Saturday, October 28, 2006


Since this is Halloween weekend, I thought I’d post a few recent illos that I’m sure you’ll agree are appropriate to the season.

First, here’s a cover illo for New York Press that ran in September of 2004; art direction by Mike McKeogh, (this was at the point when the New York Press was chewing up art directors and spitting them out faster than I could change Rolodex cards). The feature was about an historic cemetery out in Brooklyn somewhere that had fallen into disrepair in recent decades, falling prey to dope fiends, partying teens, and the like.

Readers of New York Press in its heyday may spot my sneaky in-joke: the names on the headstones are all former New York Press staffers. For reasons unknown to me, the then editors of the paper, (Jeff Koyen and Alexander Zaitchik) did not find my gag print-worthy; the art ran on the paper’s cover with the names zapped out via Photoshop. Had the paper commissioned this illo a month or two later, I might’ve added Koyen & Zaitchik’s own names to the headstones, but that’s a spooky tale for another day.

Next, it’s a cover illo for the Boston Phoenix from October of 2005, with art direction by Kristen Goodfriend. The point here was that, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the White House press corps had finally decided to remove the kid gloves and ask the President some tough questions.

The main thing I remember about this illo, (besides the thrill I felt at being asked to draw a wounded Dubya pursued by ravenous zombies), was that at some point during the process, one of Kristen’s editors asked that I put a zombified Diane Sawyer and Keith Olbermann into the mob of ghoulish reporters. I tried to point out that likenesses are extremely tough to pull off when the characters are also supposed to look like walking corpses, but the editors, God bless them, they get these kooky ideas in their heads, and they ARE in charge, so, well….I suppose that zombie in the middle kinda looks like he might be vaguely related to Keith Olbermann…sort of.

Lastly: the moment I’d heard that longtime friend of SCREW magazine “Grandpa” Al Lewis had died, (in February of 2006), I pounced for my phone and pitched a memorial cover to Mr. Kevin Hein, SCREW’s longtime art director, and my good friend. Behold the result:

A day or two after the issue went to press, I was crestfallen to discover that the birth date I’d put on the drawing was INCORRECT, thanks to the beloved Munster’s unfortunate habit of LYING about his own history. While I’m sure all of us fib about ourselves occasionally, apparently Grandpa Al told some real whoppers, including a claim that he’d been on the legal team that defended Sacco & Venzetti, (no mean feat for a four year old boy).

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Adieu CBGB!

According to reports on NPR, it appears that CBGB finally closed its doors for good this morning. I won't lose much sleep over the loss of CB's legendary music stage; like many, I can't remember the last time I went there to see a band. When I did visit the grimy club, it was invariably to see some friend's noisy band, rather than one of the seminal punk groups that made the place famous in the 70s, (unfortunately, I missed that scene by two or three years).

What I WILL mourn is the loss of CBs gallery space next door at 313 Bowery, where I spent countless merry hours during the 90's and the early 2000's attending their terrific art shows, (a handful of of which were curated by yours truly). CBs 313 Gallery was one of very few art venues in Manhattan where miscreants like me were welcome to mount large shows; their space was expansive and well-maintained, they had a great bar, and the folks who ran the place were top-notch. I have nothing but fond memories of Micheline and her crew at CBs 313, and I wish all of them the very best of luck in their future endeavors.

In observation of CBGB's closing, here's a drawing I did for an Electric Frankenstein poster in August of 2005.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kim Jong Il Rocks!

In tribute to North Korea's successful detonation of a Hiroshima-sized atomic weapon this weekend, here's a drawing of the Glorious Leader rocking out on his Flying V in anticipation of some nifty economic sanctions.

This illo was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent in February of 2005. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased Tom Carlson (Dear Leader of Riverfront Times art department) and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant illo capability.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Calendar That Wasn't

Bad news from the Bougieman: owing to Tower Records’ recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the plug has been pulled on the Cinema Sewer calendar for 2007. I’m not sure exactly what kind of arrangement Robin had with the folks at Tower; perhaps they were funding the print run, or maybe their distribution was key. In any event, Tower has pulled out, and the calendar is kaput. It’s a shame; last year’s calendar was packed with fun, and I’m sure this one would’ve been even better.

Here are two drawings I’d contributed to Robin’s calendar; the first was for the cover, (a scene of monster mayhem at your local drive-in cinema), and the second was for the month of December, (showing Santa Claus in his little-known side gig as vampire hunter coming up against Christopher Lee’s Dracula). As one would imagine, I’m bummed that these two drawings won’t be seeing print, (at least until I can figure out some way to repurpose ‘em), so in an effort to dry my tears, here they are in all their low-res digital glory.