty RINGWORM, and Befallen are all also playing.

I confess I was pretty heavily influenced by the recent Hellboy book House of The Living Dead, which has both subtle and overt homages to the classic Universal Horror movies like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf-Man, and The Mummy. I've been spending a lot of time lately in the world of horror stories, and these are some of the best. Another great influence on my senses at the moment has been this book, a collection of Bernie Wrightson's CREEPY and EERIE comics, CREEPY Presents Bernie Wrightson. It really got me stoked to cover as much of the drawing with black ink as I could, and I think it came out pretty good.