Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jeff Smith's BONE "The Great Cow Race" Artist's Edition

 Jeff Smith's BONE Artist's Edition cover

 BONE title page

BONE dedication and table of contents pages

I was a late arriver to the world of BONE. I think at the time, there was limited exposure for the book. The story that first captured my attention, was "The Great Cow Race." After reading that and meeting the cast, I was hooked. It was a mix of Walt Kelly's POGO and "The Lord of the Rings." There was adventure, intrigue, humor, and great animated style character design. 

When looking at and reading the story, it's hard to really compare it to anything else out there. The style of the drawing is very charming, and looks like style guides for an animated feature. Based on the cartooniness, it might suggest that this is a humor/funny animal book. Although there are plenty of humorous situations and funny moments, the storytelling is much more layered and textured. Actually, there is a lot of very dark and foreboding sequences.

Jeff Smith's ability to create personalities out of white blobby creatures, is pretty jaw-dropping.  I never thought I would become so immersed into the journey of the Bone cousins. What a pleasure and delight to be able to get up close and personal with the creations of Jeff Smith and his BONE universe.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Joe Kubert's TOR Artist's Edition

 Joe Kubert's TOR Artist's Edition cover

 TOR Title Page

 TOR pages 2-3

 TOR pages 5-6

TOR page 57

Another Joe Kubert book, and another day in heaven! I don't know how he was able to maintain such a high level of artistry over such a prolonged period of time. What is your favorite decade of Kubert's work: 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s? It really is quite astounding to see the quality of art continue to be brilliant decade after decade.  

I continue to try and make each of these Artist's Editions unique onto itself. It's a challenge not to repeat myself. I'm sure there is a recognizable style in everything I do, but I do my best to mix things up. It's kind of like asking a cartoonist like Joe Kubert not to draw like Joe Kubert. Something will always show through that is a give-away. I'm not sure that is necessarily a bad thing. I wouldn't have wanted Kubert to suddenly start drawing like Charles Schulz, that would have just seemed odd. But certainly over the decades his art style changed and evolved. I hope I continue to be a work in progress. I don't ever want to get to a place of complete satisfaction. That's dangerous. The way I look at it I still have another four decades to try to get it right!

Nostalgia Zone

 First Logo attempt

 Second Logo attempt

 Third Logo attempt

Final Logo solution

This is a series and progression for a logo I designed for a comic-book, collectables store in MPLS. I first entered into a discussion with the owner/manager, to get his general thoughts on what he was looking for. We did a brainstorming session, and agreed on a general direction. The logo was going to be a 3 color design: blue, red, and yellow. Because of the name, it seemed like a no-brainer to make it look vintage, or...RETRO! I thought it should look like something that would appear on toy packaging, or a child's shoe box. Who could have guessed that I love retro design? 

After the first attempt, I was asked to change the look of the kid, and maybe add a couple different looks and some different type treatments. The second and third logos went the "googie" route. Googie design was popular from the early fifties through the mid-sixties. Bowling alley signage, Big Boy restaurants, Holiday Inn Hotels, Route 66 Motels, these all fell into that category. I liked the carefree fun approach, so I did my best to incorporate that style into my designs.

The final logo ended up being a combination of the previous designs. I really want to have a t-shirt with that new logo design on it!