Saturday, April 29, 2006

Down But Not Out

I've been struggling with some health issues, too many to list here, none life-threatening (I hope) one of them being allergies.

It has become a rather bizarre tradition for me to disappear from the face of the earth for at least 3 weeks between April and May, every year without fail, due to violent allergy attacks. You can actually set your clocks by it, I refuse to get shots and this year I've decided not to take pills either, because of their side effects, although I must confess that the annoying allergies had brought me to my knees on several occasions in which I've had no choice but to pop a pill in order to enjoy some level of relief. My theory is that if I don't take pills I can shorten the allergy season since my system adjusts to the changes eventually. Fortunately, allergy season is coming to an end (for me) and I'll be back to 'normalcy' in about a week or so.

I'm also fulfilling some 'head of household' obligations, which I manage to neglect with admirable consistency throughout the year and working on a couple of projects dear to my heart, one of them being a four page comic for 'Romantic', which is the next project from AdHouse Books; Chris Pitzer puts together the most innovative and beautiful independent comics, art books and graphic novels in the business, I respect Chris a great deal because of his artistic integrity and his relentless commitment to quality and high standards, his books are true works of art.

Color My World
These two pieces were colored by two friends of mine; the top one belongs to 'Joltin' Joe Pekar, who surprised me this morning with this rendering of an old drawing I did 2 years ago. The bottom one was done by Snake Bite, a talented colorist, working in comics and video games. Thank you, both, I consider it an honor!


Joe Colors




Snake Bite Colors


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Draw Magazine # 12 Missing File



To those of you who purchased DRAW! Magazine # 12 (the Kyle Baker issue in stores now) : The downloadable Adobe Illustrator file won't be found at the url provided in the article, this is due to the publisher's 6 month delay in getting the magazine to the stores, a month ago or so I moved the file out of the main directory to avoid naming conflicts with my Mac iDisk server. The Illustrator file which accompanies the article, can be found HERE.

Oh! I almost forgot, the password to the directory is the five-letter name of the town found directly below the number 113 on page 48 (case sensitive). The file is the actual working document I used in creating the article and the illustration, it is NOT a step-by-step work file. The file is included as a guide to aid in understanding the process I described in the article, I'm not the best at explaining things in written form and the space in the magazine is limited so I figured that by looking at and disecting the actual illustrator document you might be able to get a better idea of the working method. Do feel free to use the patterns I have created, they are yours to keep, however, the rest of the work is NOT to be copied, altered, distributed or messed with in any evil manner or for any maniacal purpose other than your personal use and entertainment; Remember, God is watching you. . . I've been told.

Draw Magazine can be found at Tower Records/Books or at your local comic book store, if you can't find it in your area, order it online from the publisher (Twomorrows Publishing). If you still have questions after reading the article, I'd love to hear them, or rather, read them, so ask away by commenting on this post, I'd be more than happy to answer any and all of your inquiries. No hate mail please, I have plenty already, that sort of correspondence should be directed to my other email address at: gw_bush@thewhitehouse.com




In other news, my friend Ivan Brandon informed me that the last issue of NYC Mech 'Beta Love' just hit the stores yesterday, this issue features one of my scribblettes, I haven't seen it yet, but I can't wait to get my hands on Ivan & Andy's latest offering. If you're not familiar with NYC Mech, you can get started by reading it for free HERE.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Per Arnoldi

I didn't want to wait until Per Arnoldi dies to celebrate his life. The clever Danish poster maker is way more than a teacher to me, looking at his work is like going to school for the first time, you're scared and afraid but you know you're going to learn tons and have fun in the process. Some of his solutions are repetitive and formulaic, whether intended or otherwise, but you forgive him because he is so prolific and he hits more often than he misses. His clarity of thought comes trough his clean and elegant ideas, where less is always more; The cliché, the obvious and deceptively simple solution to a complex design problem, that is not so obvious to most until he implements it, the masterful use of a flat & very limited primary palette which he wields about like a toddler with a full set of crayola crayons, always true to the Bauhaus tradition. I raise my corona bottle to you, Per!


