Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let the battle begin!

TOM- I recently did this illustration for Silver Sound's Music Video Film Festival and Band Battle.
I provided the illustration and Liz Nebiolo provided the design and layout. If yr into music and wanna have a good time, check it out, it should be fun!

Here is the illustration on it's own.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


TOM - I finally contributed a piece to Covered! I picked one of my favorite Archie covers, come o think of it, one of my favorite comic book covers. I tried to get the essence of the cover while adding my own twist. Check out my Covered post here. Hope I was able to do it some justice.
Here's he original drawn by none other than Dan DeCarlo, one of my all time favorites. God, he's incredible!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Girl With Sad Eyes

JAMES - my original intention, when i opened my sketchbook, was to do an intricate but loose pen and ink drawing. somehow this is what happened. maybe it was the tunes i was listening to.
to avoid the set-up and clean-up time of using the good watercolors, i just used one of these kinda sets:
the actual colors on the set i used were a little more "kiddie-bright-ish" (as you can see in the results), but it did the trick just fine.
...she's a little ugly i guess, but i think she has charm.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


JAMES - i have a tube of metallic gold acrylic paint, it's so cool. but i rarely use it. so, in this sketchbook piece, i mixed a little of it with all the colors here, except the blue. i was hoping the little metallics would shine thru on it all, and while it's not exactly shimmery, there is some kind of sheen to it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Rose

JAMES - another Local Showcase poster for the Orange Peel here in Asheville. since this show was only 3 days after the Jay Reatard show, i knew both posters would be all over town, together. i did want to try to keep going with the re-direction that the Jay Reatard poster was going in - but it had to look somewhat different so that the two posters didn't meld together and lose their advertising power, and also the bands for this show were much more tame than Jay, so the subject matter couldn't really be too off the wall.

detail shot

originally, it was really just the snake skeleton and the clouds - the rest of the room i'd leave for the band names and show info. but i realized that it was probably too heavy and dark of a concept for these bands, which are mostly country/rockabilly/blugrass. so i added the rose, which evened everything out - it represented the "life" where the snake represented "death".
the clouds were really fun, and i used one of my favorite techniques - splattering ink with an old toothbrush - to get the textured effect on them. and it really came in handy for giving depth to the rose. i used an old piece of tracing paper to make the mask so that i didn't splatter all over the rose, snake, and the borders.

the illustration itself is all hand-done - mostly #2 brush, then a marker for all the skeleton parts, and of course the toothbrush. then i drew the lettering on a separate sheet of paper (vellum, actually) and put the two together in photoshop.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Communication Arts Illustration Annual '09

JAMES - i'm am honored and so psyched to have been included in the prestigious Communication Arts Illustration Annual for 2009. the above illustration, which you may remember from the poster for Trail of Dead that i did earlier this year, was chosen and the issue was just delivered to my house. i am in some seriously good company - it's an amazing issue.

the issue is on newsstands now and should be available until late August. and the original poster featuring this illustration is still available, but i have maybe 8 prints remaining. there will be no reprints - once it sells out, it's done - so get one while you can (click the link on the top right column on this page for poster sales).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Splitting Headache

JAMES - i was psyched to be asked to create a poster for the upcoming Jay Reatard show at the Orange Peel here in Asheville - i've been a big fan of his for a long time, though the only time i've seen him live was with one of his former bands the Lost Sounds (who were opening for the Hot Snakes in NYC - killer show!), so i can't wait to see the show tomorrow night (click for a great video).

original sketch

anyway, the club asked for a Black&White poster, which actually was perfect timing. I've been looking at my recent Black&White posters, and though i'm sure to most people's eyes, the changes in style is subtle - but to me, i feel i've tried many different approaches. and while i feel real comfortable with my more design-influenced posters, i've been wanting to get back to more comic book-influenced compositions - posters that sort of have a narrative. case in point, my early DC Snipers poster, my Daggerman poster, my first Hellsayers poster, and my Unknown Hinson poster (click the links to see what i'm talking about).
so this was my chance to get back to that, and to use it to represent Jay Reatard's music, i really let go and let it be really weirdo.

detail shot

as is customary, this is Black India Ink (Dr. Ph Martin's Black Star, Matte) on Bristol paper with Vellum finish. i used my absolute favorite Rosemary&Co #2 brush (series 33), and a Nikko G nib pen for all the hatching and tiny details. absolutely no white out.
this poster will be available as a free giveaway with all purchases of any of my other posters for sale - you can find them on,, and