Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wax Darts / Overlake / Crazy & the Brains flyer

It's been a long time since I've done a show flyer. This one has a turkey skeleton. You're welcome.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cereal Monsters!

All due respect to Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, the unholy trinity of General Mills monster cereals remains Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry. Since the good Count was first introduced in 1971, these terrifying parts of a balanced breakfast have become as ingrained in the sugar-addled brains of kids as Crackle, Cap'n, Tony, and Quisp. And some others. Anyway. Here's my interpretations of them.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Superheroes ala Ben Cooper!

Anyone reading this who was a kid up through the mid-1980s probably spent at least a few Halloweens trolling for candy in a costume manufactured by the Ben Cooper company.

Founded in 1937, Ben Cooper, Inc. specialized in inexpensive Halloween costumes based on fictional archetypes, historical figures, and pop culture characters. Starting with Superman in the 1950s, expanding in the 1960s and '70s, the company produced dozens of variations of costumes based on superheroes.

But kids who wanted to pretend they were Batman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Captain America, or any other DC or Marvel do-gooder had their bubbles somewhat burst the second they took the cheap mask and costume out of the box. Rather than being miniature versions of the actual supersuits, the Ben Cooper costumes were vague approximations at best, almost always enhanced with the name of the character plastered at least once across the chest, or head (or both!) of the flimsy smock and plastic mask. Even more head-scratching were the costumes for characters like Green Lantern, Aquaman, or Daredevil that—rather than imitate their sartorial preferences—splashed an illustration of the hero across the chest. So, you were Green Lantern wearing a Green Lantern costume that... uh, had a picture of Green Lantern on it. As if the fun-size Snickers doler-outers didn't know who Hal Jordan was!

The drawings here illustrate what it would be like if the "real" superheroes actually dressed in outfits designed by the good folks at Ben Cooper, Inc. Some of these are an amalgamation of different elements from the variations over the years, and I still have to get around to doing that Green Lantern suit (because it's crazy awesome). Happy Halloween!

NOTE: For a companion gallery of dozens of the original artifacts, surf on over to Pops!

BONUS! As I was doing research for this project, I came to discover I was not the first person to do this. The amazingly exhaustive SPIDER-MAN COLLECTOR website includes among its many images this 1960s Woolworth's ad in which the artist did the same thing (much better than I, I might add).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Prince Street News: The Rejected Team-Ups of The Brave and the Bold

BACK ISSUE! #66 is just on the stands, spotlighting superhero team-ups of the Bronze Age of Comics! And no discussion of that topic would be complete without a look at the bizarre, continuity-obliterating stories written by Bob Haney for the Batman team-up comic book, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.

Haney was the antithesis of today's writers, who feel the need to reconcile every story with everything that's come before. His Batman time-traveled, palled around with the cops, and behaved however the tale required, whether it was selling his soul to the devil to escape from a death trap, using a gun, or adopting a kid. But as much free reign as Haney seemed to be given, there had to have been some team-up ideas that were nixed by the editors at DC. This installment of PRINCE STREET NEWS speculates as to a few of those ill-fated crossovers (and, for once, requires very little exposition!). True, most of these proposed funnybook partners came either before or after Haney's tenure on B&B (and he did kinda team up with Cain in B&B #93, a comic I love to death), but like the works of the wild and wacky Bob, PSN cares not for continuity!

Following the strip as it appears in the magazine, I've posted the individual covers. For more impossible comic book crossovers, check out Ross Pearsall's website, SUPER-TEAM FAMILY: THE LOST ISSUES! The next PSN (slated for BACK ISSUE! #70 way off in February of next year!) takes a gander at what was and may have been in THE INCREDIBLE HULK 1970s tee-vee show!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Man of Steel

This illo was done for a piece for called "10 Things You May Not Know About the Man of Steel" in advance of the new movie, which, as of this posting, comes out this weekend. This is the only time I've drawn the movie costume, and while it's certainly better than the stupid armor Kal-El is wearing in the comics these days, it's still not a great costume. Ah, well.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stacy Wars

My antipathy for STAR WARS is well documented (there's even an entire chapter on it in my forthcoming book, COLLECTOR'S EDITION). But I'm not about to tell someone who loves the damn thing that they cannot do so (reiterating my mantra of "It's all subjective"). So when my pal and big STAR WARS fan, Stacy's birthday rolled around, I had the idea to do a drawing of her and her boyfriend Tom as Princess Leia and Chewbacca. Again, my ability at capturing likenesses is hit or miss... Stacy (the Apple logo is because she runs the Soho store) kinda looks like Stacy, but the weird thing is, Tom... looks just like Tom.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Prince Street News: Whatever Happened to MORE DC Universe Residents?

The new BACK ISSUE! (#64) is out, with a focus on DC Comics backup features of the Bronze Age. The episode of PRINCE STREET NEWS that appears in this issue is a follow-up to a series that ran in DC COMICS PRESENTS in the 1980s called "Whatever Happened To...?" The feature took mostly Golden and Silver Age DC characters that had fallen into limbo and gave their stories an ending (for example, Rex the Wonder Dog and Detective Chimp both lucked out and lapped some water from the Fountain of Youth, because animals can never die in comics either).

This is another installment of PSN that is waaaaay inside and if you've never cracked a DC comic book from between 1960 and 1980, you're not going to get most of these jokes. A quick Google search should be able to explain most of them, if you're so inclined (the Sugar and Spike gag is pretty good, I must say), but I'm gonna leave that up to you.

Below the strip is the full Inferior Five drawing that I incorporated into the faux-LP cover, based on the Sonics' classic garage record, BOOM! 

The next PSN is scheduled for BI! #66, and is about Batman team-ups that never happened. That one's less obtuse, I promise.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Prince Street News: Kryptonitpicking!

As proud as I am of being in any issue of Michael Eury's BACK ISSUE! Magazine, I take particular joy in being allowed to participate in #62, spotlighting Superman (my favorite fictional character in any medium) in the Bronze Age (my favorite era of comic books). It was the Superman comics of the 1970s that inspired me more than anything, and not just to draw and create; The nobility of the Last Son of Krypton was highlighted in that era's comic books in a way that hasn't really been matched since. And the solid artwork by Curt Swan (with Murphy Anderson inking, especially) and dynamic covers by Neal Adams and Nick Cardy will forever be the most iconic depictions of the character to my fanboy eye.

But of course, in addition to the comics, there was another version of the Man of Steel that cemented itself in the public consciousness in the 1970s. I was a geeky lad two weeks shy of my 14th birthday when my Dad took my pal Nathan and me to see SUPERMAN (aka SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, redundant as that appellation may be) on its opening day, December 15, 1978. It instantly became my favorite movie, which wasn't really too much of a stretch for a young comic book obsessed lad. But the fact that over 34 years later, it still holds that top spot speaks volumes about how deeply Richard Donner's film embedded itself in my heart.

However. The movie does has its problems. Oh, not as many as its sequels, or SUPERMAN RETURNS or any of Burton / Schumacher's BATMAN movies or THE DARK KNIGHT RISES or GREEN LANTERN (Oysh). But there are some small things that tend to stick out with each successive viewing. This installment of PRINCE STREET NEWS takes a look at some of the "minor quibbles" (as I often call my issues with beloved pieces of pop culture) that only slightly detract from what I (and many others) consider the benchmark for all superhero movies.

After the strip is the full cover I mocked up for the nonexistent tabloid adaptation of the film, basing the Superman / Lois illo on a Neal Adams illustration from the period. And again, I apologize for my lack of skill in capturing likenesses. I sure can draw a Superman-S well, though, huh?