Saturday, March 31, 2012

April: Your Beast is Corny!

It's APRIL. That means it's the return of The Corny Beast at Melt bar & grilled! Here's the description from the Specials Menu:

The Corny Beast

Our wicked version of the almighty corndog! An ultra jumbo all beef dog char-grilled then stuffed inside the sandwich with double American cheese. Slathered with our special cornbread batter then deep fried. The result is pure carnival goodness! Chipotle ketchup on the side for dipping.

The initial idea for this was to somehow incorporate a corn maze into the poster art, which, I had never heard of corn mazes before, or if I had I don't remember- anyway, at first I thought it was pretty clever of the originator of this phenomenon because corn is also known as maize, I thought it was a play on words or... something... but, I don't know if that was the case. A corn maze is corn grown in the shape of a maze, sometimes with bonkers images or words incorporated into the pattern.

I tried this idea and it was confusing and looked like it was going to difficult to understand that that's what the image was, plus I wanted to make the maze actually possible to get through, and that was super hard to do while making it also look like corn. SO, I decided to just draw a maze for the poster.

Here's the rough draft, which I draw these at 50%, 5.5" x 8.5", so it's kind of small. I just drew a grid of 1/8th inch squares and got started to lay out the maze. I also knew I wanted to draw a cartoon dog. Drawing dogs is super fun after you get past the awkward stage of them looking wrong. They're pretty hard to draw, because even though you can include the stuff that makes up a dog- it still sometimes just looks not right, but once you do that enough times, something just clicks and you figure it out and BAM, you're a dog drawing machine. Also, there are a billion types of dogs.

So, after I did the rough, and got approval from Our Great Cheese Ɯberlord, Matt Fish, I redrew the thing at 11" x 17" in ink on a piece of Bristol drawing board. I really like the way the dog looks, I wanted him to be ultra cartoony. This may be the cleanest, most streamlined and straight forward thing I've drawn in ages. I didn't even splatter this with ink.

The maze does work, I think there are even multiple paths to get from the top left to the bottom right, but I had to cover some of it up with text, obviously. Maybe I'll offer a limited print run of the poster with no banners? I dunno, that just occurred to me as I was typing this.

Color-wise, I think this came out pretty good. Nice and corny, following through on the simplified cartoon dog.

This coming weekend, April 6th and 7th, is The Parmageddonator, in honor of The Terminator midnight screening at The Cedar Lee on Saturday the 7th. The sandwich is 2 Potato and Cheese Pierogi, Smoked Kielbasa, Potato Pancake, Barrel Aged Sauerkraut, Horseradish Mustard and Sharp Cheddar, vegetarian option available. Yes, it's for real, a 2 potato and cheese pierogi AND potato pancake. On sandwich. That also has Smoked Kielbasa on it.

I actually had to draw this one twice, and I still feel like it's less Arnold-ish than I wanted it to be. He's a hard nut to crack, that Termintor. I like the final version tough. Simplified it again, which took just as much time as doing a more complex poster, if not more.

Saturday Night Fever is screening at the Capitol Theatre on April 21 at Midnight. Melt is going disco with The Tight Trousered Travolta; Ohio City Pasta Cheese Ravioli, One Big Spicy Italian Sausage, Marinara, Provolone, vegetarian option available. As ridiculous as that name is, I bet this sandwich will be freaking delicious.

This one, oh man, this was a mess in the coloring stage! This took a really long time to color and layer in all that texture. It was challenging for sure. I had never seen Saturday Night Fever before, but it's way better than I had imagined. I'm not a huge disco fan, but I gotta admit- it's pretty infectious.

Lastly, but not leastly, here's the dessert card. I kind of wonder if anybody pays any attention to these drawings at all. Have Melt regulars notice I keep up with these characters every month? This time we get to meet their pets. I have no idea why I did that, other than I thought it would be fun, especially for the bear to have a fish. At any rate, these desserts all sound dope!

The Lake Erie Mosnter #1 Release Party TONIGHT!

Firstly, Jake Kelly and I have a new website,! Which is the main site for our new ongoing quarterly horror anthology comic book, oddly enough, titled The Lake Erie Monster. The first issue is finally ready to hit the streets, so we're throwing a release party. Here's the announcement, as it was posted over on

Announcement for the Release of The Lake Erie Monster #1, the new comic book by John G and Jake Kelly

A little over a year ago, local artists John G and Jake Kelly collaborated on an art show called TEN IMAGINARY MOVIES. For the show Jake created ten full size posters for made up films: z-grade horror flicks, 70's sci-fi trash and giant monster movies. John was responsible for creating the phony ephemera that heightened the illusion of reality: movie stills, VHS boxes, action figures and comic book adaptations.

