Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Jacko: I'll Definitely Miss Drawing This Guy.

I'm not a Michael Jackson fan. He was undeniably talented, and I enjoyed the Jackson Five's tunes as much as any other child of the 70s. However, that does little to mitigate the allegations of child molestation and the baby-dangling episode. Toss in the hyperbaric sleep chamber, the Elephant Man's skeleton, the Mystery of the Melting Nose, the monkey, and you've got a tragic freak show that provided me with a number of fun illo opportunities before it came to a sudden stop.

Some of you may have seen this first one before, since it served as a placeholder on my old website for many months while I was pounding away on the updated site. If you HAVE seen it before, all I can say is: well, here it is again. I drew "Ecce Jacko" for publishing magnate Josh Bernstein's excellent mag ROYAL FLUSH in April, 2008. It appears in Issue #5, and I strongly urge you to buy it here.

Next we have four unlettered panels from a strip I drew for DC Comics' The BIG BOOK OF SCANDAL, which was edited by Andy Helfer, and published in 1998. The three page B&W strip, (written by Jonathan Vankin & titled "Wacko Jacko") illuminated some of the weirder episodes in Michael Jackson's career, (episodes prior to 1998, of course). I drew a heap of strips for the BIG BOOKS series, and "Wacko Jacko" has to be my personal favorite, (it's a toss-up between this one and "Other Oswalds," a strip I drew in 1995 for The BIG BOOK OF CONSPIRACIES). The BIG BOOK OF SCANDAL is available here.

I drew this next one for FHM in August of 2003, most likely for FHM Art Director Matt Warner. I'm at a loss to tell you what this illo is about, other than to look at it and say "it's a drawing of Michael Jackson sleeping with the aid of an oxygen tank, having a happy dream about Bubbles the Chimp and Liz Taylor riding the roller coaster at Neverland Ranch."

Finally, we have an illo I drew for The Wall Street Journal in August of 2001. August 28th, 2001 to be exact, two weeks before September 11th! Commissioned by WSJ Art Director Sue Foster, this illo shows Michael Jackson cavorting onstage with's CEO Jeff Bezos. Again, I have little to offer in way of explanation except to mutter the horrendously-overused cliche "it is what it is." Maybe I'd remember what the illo was about if TWO HUGE FUCKING JETLINERS hadn't---oh, never mind. So long, Jacko.