Monthly Archive for April, 2009

R.I.P. J.G. Ballard

Post-MOMEntum: Gallery Talk

The MOMEntum exhibition is drawing to a close, but before it’s over me and Zak Sally are giving a Gallery Talk about the show. So come to MCAD tonight at 6:30 pm and see me stumble around the gallery trying to sound articulate. Apparently MCAD is holding their annual Mini-Comics Expo at the same time.

Morrissey at The State Theater

On Monday, Morrissey played in Funnyapolis. Some insist that he said ‘Fannyapolis.’ Either one is a pretty apt description of Minneapolis as far as I’m concerned. It was much more of a production than I was expecting. Huge sound, huge backdrop and a huge light show. Drawing was more challenging than I expected it to be. It was very dark and the only light I could catch was provided by the overactive light show. It’s interesting to see a drawing develop under a strobe light. The Courteeners opened. I believe they were from Manchester. Here are the obligatory drawings:
morrissey
Morrissey and band. The huge figure flexing it’s muscles was actually an image of a sailor smoking a cigar… in the drawing it ended up looking more like some Egyptian Pharaoh… which is fine with me!
the courteeners morrissey
The Courteeners (left) and Morrissey during the ultra-dark rendition of Death of a Disco Dancer.

Junior Boys, Max Tundra and Lookbook

Junior Boys and Max Tundra played the First Avenue Main room Friday night. Max Tundra’s hyper-spastic set was the highlight of the evening for me… but then I’ve been a big Max Tundra fan since his first, electronica inflected, Children at Play single (from Warp) and I consider his Some Best Friend You Turned Out To Be an unsung masterpiece. The audience was both baffled and dazzled by his impish presence and multi-instrumentalist prowess. But their latent inner raver was soon awakened by Tundra’s off-kilter take on KLF’s What Time Is Love? The Junior Boys, on the other hand, were almost aloof in comparison… Their icy minimalist synth-techno-pop sounded cavernous and distant… as if emanating from a forgotten mall built inside of an underground fallout shelter buried deep beneath the frozen Canadian tundra… good stuff. Minneapolis’ own Lookbook opened. Here are some drawings from the show.
Junior Boys
Junior Boys
Max Tundra
Max Tundra was so active on stage it was difficult to choose what to draw.
Lookbook, Max Tundra
Lookbook (left), Max Tundra doing a spastic robot (right)

Ectoplasmic Deflation: Process

Yesterday, I posted a drawing that’s part of the Cloudy Characters print set. Today, I wanted to show you the process. I’ve always admired the process posts on Dan Zettwoch‘s site (like this one), so here’s one of my own.
Nothing starts without an idea. The brief I had from David was simply that it had to be a ‘cloudy character,” nothing else. I didn’t want to do anything with clouds in the sky because I couldn’t think of an interesting way of depicting that. Instead I decided to think of ‘cloudy’ as ‘head in the clouds.’ The economy was tanking at the time (and still is) and it was pretty obvious that Wall Street has had their head in the clouds for way too long. My initial idea was to comment on the various bailouts by having Ransom Strange‚Ñ¢ magically inflate an empty suit:
ectoplasmic inflation
That seemed over-complex graphically for the small image, and didn’t really make much sense. But I liked the idea the lost financial capital as magical (or fictional) and evaporating as if it was never there. My second sketch was much simpler. It’s just a Fat Cat deflating… blowing mystical capital all around around him:
ektoplasmic deflation sketch.jpg
I was happy enough with the above to work up final line-art (india ink over pencil):
ektoplasmic deflation line art.jpg
Next was color. I scanned in the line art and printed out a few smaller copies. This way I could quickly play around with it using colored pencil:

sketch dow jones sketch text
sketch first sketch stepped bg
sketch final

I liked the last variation best, and worked up the background line art based on it:
background
The final step was compositing everything in Photoshop and coloring the art based on the color pencil guidelines above. Here’s the final art:
ectoplasmic deflation final art.jpg
See (and purchase) the printed (letterpress!) version here… Hopefully someone will find this useful in some way.