Friday, February 25, 2011

V is for VICTORY!

I received the following unsolicited message this week regarding my drawing for Dark Thrones and Black Flags:

The Darkthrone cover art that came in 2nd in the Jan 11, 2011 cover voting it is now entered into the monthly voting for January. The artist that receives the most votes in January will receive a $100.00 and be entered into the yearly voting. You can vote at
Martin Geramita
Reign In Art

I'm guessing he meant "February" since I just got the message two days ago. Anyway, I have no idea what this means or how to vote but $100 sounds pretty sweet. I look forward to drinking Budweiser in a pile of money with a smoking chimpanzee. A vote for DREAD is a vote for...VICTORY!

Thursday, February 17, 2011



Oh, wait. Woops. This is actually a New Renaissance Records press release circa 1987 and this is how news (and gossip and general shit-talking) was shared amongst metalheads before the days of "social networking". This is also fucking fantastic! I want to see the photos this Italian photographer snapped on the rooftop before the cops came. Today we celebrate the birth of one of Black Metal's founding fathers, Tomas Börje Forsberg (aka, Quorthon), who was born in Stockholm, Sweden on February 17, 1966 and departed Midgaard for the Eternal Fire on June 4, 2004 at the age of 38 due to heart failure. Needless to say, Quorthon/Bathory (the two entities are virtually indistinguishable as music was his life's work) singlehandedly guided the trajectory of heavy metal over the course of two decades, first pioneering the sound and aesthetics of Norsk Black Metal with his extreme necro-satanic stance and later pioneering what has come to be called Viking Metal with earnest (and occasionally painful) hymns to his ancestry and native land. It is difficult to overestimate the influence this visionary artist has had on generations of reverent musicians, visual artists and rabid fans. Heed the call from the grave! Happy Birthday, Quorthon!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Scrawls From The Crypt: Lemmy '88

"No one knows, friends or foes, if Valhalla lies beyond the grave..."

Here's one from the crypt that you've probably never seen unless you"lucky" enough to score a copy of Destroying Angels #5. I didn't keep many scribblings from my youth (you aren't missing anything, trust me) but here's a favorite that somehow survived the freight trains and lost highways that were to be the graveyard of many drawings along the way. I whipped this out in 1988 at the ripe age of 16 and all I can say is that we all have to start somewhere, don't we? The likeness is decent but I accidentally gave Lemmy a six string "axe" instead of a Richenbacher bass. Doh! Oh well, what were YOU drawing in 1988? I might post more of these old drawings because I'm a glutton for punishment and it's pretty fun to see how things have progressed over the years. And how they have not. Of course this is dedicated to the one and only Lemmy Kilmister, who I finally had the opportunity to properly meet last week and thank for several decades of enjoyment. He told the lady, "If you had to wake up and shave this face everyday you wouldn't think I was so important, believe me..."

Eternal hails to Eric Helzer and Jason Charles for making this happen!

Monday, February 07, 2011

MAD Genius Nearly 90!

Mad Magazine cartoonist and all around sweetheart/funny man Al Jaffee is approaching his 90th birthday! Don't have a panic attack if you don't immediately recall who Mr. Jaffee is or why he is a genius of visual gags. All you need to know is that he began working for Mad in 1964 and remains one of the longest running and most consistently excellent cartoonists in the magazine's colorful history. He is also the inventor of the amazing back page fold-in gags that influenced generations of nerdy artist types (and probably your stoned older brother). I'm convinced Jaffee's obsessive eye for detail, meticulous rendering and occasionally barbed- but always fun- style was an unconscious influence on Joe Coleman. Just look at the symmetry, bruised hues and swirling strokes of both painters' best work (the similarities are particularly evident in their renderings of clouds). If you're too young to remember, Jaffee's fold-in paintings were optical illusions that often took satirical aim at current events and pop culture trends. Like his harsh statement about class and war in the July 1968 issue which shows a group of young high school drop-outs standing in line at an unemployment agency and the fold-in reveals their future career option: cannon fodder. Jaffee is a technical master and a hilarious storyteller who "wrote" most of his own weird invention gags and visual fold-in narratives for much of his nearly five decade career. There's a really great interview showing Jaffee at work in his studio and explaining the process for creating his work here. I certainly wouldn't mind growing old like ol' Al Jaffee: laughing gracefully at the drawing table and diving into the next project. Mad is currently collecting 90th birthday cards for him and I highly recommend all of you cretins send something (cards, letters, presents, drawings). His birthday is March 13th and the deadline for sending birthday wishes on his behalf is March 1st. Get busy:

The Big Jaffee
c/o Mad Mag
1700 Broadway
NY NY 10019

Photo courtesy of New York Times.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


I guess the kids call it "rock 'n' roll". I think it's gonna be real big...