The fake comic book adaptations were for the Cleveland-set THE LAKE ERIE MONSTER, and once the show was over the pair decided to continue their collaboration and turn this imaginary comic book adaptation, of an imaginary film, into a reality. Jake scripted a toxic waste monster story set in 1970's era Cleveland and John created appropriately dark and compelling artwork. They are serializing the epic tale over the fist five issues of the ongoing series, each also containing brand new supplemental horror stories by the artists. The result is a Rust-Belt horror anthology, complete with a cackling host (a zombified Commodore Perry) and presented in full, eye-gouging color.

To celebrate the release of the first issue, the duo are having a party at BLUE ARROW RECORDS (16001 Waterloo Rd.) on Saturday, March 31st from 6-9pm. There will be a limited edition art print for the first 30 who buy the book. John Neely (of "the BIG O" radio show, as heard on 89.3 WCSB) will be spinning Cleveland and greater Ohio punk rock records.

The Lake Erie Monster #1 will be available in area stores and for mail order online at the Shiner Comics Store in April.

For further information or preview pages contact:
John G:
Jake Kelly:

Those are the details. If you're in Cleveland TONIGHT, please come out, hang with us, buy a copy of the comic, a poster, listen to some jams, shop for records and old magazines and paperbacks. Maybe mosey over to the boutique and check out some fancy vintage clothes and jewelry. We'll be getting some pizzas, some punches (spiked and un-spiked)(it's first come first serve so get there early).

This is the cover. We did release a black and white version of this comic in November at the last Genghis Con. However, there were only 50, and they were gone that day.

The version we're releasing this evening is the "official", full color, version. It features a bit more content than that Genghis Con version, including a bunch of original ads we created specifically for the book (which you can check out over at our Advertiser Archive on We're also offering a free poster for the first 30 people that buy the book tonight, as well as stickers and buttons and all kinds of other stuff!

I've got a couple other updates to post soon, so stay tuned. Tomorrow is April 1, so all new Melt specials for you and all your fancy friends!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Full Melt Pager

This is the Melt ad for the Best Of issue of Scene Magazine, which appeared all over the Cleveland area this week. This is kind of a departure from our usual bigger full page ads that have traditionally been one big image. However, I think this still has the same feel and unique qualities of the overall Melt visual style, and it pushes what we've been doing in a new direction without completely abandoning the way we've done things in the past.

This was something I never would have done had I not just spent a good part of the last few months putting together ads for The Lake Erie Monster #1. I just recently created an Advertiser Archive for the ads Jake Kelly and I designed for the first issue over on our website,

Here's the ad I drew for Melt featured in the comic:

As you can see, it's a riff on the old Hostess ads from older comics. The Lake Erie Monster is an ongoing quarterly comic, so you can expect many more adventures from The L'il Big Cheese Club!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MELT, Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Well, I kind of botched it getting these posters up on the blog later than is probably reasonable. I have a good excuse: I was making more posters and other awesome things for you! More about that later.

THIS MONTH, at MELT bar & grilled, the special is The Reuben Melt! It's a very delicious sandwich. What makes it so delicious? Is it the Fresh Lean Corned Beef? The Barrel Aged Sour Kraut? The Zippy Russian Dressing? The Swiss Cheese? Is it the wonderful combination of all those things to create a flavor sensation? Pick one, you will not be wrong. I actually really love this sandwich, and have had two of them so far this month. I'll be going back for my third before the month is out!

I drew this poster as an homage to the opening sequence from CHEERS. I recently finished watching ALL 11 seasons on Netflix, and I gotta say, that was an amazing show. It's a really astounding thing, to watch it all. I remember when it was on, and I had definitely watched reruns, but I never understood just how great it was until I watched season 1, episode 10, "Endless Slumper". If you've never seen that show, or don't remember that episode- that's the one.

Back at the beginning of the month, Fletch screened at The Cedar Lee as part of The Late Shift series. Melt offered up The Underhill's Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich and Steak Sandwich Melt. I like Fletch, but I didn't get out to see the movie. Also, I watched it a on of times before working on this poster. This movie coincidentally screened on Grilled Cheeze Czar Matt Fish's birthday, so I included him with a birthday party hat on in the bottom right panel of our Fletch Panel Grid.

