Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flesk Prime Book Cover

Here's a description, from the inside flap of the book,
"Flesk Prime serves as a fresh look into the imagery of five exceptional artists: Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni, Petar Meseldžija, Mark Schultz and William Stout. The essence of each craftsman is captured here to satisfy their fans as well as individuals who are enjoying their first glimpse. The section on each artist begins with an introduction and a biography written by Flesk publisher John Fleskes. The five were invited to handpick their pieces for inclusion, to showcase the best representation of their works. Furthermore, new quotes have been obtained to capture the artists’ own thoughts. Each chapter shows the dynamic range of styles and illustrations and the unique diversity of these five creators. Almost all of the artwork has been reproduced direct from the originals."

When John Fleskes asked me to design the cover for this book, he had a certain visual style in mind. He wanted a more gritty, urban, edgy look, that would peak people's interest, who might not normally seek out a book of this content. I think it was a very wise marketing decision. What a great way to introduce the artists that Flesk Publications work with to a new audience. I liked loading up the cover with different layers, textures and materials, it has a real density, that is reflected in the contents also. It's nice when it all works and comes full circle and feels complete. The book should be available in time for the San Diego Comic-Con.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuna Egg Casserole

I had a lag in my work schedule, and was looking for some productive way to fill that gap. I came across a website called, "Just Add Ink, A Comic Cookbook." It was an invitation to local (Minnesota) cartoonists and comic book artists to contribute to a book compiling, recipes, cooking tips, or comics "how to." Each artist is given a page 8 1/2 x 11"- 2 sides, to give their recipe, or tell their story. I've always been interested in combining illustration and storytelling, but never had the guts, to really give it a try. This seemed like a good outlet to cross that wish off of my list. This is really, more of a series of individual illustrations put together to create a comic, then true panel to panel continuity. But, you know what, I had fun with it, and even though it's not really my strong suite, it forced me to think differently and try to create something I've never done before.

I usually like the work to speak for itself, but feel this needs a little explanation. I wanted this to look and feel like it was an insert into a woman's magazine from the 50s. Hopefully the "host" doesn't need an introduction. I hope that there is enough reality or believability to off-set the ridiculous. The whole joke is supposed to be summed up in the last panel, when Norma Jeanne is pointing to the name of the tuna as "Purr-fect" and making reference to how much the family cat enjoys this brand of tuna. I'm not sure the subtly came through, that she's actually using cat food to feed her family. Is it perhaps too clever?

Altered Esthetics is one of the sponsors of this project and will have a gallery show and book launch on August 5th, celebrating the release of the "Just Add Ink- a Comic Cookbook." It's all a little out of my comfort zone, but you can't grow if you don't challenge yourself. Purr-fect Tuna, try a can today! (if you can wrestle it away from your family cat)

San Diego Exclusives

San Diego Comic-Con has become the Shangri-La, Eden, and Nirvana of pop culture events, all rolled into one package. When one hundred thousand people descend upon the San Diego convention center for the four day event, there is great anticipation for getting all their animation, manga, comic book, low brow art, B-grade movies, original art and collectible urban toy, needs met. It never disappoints, to be an adrenaline soaked event.

Publishers look for this time, to make special announcements and also roll out their plans for the upcoming year. Part of all of the fun is, when special limited editions are released only for those attending the San Diego Comic-Con. IDW is producing 2 special edition covers especially for this event. Dave Steven's Sketchbook and Walter Simonson's Thor Artist's Edition both will be represented with very limited edition covers. I believe, you can order both of these ahead of time through IDW's website, and then pick them up at the convention. Of course, you could take your chances, and try to purchase them from IDW's booth while you are there.