Friday, December 20, 2013

IF "AMERICAN HUSTLE" DOESN'T GIVE YOU ENOUGH 1970's FOR CHRISTMAS...

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Craig McNamara, Saint Paul MN native born and bred, found this poster and gave it to me ostensibly because my next-door-neighbor Casey Jones aka Roger Awsumb was featured as a special guest (so was Barry ZeVan the weatherman -- but I didn't know him personally).  I loved the artwork and it was a nice piece from the past.

But then I got to wondering who the host of the parade, this "Super Mayor" was.  A little research gleaned from WFMU’S Beware of the Blog uncovered the following:

“From 1970 to 1972, the city of Saint Paul, MN was led by colorful Mayor Charlie McCarty who won the election as an independent candidate. He was both loved and hated by many for his unpredictable words and deeds, but never failed to entertain.

He earned the nickname "Supermayor" due to his penchant for patrolling the streets of the city at all hours of the night in his hand-picked Lincoln Continental (dubbed the "Supercar") which was decked out in all manner of police and fire radios… [using] the newly modern technology… that allowed him to switch red [street] lights to green while he tooled around town with his driver.

An incident where Mayor McCarty helped apprehend a disorderly patron at a White Castle restaurant was the genesis of a weekly "Supermayor" comic strip by Jerry Fearing in the local paper.” 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

CHRISTMAS FRINGE

When I was on FRINGE, this is the card I sent everyone, from J.J. Abrams on down. I didn't watch the series in the last couple seasons, but lemme know if they ended up doing this episode. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TOYS THAT INSPIRED, #37

When my brother Jonathan and I were kids, the local toy store at Clancy Drugs sold a series of little rubber cartoon figures made of this weird oily rubber -- a medium developed by mistake in some petro chemical lab, no doubt.  The design of the characters -- very Disney-esque -- had a big influence on how I drew animals and the like.  The above picture was found online but we actually owned these two guys back in the day...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

REAPER -- THIS WORK BENCH MASCOT IS NO TOOL!

One episode of the CW series REAPER involved Tyler Labine's character Sock being punished and having to wear the Work Bench store mascot outfit... which ultimately leads to him embracing the job and facing-off with a rival hardware store mascot -- an ambulatory hammer -- and a fist fight that he wins -- only to find it's a retired old lady in the hammer get-up.
 
Above are the ideas I offered for the potential Work Bench mascot costume.  While "Wrenchy-Wrench" was the ultimate choice, I always loved the simplicity of the plum-bob design.
 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

UN Havin a Good Time, Comrade?

Drew this during a Minnesota Scriptworks meeting.  Seeing as the Soviet Union was still in existence at the time, it tells you how many moons ago it was created.  The UN proceedings so boring the Soviet delegate is left to the imagination.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ALL THE PAST AND FUTURE HOLDS


A Photo from the LA TIMES shows a city councilman holding a life size cut-out of William Mulholland, the man behind the LA aqueduct a hundred years ago... ah, or is it a hundred year photo of Mullholland holding a life size cut-out of a councilman of the future?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NCIS 'TOONS - ON THE AIR


 
When I was at NCIS I drew these china marker sketches of Abby and Tony and they actually used them in one of the first season episodes.  In the scene, Newbie agent Kate's sketchbook was grabbed and her whimsical drawings of her new co-workers were revealed.  I'm sure that scored some points.  
 
Frankly, I'd forgotten about 'em but someone  reminded me and I found these online.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

THE FIRST QUESTION EVERY WRITER MUST ASK...

When I  took my first screenwriting class at Film In The Cities in Saint Paul, this question was ingrained in each and every one of us -- that you may have the coolest, high-concept idea but if you can't answer the above question, your story has no character drive.  The above illustration never made its way to t-shirts but we had cool mugs made!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

THIS IS NOT THE JAW OF JONAH HEX


Years and years ago, just after coming off X-FILES  I was approached to write a feature adaptation of the little known comic book JONAH HEX.  The whole thing fell through, twelve years later a feature version did come out written by someone else and it was an unmitigated disaster.  I, however, still have the above sketch I did for the project.  And when I do my own movie about a vengeful, undead cowboy it'll be called, you guessed it, BONE SPUR... 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

BABY/ROBOT/BABY

The same doodle, yes... but one that can be viewed two ways -- is it a picture of a baby with a robot tucked uder his arm?  Or a dancing robot with a baby stuck to his foot?  Always like the two of them and this is a great opportunity to include a link to a CARAVAN PALACE video that not only offers a great tune, but a dancing robot... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j95HbhTl60k


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NCIS COMIX (SEASON ONE)



I drew this when I was on staff  at the uber-successful CBS series.  It was the first season, but already the characters were set -- and reflected in this quickly-drawn adventure.  Afficianados of the series will recognize Mark Harmon's stoic leader, David McCallum's overly-verbose ME (to such a point that the dead body is reduced to a skeleton -- ha, ha) and the goth lab gal Pauley Perrette with crazy theories.  My favorite is male sidekick, ladies man Tony who gets beaten down just for walking in the door.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Midnight Stroll

 Just another villager running for his life... down some Transylvanian cobble stone avenue... under a full moon.  Wonder what he's running from?..

