Sunday, June 6, 2010

Midget Racers Quarterly

Here's a cover to Midget Racers Quarterly, featuring Johnny Comet. So, you say you've never seen or heard of this magazine? That's because this is the only issue in existence. I thought it would be fun to put some promotional material for the book together for San Diego Comic-Con. I thought by creating this faux magazine, it would put some smiles on people's faces. I printed out four of these covers, trimmed them out, and then mounted them to 1950s era Hot Rod magazine guts. I added a little more aging to the cover and I think it looks pretty convincing. It sure smells convincing. Of course to preserve the whole illusion, I quickly made sure to insert the magazines into mylar sleeves. These will be on display at the Vanguard booth, along with Johnny Comet pit crew T's and packaged balloon racing cars. It's all for fun!!


  1. Stellar stuff, Randy!

    I'd love to know more about your research process. Do you sketch in digital for stuff like this? As crisp as your work is, it really has a patina to it that makes it feel classic and timeless. The vintage photos are an exquisite touch. I never saw this work, but these spreads make me want to pick it up.

  2. Thanks Rocket, your insight and encouragement is always appreciated. I'm not sure of my process, I kind of hammer my way through it and hope it turns out okay. It's a variety of different approaches. I think reference is a real key to good design. I love doing background research for the different design projects.

    For the work for Bill Stout, I checked into the work of Will Bradley which has a real organic design quality, which seemed to fit with Bill's art. Researching Art deco and Streamline suited what I was doing with the Rocketeer. The design work for Mark Schultz falls more into Russian Constuctivism. The style of Johnny Comet seemed like old Hot Rod magazines and filling station graphics. The artist's style pretty much dictates what the graphic style should be. I try not to make the design work about me.

    By the way, I love the word "patina," do you mind if I use that as a descriptor of my design style? That to me is the perfect word. It feels like the aging comes naturally, and isn't forced or feels out of place.

  3. Go ahead!

    I've described your work to friends in the industry and it is the word that keeps popping up. At first when I was describing your work to my wife (before she had seen it) and I was looking for words, she said, 'distressed?', and I said "NO!"

    Your work has got this quality where you feel the process and evolution of the search for the design with a nod to design history that makes it have a visual richness while still being progressive, and I'll be dammed if I know how to articulate it!

    As I say, I have never seen Frazetta's "Johnny Comet" stuff, but I am sold on it based on the spreads you have up.