Monday, April 27, 2009

Sketches of Fishtown # 67 - Lacey Gallagher

This week marks the anniversary of my cousin Lacey's passing. Her death has not only affected my family, but so many others in the area. We did get some good news today about House Bill 67 passing in the House of Representatives. Although nothing can ever heal the pain of losing her, you have to look for the good things to hang onto. Please visit her website to learn more about her: She was really an extraordinary young girl.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fishtown Shad Fest - Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hope the weather is good this Saturday. I'll be hanging out all day at the Fishtown Shad Fest (please click here to read about the event), where I have a vending booth to sell books, screen prints and a brand new shirt. Me and my buddy Ed Booth (of the Fishtown Social Club) are making a new shirt just for the event. It's a softball jersey for the "Shackamaxon Shads". Of course, there is no actual team, but it seemed like a good idea to do something that was exclsuive for the event. We'll have both men's and women's sizes.

Meet Your Neighbors..."Tadpole's Hole"

Did this quickly last night in my sketchbook. It's this week's piece for the Philly Turkey. I saw this lady on Saturday as I was driving out to Mount Airy. Thanks to my nuddy Bill from Scotland for giving me the word "boak".

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sketches of Fishtown # 66 - Carl Legensky

Carl is one of the most awesome dudes in Fishtown. Whenever he talks to you, he points his finger like a gun. He's one of the nicest guys ever and a great family man. He makes sitting on a bar stool seem like it's a good place to be. We love Carl, and he loves that Toby Keith song.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Variations on a theme - Pee Wee Martini

My pal Kristin owns one of the award-winning "world's ugliest" dogs - the charming Pee Wee Martini. He's a Chinese Crested with good looks and a whole lot of personality. You can read more about him by clicking here. Here are some photos we took of Pee Wee and some of us at a BBQ a couple years back:

When my friends Concetta and Megan opened up AMBLE Gallery, the first show they had was a group show for the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society. All of the pieces were drawings of Pee Wee. Here is one of the pieces I did with a saloon song/martini theme:

Another one I did while sitting at Johnny Brenda's during a Heavy Trash concert. Sadly for the band, the place was pretty empty. But fortunate for me, it was great to sit in an uncrowded bar and listen to some awesome rockin' music:

Then I did this one as a gift for our local PBR representative, who gave us free Pabst for the opening show. Once again, Thelonious Monk's influence has burrowed its way into my work with teh concept of "Ugly Beauty".

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Variations on a theme...Lion & Lamb

My mother always sent out a Christmas card every year with a Lion & Lamb on it. It's a theme of peace on earth, with the ferocious beasts living in harmony with the more helpless creatures.
After my mother's passing, this theme has become fairly important in my life. I've even had my friend Shannon Gallagher design a Lion and Lamb tattoo for me in memory of my mother.

I have done several Lion and Lamb drawings. Here are a few I had scanned into my computer. One was a Christmas card for a friend a couple years back. Her mother passed away shortly before the holiday season:

Another is the original tattoo design I did for myself, but decided not to get. I felt that the hard graphic lines were not soft enough to memorialize my mom. That's why I had Shannon redo it her own way, giving it a softer touch:
The last is one of my "animals in bars" drawings I did for the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society's 10th Anniversary show a couple years back:

Monday, April 13, 2009

I will make my tomorrows...

In 1998, a jazz musician named Doug took me to the Children's Crisis Treatment Center of Philadelphia. Doug went there every month to play music for the kids. When I visited, he played and I did a cartooning lesson with them. The kids at CcTC have been through really serious trauma. But what amazes me about those kids is that their primary inclination, their instinct, is to run and play and smile. In spite of all of their trouble, all they wanted to do was be happy. That made me realize that people are fundamentally good. And it's only when we grow older and hard times come our way that we get jaded, angry, depressed, and disappointed.

That one visit to CcTC made me reevaluate my life. If these kids were smiling in spite of all the bad that life has thrown at them, then what right do I have to complain? I kept going to CcTC over the years. My first comic, "Petey" was a tribute to the kids at CcTC. I was even asked to sit on the initial Executive Committee of the "Friends of CcTC". I'm not typing this to brag. I just want to shed some light on an amazing organization that helps the neediest of Philly's kids. CcTC is truly a place of healing. The people who work there are no less that miracle workers in my opinion. Please click here to visit their web site and learn more. I will be posting other CcTC related work over the next few months.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gene Ween Band Rock Poster # 2

Just finished the 2nd silkscreen poster design for the Gene Ween Band's Boston show on April 15. I know the whole "Godzilla-type monster stomping on a city" concept has been done to death on plenty of rock posters. But I thought it'd be kind of funny if the monster had the head of a Boston Terrier. At first, I was referencing all kinds of imagery of the Boston Tea Party, but I needed to turn this around super-quick. So I figured it's best to opt for something not terribly deep or detailed. I just went for the fun image.

As with the first one, I'm going to use the guys from Awesome Dudes Printing to print up the posters. Shaky, Ralph, and Snacks are, in fact, awesome dudes. They did an amazing job on the poster for the Troy, NY show.

I have to ship a bunch of the posters to the show venues. However, if anyone is interested in getting one without going to the show, I'll have a small number available at the Fishtown Shad Fest on April 25 at Penn Treaty Park. I'll also be designing a brand new T-Shirt with the Fishtown Social Club just for the festival and will have some books available too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gene Ween Band Rock Poster # 1

I just finished my first concert poster design for the Gene Ween Band. I have been a fan of Ween for years, and they are Philly boys too. So you can imagine how siked I was to hear from their manager for two poster designs. They gave me free reign over the imagery. Initially, I was going to look at a bunch of rock poster art for reference, but decided not to. I decided that if they want my work affiliated with the music, then it should look like MY work. So I opted for this guitar-playing iguana. I will be posting another design in the next few days of a poster for the band's Boston show on April 15.