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE

 
A panel from 12 o'Clock Somewhere that incorporates your basic ol' "single vanishing point in 1-point perspective."   I just drew the picture -- but for this post, had to look up the official term on Ben Towles art/cartooning blogsite www.benzilla.com/?p=3683 .   Inspired by a Will Eisner SPIRIT panel I saw when I was ten years old, the structure on the left with the big clock face is also from my youth -- it's the Minneapolis courthouse building, one of the coolest buildings in the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LAIRD VLAMING GOES TO COLLEGE!

That's right!  To Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  So what better way to commemorate that milestone than by posting a monster painting he did when he was seven years old!  The colors are great but I always loved the teeth. 
 
Congratulations, Laird!



Monday, August 26, 2013

OXY ACETYLINE BOVINE (AKA WELDING COW)

I doodled this in a notebook a decade ago but coincidentally came across it just when Laird started taking a welding workshop.  That inspired me to to color it with Corel painter, I guess.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ANOTHER ROBOT -- IN LIVING COLOR!

I let my son Trevor color this robot sketch any way he wanted.  Funny how a kid doesn't automatically go for traditional "robot colors" -- like chrome or gun-metal grey.  Maybe 'cause they're not robots...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

DEPRESSION KIDS



Three stages of a 12 O'clock somewhere llustration.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Allergic to Hard Labor

Years ago, when I thought I was gonna be an animator, I did this simple sneeze sequence and filled it in with colored pencil, in a sort of Bill Plympton style.  After drawing and coloring a mere ten panels, I realized how labor intensive animation really is... and stuck to writing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

POST EMMY NOMS - SCHNAUZ SCORES WITH BREAKING BAD...WALKING DEAD'S POST MORTEM

A shout-out and a hearty congratulations to my friend TOM SCHNAUZ and his best drama Emmy award nomination for one of the scripts he wrote on BREAKING BAD.  Tom and I were both writers at REAPER back in the day, where in fact the above doodle emanated.  As THE WALKING DEAD had zero Emmy noms, the undead cast members may wanna look for work at The Work Bench....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Holy Cat n' Mouse! Colbert Versus Ratman!!

A couple of panels from the RATMAN comic my son and I did.  Master criminal Dr. Leopold (based not at all  loosely on the likeness and the ego of Stephen Colbert) tells all to the clueless man-rodent.

Friday, July 5, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDA

Yesterday was the 4th of July, but rather than posting some star-spangled national birthday commemoration, I offer this rough I did for an invite to my kid's October birthday party last year.  Ultimately we went a different direction for the party theme, but I liked the picture.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NEW GIG: HANNIBAL

Very exciting news -- I'll be starting on the tv series HANNIBAL next week!  The show just wrapped its first (fantastic) season and episodes can be found on NBC.com.  Images from the series can be found there or anywhere online -- so instead I pasted the below drawing -- drawn on a page of my homework back in high school.

Who knew I'd land a job this ancient doodle would fit so perfectly?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DOODLE #368

This one rendered at a moment's downtime whilst doing caricatures at Waverly School's 2013 prom...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ball Point Alien Dude

Rendered with an old-fashioned Bic, once upon a time...

Friday, May 31, 2013

FRINGE MEETS SNOOPY AT THE WHITE TULIP CLUB

 
There is a method to the above madness.  Working at FRINGE, I was explaining -- via drawings on my office white board-- to David Wilcox how much Charles Schulz' iconic Snoopy character changed from the sixties to the seventies.  Those two represenations are center and left-of-center.  He said that a TRULY 70's Snoopy would have chest chair and platform shoes -- and David added those.  We agreed that Charlie Brown should be serving up lines of cocaine and that was added.  From that point, over the last couple of months of FRINGE season two, the disco grew around them, including an intro in the upper left hand corner with Lucy and Schroeder and the "morning after" panel at the bottom right.
 
For FRINGE fans, already drawn on the board, before the Snoopy's were added, were two concept drawings I'd done for the WHITE TULIP episode -- one of the electrical mesh woven into Peter Weller's forearms and one of the metal discs that he inserted into his flesh to enable him to skip through time.  Respectively, the FRINGE sketches are on the left (the forearm became attached to Linus) and on the right... labeled, WHAM-O.
 
When the series relocated offices from West Hollywood to Santa Monica, the board -- with the drawing intact -- was moved as well, and rehung.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

OH, YOU Ts...