Per Arnoldi




Per Arnoldi




Per Arnoldi












Per Arnoldi











Per Arnoldi



Per Arnoldi

Monday, April 17, 2006

Niklaus Troxler

This Swiss designer/illustrator created tons of posters for jazz festivals in his hometown of Willisau.
For more of his work please click HERE to visit his website.


Niklaus Troxler






Niklaus Troxler



Niklaus Troxler



Niklaus Troxler



Niklaus Troxler






Niklaus Troxler



Niklaus Troxler






Niklaus Troxler


Niklaus Troxler




Most images here come from the book 'Jazz Blvd." by Niklaus Troxler, published by lars Müller. All images © copyright 2006 Niklaus Troxler. All rights reserved, Do not copy without permission from copyright owner.
Published here for scholarly review.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Calgary Expo Poster








Original Sketch
I don't know about you but I always have to fight the urge to complicate things. The original concept had clouds, sun rays, mountains, the silhouette of a horse standing on two legs, leaves coming from the top Ieft, a vintage custom logo, etc, etc. etc, jeez! I'm loving the end result for its sheer simplicity and cleanliness, I had a lot of fun making the hair the main attraction, I wanted to let the viewer's eyes dance around a bit, little clues here and there so the eye can fill in the rest of the torso, hopefully to have as much fun as I had while drawing it. I love the fact that I arrived to the final image entirely by chance. Happy little accidents :)


I'll see you all there!


Abrazos,
-Alberto

Thursday, April 06, 2006

August Darnell for Ivan

I did a quick sketch and ink drawing of August Darnell -AKA Kid Creole- as a quick demo for an art student who visited our booth at the Los Angeles show, I asked him to scan the sketch so I can finish it at home, this afternoon he emailed me the drawing and I turned it into a poster, kind of a Milton Glaser meets Per Arnoldi in a dark alley. I'm a long time admirer of the bandleader extraordinaire, Darnell and both of his groups: 'Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band' and "Kid Creole & The Coconuts' Here's my tip of the hat to all three artists.

Kid Creole


Kid Creole


Kid Creole Sketch



EDIT: This coming Sunday -April 9th- I will be attending Nashua's Comic Book Show, if you live in New Hampshire show up and let's get together.

Abrazos,
-Alberto

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Buildings by Richard Downer & Robin Ward

The following drawings are from two of my favorite artists: british Illustrator Richard Downer and scottish master Robin Ward.

Richard Downer


Richard Downer




Richard Downer



Richard Downer





Richard Downer







Robin Ward




Robin Ward



Robin Ward





Ward's drawings come from the book 'Robin Ward's Vancouver' published by Harbour Publishing © 1990 by Robin Ward
All rights reserved, Do not copy without permission from copyright owner.
Published here for scholarly review.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I Left My Heart in Seattle (along with a few Jacksons)



Something I did when I was 2 years old.


Green City Not So Green


Well. here we go again, what can I write about the Microsoft City Comicon? ...hmmm, lemme see. . ."What a great convention!". . .No, not true, it wasn't a good con, in fact, it sucked elephant dick (I'm sure a couple of big-name DC/Marvel artists will disagree with me, but overall, it bombed).

The Northwest's only major comics convention was poorly attended, in my view it's a disgrace, and it does not reflect upon the fine people of Java Town and its surrounding areas, I'm positive there are just as many comics fans in that part of the country as in anywhere else but it tells the story of an inadequate planned and poorly promoted event, I don't think the organizers did enough to get the word out or to invite the type of people who have the power to attract big and diverse crowds, easy for me to say, what the fuck do I know about putting a show together?

Personally, I did OK and can't really complain much as I was able to recover my investment and make a few bucks to spend on extracurricular activities, mainly because my books are kind of "expensive" by comics standards, considering that the average comic book is listed at $2,95, so it takes a lot less individual sales for me to break even and turn a profit, but I find it hard to believe that the average independent comics artist could have come out of that show with a substantial amount of money in his/her pocket.

In terms of self-promotion, and networking this event was OK in my humble opinion. This is another reason why I look at these shows as opportunities to travel, meet fellow artists, students and supporters and enjoy the company of my friends in the industry, I feel bad for many of the artists who depend on these shows for income.