Lastly for March 2012 at Melt bar & grilled was A London Style Fish & Chips Melt In America, to celebrate the screening on An American Werewolf in London as part of The Late Shift. This one was tricky to approach. The movie is great, but there seemed to be very little to grasp onto visually for me. I really really wanted to use the sign for The Slaughtered Lamb, the tavern the two American travelers stumble upon right before getting attacked on the moors. I just couldn't figure out a way to do it and make it look as compelling as I wanted to. The other images I felt could work well, on of which is exemplified in Jake Kelly's poster for this screening, is the protagonist's red parka, the other is the actual drawn out transformation sequence where he changes into the werewolf. I decided to mash the two together and run with that, also including The Slaughtered Lamb into the background.

Of course while watching the movie in the theater I thought of maybe another 1000 ideas for visuals that could have been awesome as posters. At the very least there was the scene where the main character looks in the mirror, and another scene where there's a guy running from the werewolf in a train station with all kinds of colorful posters covering the walls.

I can't believe how long it's taken to get this blog post up. I've really let me blogging chops get rusty again. I've got another couple posters to post, and some more stuff soon. I'll be posting at least one other thing today, announcing the launch of the new comic I've been cooking up with Jake Kelly, The Lake Erie Monster!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This Saturday, the 1980 cult classic horror masterpiece An American Werewolf in London is screening at Midnight at The Capitol Theatre in Cleveland (corner of W. 65th and Detroit) as part of the Melt bar & grilled Late Shift.

As with the poster he drew for King Kong, Jake Kelly did a poster for this screening. Beautifully printed on a nice heavy matte card stock at 12" x 18", it will be available at the showing for a mere $5.

We know it's St. Patrick's Day, and a Saturday, and people are going to act a fool. However, the screening is at midnight and by then all the fools will have fallen over into the sleepytime drunk tanks of the City of Cleveland's Division of Police. So come on out and watch a killer scary movie with some other people that aren't foolish. Eat some popcorn, drink a soda, and buy a poster!

I should also mention, and I will post the poster separately, that Melt is offering a special sandwich, A London Style Fish & Chips Melt in America, this weekend only!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Alpaca Buddy 6x9

This is a drawing of an alpaca, one of the 6" x 9" commission pieces. It's a gift for someone from someone else. I'm pretty sure the recipient received it, so I'm not spoiling it if they read this blog.

At any rate, this came about from the tiny drawing of an alpaca from that All Dinosaurs poster. So, I owe this one to them.

If you're interested in a small drawing, as a gift or for yourself, there's some more info on the 6" x 9" commissions, HERE. Feel free to email me, if you have any questions at all.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Esqueleto de la Bruja 2: The King of Fires

Skeletonwitch is playing another show with All Dinosaurs and this time the Mighty Megachurch fills out the bill.

Here's the facebook event page, for y'all social networkers.

For this one, I reached back and brought out the character I used for the last time Skeletonwitch played, la Esqueleto de la Bruja. I think I did a MUCH better job this time. Much better. Especially on the colors. I've been kind of obsessing over the colors lately, and I think it's been paying off. At any rate, I've added 12 x 18 prints of this one to the Shiner Comics store, only $5. There's not many of them though, so... get 'em while they're hot! I don't think I'll have any at the show.

To further illustrate how insanely awesome this show is going to be, I'm posting this video parade for these bands. Starting with something I meant to post sooner, but haven't had the chance or time. This is the video for All Dinosaurs' Castle of Uncle Robert. You may remember the poster I drew for the premier show, of which I still have a few available. Turnstyle Films really killed it on this.

All Dinosaurs - Castle of Uncle Robert from TurnStyle Films on Vimeo.

This is kind of an older Megachurch video, but I fucking love it. Here's another piece of genius. And another.

Megachurch - More Mormon Than Mormon from Keitj T. Alin on Vimeo.

Lastly, is this amazing video for Skeletonwitch's Bringers of Death. This thing is bananacakes. Just... just watch it:

Skeletonwitch "Bringers of Death" Music Video from Authority Films on Vimeo.

And, here's a b/w version of the poster for all y'all color blind peoples- and you thought I didn't love you....

See you at the show!