This is another chapter title illo/poster from the Saturn In Retrograde project, drawn in 2005. This was one of the two chapters I wrote (see also here), this time focusing on the murderous debacle that was Altamont, the free concert the Stones threw in California, with a local chapter of the Hell’s Angels brought in as security. How could it possibly go wrong? Everyone was loaded on bad acid and as the day wore on the vibes grew increasingly grim and heavy, culminating in a murder that was caught on film. Coming just a few months after the Tate/La Bianca murders, it seemed to confirm all the squares’ worst fears about these hippie freaks, and the crack down was immediate. The chapter title came from Sonny Barger, head of the Hell’s Angels, who was dismissive of how Manson & Altamont signified the end of all the hope and utopianism of the hippie dream. As far as he was concerned, the hippies were deluded and brought it all down on themselves. Maybe so, but as a recent rewatch of Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood suggests, something vital was lost with the end of that decade, which is why it remains to endlessly fascinating. Once again, I went pure gonzo in the writing for this chapter, and if you want to read it, you can download the PDF HERE.
I drew this in 1989. Thirty two fucking years ago! I was twenty one at the time, and just starting off down this wild highway I’m still on. I’ve drawn all my life, but it was until that year when I really started to take it seriously. I was sending my work to small press magazines and pretty quickly started seeing my work used as illustrations for short stories and then progressing onto covers. To the best of my knowledge this was never used anywhere, but I still have the original… somewhere. It was inspired by a song:
This mock-up poster uses a drawing from a comic strip I made in 2000. That strip used the spoken word content from Godspeed You Black Emperor’s ‘The Dead Flag Blues’, constructing around them a non-linear stream of images that I hoped gave the reader something to think about, least of all this loaded, but tender moment at the end. The strip was eventually published in the exhibition catalogue for a Slovenian comic art event held in 2000. I no longer have the originals, but have retained good quality scans and adapted this image into what I think is a very effective rock poster. Death Valley Girls are a great band, colliding The Stooges and The Ronettes to create an aesthetic where it’s still 1969, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill! is the greatest film ever made, the Plymouth Barracuda is the greatest car ever made, and Ron Asheton is the coolest rock guitarist around. I would live in that world, if given the choice.
From the doomed book project Saturn In Retrograde, this was a poster/title page for a chapter that was never planned to be in the final manuscript. Perhaps because it’s not obviously related to any documented true crime from that era, but in its exploration of the band Love and their time spent living in Bela Lugosi’s former home in Hollyweird, it more than justifies its inclusion. For this one I wanted to homage the aesthetic of the great horror anthology comics of the 1960’s and 70’s, from the graphics right down to the colour choices. Those who groove on a similar vibe can have fun spotting where I sourced all the background freaks from.
This is another chapter title page/poster from the Saturn In Retrograde book project. As always with Martin, it’s a great title, and I think this was one of the first illustrations I did, which set the tone and raised the bar for the rest of the book. I’ll unveil more examples over the next few days.
This drawing from 2008 was from my short-lived period of trying to work in a clear-lined, almost animation style, and this is also probably the only surviving depiction I’ve ever made of a Jack Kirby character. Kirby was the William Blake of comix, creating entire universes all of his own, which lesser “imagineers” are still struggling to match to this day.
Here it is, my first soon-to-be-published comix work in over 20 years. Line art by me, insane psychedelic colours by Whiting Studios. Shriek is a horror anthology title that will be published with Kickstarter funding. Cast your offerings to the dark lord HERE.
Original B&W art, which is for sale. Want it on your wall? Email me.
This 2010 painting was part of the Altar series and, for me, the black hole at the heart of the project, around which everything else revolved. It’s one of my personal favourites from all my own work, and one of those rare instances where it felt like I was channeling some other force. Under all those dribbles was layer upon layer of failed attempts, but the major breakthrough was smearing it all away and going full Pollock.
Order a copy of the Altar book HERE.
Further to previous posts about the failed book project Saturn In Retrograde, this is the cover design I made for a self-published book from 2015 that captured all the artwork I made during 2004-5 that would otherwise have never seen light of day. I also added several new images, all inspired by that heady late 1960’s period when it seems the magickal ‘Babalon Working’ of Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard from some 20 years before had finally manifested. I will feature examples of that work in future postings, but you can download the full PDF book for free HERE.