Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Me, If I Were Radiohead's "The Bends"

Radiohead is, like, the greatest band ever. Except maybe the Beatles. I vacillate. At the very least, Radiohead took up the Beatles' banner, continuing in their spirit of musical experimentation and fearless innovation. But in lyrical content, I have to give the edge to Thom Yorke. Radiohead isn't saddled with the psuedo-stories of a Paul McCartney, and who doesn't enjoy an awesome song about alienation, isolation, techno-shock or rabbit diseases?

One of my favorite things about Radiohead is the way they marry graphic arts with their music. Stanley Donwood, Radiohead's artist friend, has created some incredible images... from the dreary collages of "Ok Computer" to the icy compu-landscapes of "Kid A" to the battered library books of "Amnesiac" to the info-overload street maps of "Hail To The Thief." Stan Donwood also worked with Yorke on the cover of "The Bends," Radiohead's second album. It was made, apparently, by morphing Thom Yorke's face onto a photograph of a medical dummy. It's not my favorite of Radiohead's album covers, but it was the easiest to make look like me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Me, If I Were The Cheat

If you've never seen a Homestar Runner cartoon, stop what you're doing, right now, go to www.homestarrunner.com and then laugh hysterically at the antics of Homestar, Marzipan, Bubs, Strong Sad, Strong Bad and Strong Bad's best friend, The Cheat.

The Cheat is this adorable yellow thing with black spots. He has a gold tooth. He is criminally inclined and he makes crappy Flash cartoons with incredibly poor voice acting. The Cheat's cartoon, "Mile," is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. My wife and I quote it on a weekly basis.

So here I am as the Cheat. Thanks for cheering me on!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So, what the heck is Grimace, anyways? He's the mentally challenged friend of Ronald McDonald and Birdie The Early Bird, certainly, but exactly what Grimace is supposed to be seems to be a mystery.

He began as a villain in McDonaldland. He went by the name of "E. Grimace" (the "E." stood for "evil") and he had, for some reason, six arms. He debuted in an H.R. Puff-N-Stuff inspired ad in which he stole all the cups in McDonaldland to prevent anyone from enjoying frosty milkshakes or ice cold Coca-Cola. He was, of course, thwarted by Ronald (in the guise of a mailman). Somewhere along the way, he lost four of those arms and converted to the side of goodness and right.

Or, perhaps, E. Grimace is separate from the good Grimace we know and love?

I don't know if there's an official McDonaldland canon or not...

Me, If I Were A Communist Leader Portrayed On State Propaganda

This could be considered the one that started this whole obsession for me...

As the universal health care debate rages on, I've become increasingly annoyed with people chucking the word "socialism" out there like so much confetti. It's silly. I feel like we've thrown back to the era of McCarthy when communism and socialism were these terrible evils out to destroy the world.

Since a lot of my viewpoints were being criticized as socialist, I decided to change my Facebook profile picture to reflect that. So I drew myself in the style of an old Russian state propaganda poster. I wasn't sure I could convey the look, but I was so pleased the results that I started to wonder what I would look like as other things...

So this is, in essence, the debut of the whole concept. Looking at it now, it seems a little primitive to what I've made after, but that makes me happy. It means I'm getting better.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Me, If I Were Flip From Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo In Slumberland"

My favorite comic strip of all time is Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo In Slumberland." If that guy could've lettered his word balloons a little better and actually written dialog, there would have been no stopping the Little Nemo train. As it is, readers will just have to settle for lush, mind-bending art done in a beautiful turn of the (last) century style with gorgeous, muted colors and beds that grow giant legs and tower over the Empire State Building.

Flip, one of the characters, is a beard muzzled, cigar-smoking, conniving jerk who somehow becomes Nemo's best friend. He's also supposed to be a kid, which is weird, given the muzzle and cigar. And his skin is green.

I can't find the original panel I used as reference for this picture of me as Flip, but here's one to give you an idea of what the guy looked like when drawn by McCay.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Me, If I Were Jack Skellington

My first attempt to draw me as Jack Skellington (from Tim Burton and Henry Selick's "Nightmare Before Christmas") failed miserably. I was using a still from the film as reference. I just couldn't get it to look right to save my life. Luckily, my life didn't depend on it and I drew it this way instead. I don't know who the original artist on this piece was... I found this picture on several websites. I think it's rather nifty.

I like the curlicue goatee, especially. I came up with that on my lonesome.

Me, If I Were One Of H.R. Giger's Aliens

When I was in middle school, a girl I had a total crush on showed me a copy of H.R. Giger's Taschen collection, "Arh+," that her parents had, strangely, gotten her for Christmas. Apparently they were unaware of just how graphic Giger's biomechanical art could be. If you're unfamiliar with H.R. Giger, there are a LOT of varieties of mechanoid sphincters in his work. A LOT. And dead babies. It's not traditional Christmas fare.

One thing I did learn, though, is that the Xenomorph, the alien from the "Alien" movies, was also designed by Giger. And I thought that was pretty freaking awesome. The "Alien" aliens are incredibly creepy, disgusting looking and sufficiently otherworldly to make them a contender for modern horror archetypes... kind of a Universal monster for my generation.

They're also ridiculously hard to draw. This was reaching. I'm not even a mote of the artist that Giger is, so replicating an alien in his style was a challenge. While I didn't quite succeed, I think I managed a respectable showing... the glasses and goatee look especially like an afterthought on this guy...