I recently received a comment to the blog saying how a couple of my illios would make excellent T-shirts.  To that I say any enterprising young silkscreener out there should go for it -- just plug the blog if you do.  Coincidentally, scrounging deep in my files, I came across these two designs, expressly drawn to be on T-shirts...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WEIRD SCIENCE COFFEE, ANYONE?

In every half hour comedy, characters need an all-important community hang-out so that not everything takes place at home or school.  So too was the case with WEIRD SCIENCE.  Tom Spezialy and Al;an Cross, who adapted the movie into a TV series, created such a place in Java Man!  A play on the prehistoric proto-human remains found in, yes, Java crossed with the nickname for coffee resulted in this logo I came up for the place.  This design was used in the show on everything from mugs to aprons to bowling shirts. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Billboard...

Back in college, wanting to live a little dangerously, a friend of mine and I "embellished" billboards with spray paint.  Our first target was the enormous visage of a local political candidate.  Nothing smacking of anarchy -- we crossed his eyes, put a bow tie on him and a word balloon reading, "howdy".   The next one, pictured above, was our masterpiece.  Another street level board, we stared at it until the picture hidden within slowly appeared -- and was then rendered in paint.  This one turned out so well, it's kinda hard to tell what was there before.  Originally, the lady in the surf was screaming with delight, standing beside her equally glee-filled male counterpart.  We covered him up and replaced the guy with the classic JAWS shark's head.  Suddenly the woman was screaming for a different reason.

In half-Banksey fashion, I won't divulge the name of my partner in proto-tagging (in the event she runs for public office some day) but this is what's weird -- after we did the embellishment I returned a few days later to snap a picture -- and it was gone.  Bummer.  Jump ahead five or six years, I was recounting the whole tale to a former frat brother and he said, "I worked at the drugstore right around the corner of that!  It was so funny, I took a picture of it!"  Hence, the photo above. 

Note:  For drama's sake, I re-embellished the picture to restore the teeth and the shark's pink maw.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

X-FILES - THE PREHISTORY


I didn't make this up -- these guys are in the opening sequence of the X FILES feature film that came out in the late nineties.  All I did was name them -- and offered the tagline: "Join these intrepid prehistoric alien hunters as they track down amazing new life forms... and kill 'em."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

HOW I SNUCK INTO R-RATED MOVIES

When I was a kid, I managed to see THE GODFATHER, THE FRENCH CONNECTION,  THE EXORCIST and ROSEMARY'S BABY -- all rated R, snd all thanks to MAD Magazine and the brilliant talents of Mort Drucker, Dick DeBartolo and others.  There, by way of eight meticulously drawn pages, I "saw" films restricted to audience members under the age of seventeen (without a legal guardian.) 

Whoa, you say -- I just read a MAD movie spoof and it was a lame-o pale comparison to the movie it was mocking, but that's because things have changed.  Hugely.  Back in the seventies and eighties, MAD movie satires not only presented plot-point by plot-point recountings of the film's story but the panels so perfectly reflected the screen images -- from the actors to the locations to the angles -- that it was like seeing the world's best story board panels.  Satires were eight pages not four, and there was one in every issue -- not every third issue.  What's more, back in those days, the magazine satirized films that appealed to an adult audience (see above list.) -- then again, that was the film-going crowd... there was no teen market to speak of.

Oh, and the above panel is classic Mort Drucker, taken from the 2001: A Space Odyssey satire, or as the magazine affectionately called it: 201: (Minutes) of Space Idiocy.  My good friend Craig McNamara forwarded an article from FILM COMMENT on this very subject:

http://filmcomment.com/article/mad-magazine-movie-parodies

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NORMAN REEDUS -- NOT DEAD!

This blogsite has more than a couple pictures of zombies among the posts but despite that, I have to admit I do not watch THE WALKING DEAD.  That doesn't mean I am unaware of the phenomenon it's become or how one of the characters played by Norman Reedus has risen to the top and that the actor has become a really big star.  I drew this of NR during the shooting of the 13 GRAVES pilot.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

REASON TO QUIT SMOKING #37

Back when I read ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, well, weekly, it invariably had a cigarette ad on the back of the magazine.  And this one just asked for a redux.  For the life of me, I can't imagine what the ad guys were thinking, having studly Bruce Campbell -esque guy blow a PAPER party favor into the girl's face -- with a LIT CIGARETTE IN HER LIPS.  The only doctoring I did was to add the flames... and making the guy's mouth screaming in agony.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WALT KELLY: The Greatest Cartoonist Ever?

There are greats and then there are great greats and Walt Kelly, creator of the comic character POGO still, in my opinion, rules.    On top of the exquisite artwork, the strips were incredibly witty and satirical and to think Kelly's stuff used to run in big ol' Sunday color strips every week.
 
The above is a book I've kept since childhood (note the one dollar cover price...)