This of course, is not just my opinion, I interviewed a lot of the artists exibiting at the show and the majority were very disapointed. After 3 years of attending these geek festivals, I've developed my own ways to measure the success of a particular event (or lack of). I can tell for sure if a show it's going to suck by observing the crowds, if by the time I roll in on Saturday morning I don't see a long line of people, wrapping around the convention center building, it usually spells doom, especially for a two-day convention. People I talked to offered all kinds of rationale why the show did not draw a bigger audience, me? I believe it's all in the promoting, advertising does work, the right advertising that is.

Now, having said that, and to be fair, I must say that the event ran smoothly and without incidents, the organizers were very corteous and helpful, the place was clean, well-lit and spacious, but the food tasted like shit; have you ever heard the expression "Eat Shit & Die" well, that's pretty much it, but then again the food at conventions everywhere in the US is of school cafeteria quality -without the nutritional value-.

Despite the fact that the con was a financial dud, it did not hinder in any way our ability to ridicule ourselves and to have fun like pigs in manure (and I don't mean cops in a drug raid either). Stephen Silver and Patrick Morgan are not only amazing artists but terrific friends, Silver missed his true calling in life, he should have become a stand-up comedian.

Our efforts to find decent entertainment on Friday night did not yield respectable results, the three of us were virgins -having never visited Seattle previously and without an expert like Stripclub Tony to hold our collective hand- we were lost children; Saturday night, however, proved to be an entirely different story.

Right after the show ended we hooked up with our Canadian pals who are organizing the Calgary show: Kandrix and Laurie B. and we headed to the picturesque Pike Place Marquet by the water, we had dinner at the generic named 'Japanese Gourmet Restaurant' -82 Stewart Street (between First Ave. and Pike Place), which a local woman raved so much about, of course she was wrong! the sushi was rather bland, but the company was grand.

We walked the fine streets of downtown Seattle, crashed an 'art' gallery show, wandered around in circles searching for the "Lava Lounge", a really cozy tiki bar and had a tremendous time hanging and drinking with those crazy "kickass Art" fools. The talented Joe (Patrick's friend) drove us to a very special place, highly recommended by Stripclub Tony whom we found inside awaiting our arrival. Tony's vast knowledge and expertise in the entertainment field is out of this world!, unfortunately (for you) I can't reveal the nature of our business at that locale, let me just say that "what happens in Vegas, is nothing compared to what happens in Seattle", maybe one day I'll write a tell-all book, but not today.



Dropping Names Ain't Polite

But I'll do it anyway. Now, the part of the convention that made it worthwhile: meeting old friends and making new ones; lots of visitors, fellow artists I admire and friends of this here blog, came by and said hello, something that blew me away and nearly made me cry. Thanks for the love, guys and gals!! It makes me so happy to finally put faces to the names of such kind people.

The list is sorta long but off the top of my head, let me give thanks to the great Michel Gagne and his lovely wife for sharing battlefield stories and garlic bread -we'll turn Calgary into our personal playground, I promise you-, my beautiful friend Wade, sorry we couldn't spend more time together, man, we'll do a book together for sure!, Ben Balisteri, the very gracious Ovi Nedelcu with whom I traded compliments and books, my buddy Jason Pearson -Megan says Hi!-, Brian Stelfreeze who I can talk art with for an eternity, Dave Crosland, Abbott Smith and his lovely wife, Scott Morse -whose book on Maurice Noble is nothing short of a masterpiece-, Jen and Greg Thompson, Jeremy Haun, Kara Fairfield (who fed me), Hawaiian Dave -thanks for the chocolates- (yes, he's everywhere), The Original Dangster and his charming, charming better half, Tha Art Slayer and his brother, Darque Artiste, AnimeGWAAAR!, my boy Forest Eaton -I'm going to give you so much original art, you'll run out of walls-, Kevin Isaac, Stripclub Tony, the uber talented Kevin Dart, the gorgeous Camilla, the mighty Adam, Gene Blakesfield, Joe and many more no less important peeps whose names I can't bring to my lips at the moment. And above all, Stephen Silver and Patrick Morgan, without whom, this trip wouldn't have been made possible.

All in all, this was an incredible experience and I'm looking forward to visiting Seattle next year.


Abrazos,
-Alberto

PS: New MP3 playlist on sidebar ----------->