WINCS, Rat Finks and Repeats

Hey it’s another blog post about booze related projects. Surprise. Surprise. Seriously though, I’ve been really lucky to work with such great clients in the beer and wine industry. Hopefully we can keep it going for as long as possible.

The second bottle of La Forza Super Tuscan from the fine wine subscription service WINC, is now available. We continue the adventures of our super team made just for the bottle labels. One more to go that should be out next year some time. It’s been pretty fun to see so many comic creators get a hold of this. We love our booze apparently. Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.05.11 PM

 

Recently in the studio, my wife Nicole asked me to mock up a shirt idea she had. COFFEE. LA CROIX. WINE. REPEAT. It’s a pretty solid midwestern way of living. Our friends at Chux Print seemed to agree and decided it needed to become a real shirt which you can now purchase HERE.

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I also got to work again with my friends at Fulton Brewery. Fulton is one of the best breweries in Minnesota and it’s always a pleasure to collaborate. They are sponsoring a dirt track race car this year through their new STANDARD LAGER beer. They wanted someone who could give a RAT FINK style vibe to the promotional material for the race season and I had a blast channeling my inner Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. You can find promotional materials featuring this image at Fulton Brewery and wherever the race car appears this season on the track this summer.

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Get a Clue

Clue was and still is one of my favorite board games to play. My wife Nicole and I would play it a ton when we were a poor young couple that couldn’t afford to go out. When I heard IDW was doing a comic of the famous mystery game, I had to reach out and see if they wanted to cover done for it. Thankfully they did.

 

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I had a lot of fun ideas floating through my head and here’s some of the thumbnail concepts. Eventually we settles on the idea of player cards taking on a life of their own. This was such a fun and different project to work on. I had a blast. Clue #3 hits stores this August from IDW.

 

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Long Tails and Ears for Hats.

Was extremely excited recently to be asked by Archie Comics to contribute a cover for Josie & the Pussycats. The new relaunch of the book as been aces and we named our first daughter after the main character, Josie. So it’s been a bucket list job since she was born in 2010.

I started with some thumbnail sketches. I noticed they hadn’t done a stage diving or crowd surfing cover yet, so I went with that. I also tried to get them to maybe show some Minneapolis love by putting the band in front of the iconic First Avenue.

 

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Editorial decided to go with the fun crowd surfing one and I went to work. Tried changing up my palette on this from pervious covers I had been doing and overall I am really happy with the results. Which you can see below. Josie and the Pussycats #8 with my variant cover will be on sale this June at a comic store near you.

 

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Quarter Down

Geez, 2017 is certainly off to a speedy start. One quarter in the books already. I had planned on spreading some updates around over the course of the past few weeks but work has been so crazy I just never found the time. So here’s a bunch or art and news in one giant post.

Captain Marvel- I’m back in the Marvel Universe this April with the release of Captain Marvel #4. Written by Margaret Stohl, and half the issue drawn by myself and the other half by Rosy Higgins & Ted Brandt. It was a pleasure getting to draw such a great character and the final issue in the first arc of the new series. Issue four hits stands April 26th.

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C2E2 & ID10T Festival

It’s comic convention season! I won’t be hitting the road as much this year as last year but I will be at C2E2 in Chicago April 21st-23rd. Here’s the details on my Artist Alley Table and rates. There may be some signings added in before the show starts. If so, I will update my information below. C2E2_Commissions

I am also pleased to announce I shall be a guest at the first ever ID10T Festival  in Silicon Valley June 24th and 25TH. created and hosted by Chris Hardwick this event merges music, comedy, comics, gaming, tech,  and pop culture into one big festival. I am really stoked and honored to be a part of what will hopefully become a yearly event.

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Doc Savage- All four issues of Doc Savage:Ring of Fire have been previewed online so I can finally share all four connecting covers. I really had a fun time working on “The Man of Bronze” and getting to add some cool history like the last flight pattern of Amelia Earhart as the background. Issue one of this really fun series dropped last week and it continues every month till June. Hope you check it out from Dynamite Entertainment.

 

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Red Bull Crashed Ice Cooler (Or how to kill your darlings…Or How I learned that I need to slow the hell down sometimes)

Every February Red Bull holds in event an downtown St.Paul called Crashed Ice. Competitors ski down a narrow curvy track, bashing into each other, glass walls, and frozen ice to win the race. It’s become quite the attraction and brings in over a hundred thousand people over the course of the weekend it takes place.

With all that excitement Red Bull has started throwing festive events to get people excited about it. Several parties are put on throughout the town. What else do you do in Minnesota in February? A friend of mine who works at Red Bull asked if I would participate in a project where artists would take a classic Red Bull mini cooler, and customize it with their art. It would be displayed at one of the events. I thought the project sounded fun so I agreed. Also it was a good opportunity to draw on something that isn’t paper or a computer for the first time in a long while.

Since I was trying something new, and using some tools I hadn’t used in quite some time, I decided to keep the concept and execution pretty simple. The one request the client had was to make it have elements of St. Paul. I knew many artists would probably go with most of the landmark icons of the town like the cathedral on the hill, or some of the downtown buildings, so I decided to use The Vulcans.

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The Vulcans are these group of people who have been dressing up as sun worshiping, sword carrying, swash bucklers for over fifty years. They are a main attraction throughout many festival events that go on throughout the state of Minnesota during the winter months. They try to get everyone excited about the summer months. It’s a little crazy but I think that you kind of need to be a little crazy to live in a place that is winter 6-7 months out the year. Who am I to judge?

 

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So the project. I get my cooler, and you actually don’t put the art directly on the cooler itself, they give us these metal  “skins” that go on all sides of the cooler. Each part fits specifically to a certain side. I assemble it and make notes on which skin goes which side  and then I get started drawing. I limit my color palette to black, red and yellow. The traditional color of the Vulcans. I decide that while the Vulcans are fun and neat looking, that I want to make them look like real serious and a scary threat. So to do so I make them more zombie/demon looking.

For having not done much surface art in a while, the process goes pretty well. I mostly used these cool acrylic markers from Molotow that apply really nice. I am able to keep my line style and they go over my top base coats really well without taking much more than one layer of color.

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Once finished, I go to reassemble the skins onto the cooler. I instantly knew something was wrong. While I had the skins labeled correctly on their sides, they also needed to be attached in a certain way to connect to the other skins, and I basically illustrated on them upside down. Working late nights on this I had gotten so insistent to try and get going as fast as I could, I didn’t bother to stop and double check to make sure how they needed to placed back on the cooler. It was a mistake of rushing too fast and it had caught up to me, big time.

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The side skins needed to be sand blasted and completely redone. It really sucked.

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I reapplied primer on the skins and once that was ready to go and I stocked up on more supplies. With a tight deadline, I ended up doing the work in half the time it took me earlier in the week, and to be honest, it looked a lot better as well. One of the original inspirations for this project was a Jimbo Phillips, who was the artist on my first skateboard as a kid, a Rob Roskopp deck from Santa Cruz. I don’t think I hit the proper amount of crazy the first time around, so this time I focused more on the gnarly faces and that seemed to help a lot.

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Overall this was a really fun project that offered me the chance to stretch my creative muscles differently. It was also a good reminder that sometimes we go too fast and need to slow the hell down. I made a huge and easily correctable blunder on this thing and it pisses me off to no end. If it ever happens to you, it sucks, there’s no way around it. But if it does, just take it as an opportunity to make something better. You may find it to all be worth it in the end.

 

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