Monday, June 30, 2008

Flickr in Space!

It's been while since I've shared from my collection of vintage space exploration themed illustrations from the 1950s. So I've just uploaded a whack of them to my Flickr photostream including this classic image from astronomical illustration (and man of many talents) Chesley Bonestell. Be sure to visit the late Mr. Bonestell's official site for the full story and many more examples from his amazing career.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Smath Attack!

Time once again to visit the wonderful world of Jerry Smath and another batch of his beautiful late 1950s and early 60s two-colour illustrations from the pages of Children's Digest and Humpty Dumptys magazines over at my Flickr photostream!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I recently ran across a copy of an early 1997 profile of yours truly from "Illustrator", the newsletter of a local arts group, The Island Illustrators Society. I was a member for a few years in the the mid 90s and as they selected one of us each month to focus on I guess it was my turn to be featured.
Since more often than not the profiles were fairly pretentious ( with all due respect to pretentious artists ) and humourless ( with all due respect to the humourless ) I thought I'd push it a bit. I wrangled a good friend, and talented writer, David Roberts to pen most of it with some contributions from myself. It turned out great, but I don't think it went over too well at the time. Some blank stares and even a few confused people ( including a client ) not sure if it was real or not.

Oh well.

At least now, 11 long years later, you get to see, albeit really smallish, some of my goofy old work. ( be sure to click the pages for larger, readable versions ) For a larger, slightly revised ( note the number of fingers on the central character! ) colour version of the Dragsville cover on the first page click here .

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"George of the Jungle", but not THAT "George of the Jungle"

Here's a bit of an odd one. Instead of my usual tepid tales and nostalgic noodling I'm going to ask for help from the peanut gallery to fill in most of the missing information on the mysterious subject of this perplexing post.

Both my younger sister ( who supplied the button above ) and I have strong, but very fuzzy, memories of attending in 1976 as kids some sort of live in-mall show called "George of the Jungle". I remember a stage, and maybe that it was funny - but that's it. After an exhaustive ten minute Google search I came up bupkis. All the info that I could find consists of what's printed on this exceedingly high quality folded hand-out below that I recently dug up from our long-term storage.

Was is strictly an educational type thing? Was George a real monkey or a guy in a costume? Or maybe even a puppet? ( my guess ). Was the hand-out above distributed through schools or possibly Cub Scouts? Was this a local thing only or did George make his furry way across the continent on a mall to mall tour of the mid-seventies?
Inquiring minds want to know!

So drop a line if you happen to recall any details of "George of the Jungle"... but not that "George of the Jungle".


Well, no one's written in to say that they too barely remember this event, but I did find a newspaper ad from a copy of a March 1976 Nanaimo Daily Free Press local newspaper. The search continues!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Miller Time!

J.P. Miller that is! Golden Book's 1952 version of "Puss in Boots" found it's way into my hands after a recent paper show so I thought I'd share some of the swell illustrations from it with you fine folks. The goodies are over at Flickr.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coronet Time!

I picked up a stack of digest-sized 1950s Coronet magazines at the local paper show on the weekend. If you're real good I might even let you peek inside for a look. Secret password?... "Flickr"!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Cookout Time!

Well, maybe in your neck of the woods. But in these here parts the weather's been unseasonably cool and drizzly. I thought I had retired my non-summer clothes for the next four months, but I had to dig them all out again. At least you can feel like summer with a great, eight page advertising supplement from a June 1960 Better Homes & Gardens magazine that I've posted to my Flickr photostream. Even if you have to toast your marshmallows over the Amana range.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Diggin' Through The Vault: Pt. 3 "Marker-O-Rama '98"

Hard to believe it's been 8 months since my last installment of "Diggin' Through the Vault", an occasional ( very! ) feature of this fershlugginer blog wherein I root through my big filing cabinet o' old art and pull out some usually unpublished ( or not widely published ) treasure from the past. In fact, my last two installments of DTTV are almost old enough to qualify for the vault themselves!

On to the content! From roughly 1997 until 2003 I often worked with well-known comic book artist, illustrator and author Ken Steacy, on projects ranging from Star Wars kid's comics and books to educational texts. During this time, and as a favour to Ken, I illustrated this poster for a fictional demolition derby. He had friends who published a small, local newspaper, catalog thing ( chime in if you read this Ken, the details are a bit fuzzy ) and had requested it. Ken supplied me with a quick thumbnail of the general layout and I took it from there, doing the pencils and inks. The final piece was printed in ( I think ) black & white, but I added colour so I could put this in my portfolio at the time.

And as such, it's a bit of a relic. This is one of the last pieces of any size that I coloured with markers, before my switch over to compositing my work on computer and colouring ( mainly ) with Photoshop. When I first started working professionally in the late 80s I would use acrylics, then watercolours to colour my pen & ink work. By the early 90s I had switched to felt tipped marker, with some pencil crayon. Markers suited my more precise methods, but they had some real drawbacks. Possible brain damage and memory loss from years of inhaling toxic xylene not the least among them!

Oh, and the possible brain damage and memory loss from all those years of inhaling toxic xylene couldn't have been good for me.

But my brain cell loss is your entertainment gain! It hasn't stood the test of time as well as some of my other work from the time, ( there's an especially high Mad Magazine quotient on this one ), but it's still fun to look at.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Hawley!

Another batch of vintage Pete Hawley birthday cards are up on my Flickr photostream right now. I think I must have got at least one a year in the 70s!