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


thomas pitilli said...

Yeah, the first thing I thought when I saw this was of yr old poster making style, which I always loved. I totally dig yr more recent designy aproach to making posters, but there seems to be something very honest and natural about this style for you. The ideas always seem to translate very well too. I think a good example of you incorporating the two syles together would be the Trail of Dead poster. Anyway, I like the line work and the graphic qualiy in this one.

james flames said...

thanks man. yeah, i figured you of all people would be able to pick up on the style.
y'see, the thing i learned from some of my earliest silkscreen posters is that this style doesn't work well with color - it's basically live and die with black and white. which is great. but when i do the color posters, i have to rely more on design - and as the poster making goes on, i guess i departed from this original style when i did black and whites. but i feel like i have my head back in it.

Eliza Frye said...

I also really like your black and white stuff. You have a great line quality and sense of detail that shines in these.

james flames said...

thanks eliza!

alex fine illustration said...

Great poster. It's good to see a poster artist hand draw everything.