Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fifteen Famous Drunks

Here's a likeness-laden illo I drew exactly one year ago for Kristen Goodfriend at the Boston Phoenix, and I can't imagine a more appropriate week to trot it out. With an assignment like this one, (which, if I'm remembering correctly, had a three or four day turnaround), any notions about creating an eye-catching composition go right out the window. The job quickly boils down to fitting all the figures into the frame, getting the likenesses right, (hopefully) and meeting the deadline.

When Kristen called me with this assignment, it was one of those rare moments when I was simultaneously shivering with terror at the thought of cranking out fifteen caricatures over a weekend, and drooling over the opportunity to draw some of these notorious characters. Against my better judgment, I pounced; as it turned out, I got the drawing done minutes before presstime. Looking at it a year later, I'm not too unhappy with the result.

It's an odd group of legendary drinkers, (I'm sure we can all name a few who should be here but aren't), and I had to refer to last year's emails to remind myself who a couple of these folks are. Starting in the lower left corner, progressing from left to right, bottom to top, we have: Charles Bukowski, Tallulah Bankhead, Oliver Reed, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Jackie Gleason, Brendan Behan, The Pogues' Shane McGowan, Ozzy Osborne, Winston Churchill, Kingsley Amis, Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard, Red Sox pitcher David Wells, Modern Drunkard publisher Frank Kelly Rich, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner.

(this is one instance where I absolutely insist that you to click on the image for the enlarged version).


  1. Robert Cook1:30 PM

    Very nice, Danny...and impressive to think you cranked this out in just a few days! You didn't tell us what the editrix thought of it.

    My only remark would be that you made most of these legendarily dog-ugly people--whether genetically or alcoholically achieved--looking far too fit, slim and wholesome. I have to assume this is because of your innate artistic vision, which is filled with a beatific acceptance of the beauty and humanity of all, uh, humans.

  2. Joe Hurley11:46 AM

    Where is Christopher Hitchens?

    For that matter, where are Danny DeVito, Liza Minelli, and David Hasselhoff?

    And for God's sake, where is W.C. Fields?!?

  3. Anonymous12:51 PM

    Yay! Pollard's in there! Great likeness.
    -Patrick Dean

  4. Yeah, good to see Pollard, but you need Dash Hammett and Lillian Hellman throwing copies of "The Brothers Karamazov" at each others' heads.

  5. To those of you who have suggested, (or are about to suggest) that some other famous drunks should've been included in this illo, I would like to make the following statement: yes, there's a bottomless supply of famous drunks who should be in this illo, (and certainly many better ones than the dude who started Modern Drunkard magazine. However, it was the wise and lovely folks at Boston Phoenix who compiled the list of fifteen drunks; in other words, I VAS ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS!

  6. Hi Danny, I'd like to purchase a copy of this print. Can you tell me how to go about doing that? Thanks much. Stephanie