Friday, September 7, 2012

Dead Dog Party

Art work for the top of the box

Finished wooden box

T-shirt design

Every year at the San Diego Comic-Con, the owner of Graphitti T-shirt designs, Bob Chapman, hosts a convention wrap-up party. He puts a lot of money and energy into the party. It's a way of kicking back after the convention has ended, and spending some time relaxing with your friends. I'm not sure how many people are allowed into his exclusive party, but I'd guess somewhere over 100. Bob pays for the rental of the space, which is usually a very nice bar, and the appetizers.

This past year was the 30th year that Bob has been hosting this event. To show their appreciation, Denis Kitchen and a small group of friends decided to give Bob a gift. Denis had contacted 30 artists in the industry, and asked each of them to create an original piece of art to present to Bob at the party. The list was a virtual who's who, some of the people involved were, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Terry Moore, Mike Kaluta, Sergio Aragones, Steve Rude, Neal Adams, Art Adams, Jim Lee, Jill Thompson, Paul Pope, Eric Shanower, Jeff Smith, Walt Simonson, and Mark Schultz. Denis then contacted me, because he wanted a special "container" to hold all of the artwork. We decided a wooden box would be a good solution.

After the box was made, I added graphics to the top and sides. I wanted a fun/retro packaging look. I also wanted it to look like it was an old heirloom. I sanded the graphics after they were applied and added a shellac to seal it. I painted the inside of the box, the reddish/orange color from the top and then sanded that. I took brass corners that were attached to the bottom of the box and soaked them in vinegar to give them an aged appearance. The final thing, was to create some way of lifting the art from inside the box. I attached a leather cord to the bottom of the box, and drilled a hole through the back about 2" higher. On the end of the cord I glued a wooden bead. When you pulled the cord, it would become tight inside the box, and raise up the artwork.

After the box was complete, I liked the design so much, I thought it would look good on T-shirts. Denis agreed and I had 55 T-shirts silk-screened and sent to San Diego for the party. I hope the irony translated. Of course, the T-shirt was printed off register, which would normally make a silk-screener pull his hair out. I thought it was the perfect touch!

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