Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Congratulations all you ardent followers from around this big ol' world -- October 2012 has been the biggest month yet for Vlam-Ink!   678 people checked out the blog!  Subtract the people looking for stuff on Maurice de Vlaminck (the French painter (1876 – 1958) and that still leaves an impressive number.   

To celebrate I had fun with Corel Painter 11.  The beauty of a quick little doodle is you can spend the time festooning him with colors and vines and all the cool Painter details I'm still uncovering.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Critter Comics was my first stab at a comic book that actually involved spending TIME... penciling panels first, using big ol' sheets of artboard, etc.  Admitedly, the world is, and was at the time, not remotely original -- a world populated with bipedal, world weary animals that gambled and smoked cigarettes.  In my defense, I was at the time hugely influenced by R. Crumb's early FRITZ THE CAT strips, the ones drawn with rapidograph pen that had Fritz as a government/James Bond kinda guy.  The big difference --  Steve Critter was a dog.
Critter comics only appeared once and I photocopied and stapled all copies myself.  Funny story -- somehow an issue made its way to California (how, I dunno... I was in Minneapolis) and a guy there sent me a check for a year's subscription to the comic.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Before THE INCREDIBLES, before RATATOUILLE,  and way before the live-action MI:GHOST PROTOCOL, Brad Bird adpated the novel The Iron Man (by British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes) and made THE IRON GIANT, arguably the best animated feature released in the last fifteen years.  One of the last 2-D animated features (though the Giant was totally computer drafted) the movie bombed -- Warner Bros didn't know how to promote it, CGI was catching on and word-of-mouth on the movie wasn't hot enough to make it a grass-roots sensation. 
After the movie closed at thatres, the above postcard was released to promote an IRON GIANT memorabilia sale at the local mall's Warner Bros. Store featuring Bird and the other creative minds behind the film.  There the group lugubriously signed autographs and lamented the fizzle of what should have been.   

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Yeah Right? Yeah, right.

Aother pen-and-ink flyer for one of our gigs, this one at the famed Seventh Street entry, the side bar of Minneapolis's
First Avenue club made famous by Prince (among others).  Lots of now famous bands played 7th St. including LOUD FAST RULES (later to be named SOUL ASYLUM -- a less interesting name), THE REPLACEMENTS and TRIP SHAKESPEARE.  We even warmed up for TETE NOIRES there, an all-girl quintet who were years-ahead-of-their-time and helped make Minneapolis THE 80's music scene.
As for First Ave., my brother and I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers there long enough ago that we went to a Thanksgiving show on a whim and managed to get right up to the stage.  I recall that we kept shouting to the band members -- possibly Flea himself -- that they should do a tune in 3/4 time. 
As for the smoking dog adorning the flyer, that's Steve Critter the title character of CRITTER COMICS, a b&w comic book about a former secret agent who happens to be a dog who smoked cigarettes.  More on CRITTER in future posts.