Saturday, May 30, 2015

Recent work: Digital Drawing Board wrap-up

As usual, time seems to have zipped by...the Spring is now quickly evaporating, along with droplets from recent rainstorms. 

It has a been an exceedingly busy period with work, family and life. So, onward with some recent pieces from the drawing board:

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First off is a cartoon for a cable industry article covering this week’s $55 billion takeover bid of Time Warner Cable Inc. by John Malone’s Charter Communications Inc.,  John Malone Time Warner takeover 

 It was a great deal of fun doing a toothy caricature of John Malone and his crooked smile, riding a missile ala "Dr. Strangelove".










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Next up is a group of greeting cards created for a new card company based in Chicago, their specialty is golf and dog related greeting cards. I was hired to illustrate over 30 cards thus far, (as well as the logo.)

I really like the company and hope they succeed. If you know someone who plays golf, has a dog or has a dog that plays golf check it out. Their website with some initial offerings featured: looseimpediments.com



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One of the more interesting books I have seen recently happens to be something that I was commissioned to illustrate. Rule #1: Crazy People Make you Crazy :The Survival Guide for Coping with Impossible People is a fascinating book by John Patterson, a computer industry executive and author in North Carolina.

The book is about coping with difficult people -- and we have all dealt with them...at work, in stores, and in some cases, in our own families.




Several months back John contacted me about creating a series of simple cartoons to illustrate key points in his book. He wanted a style reminiscent of James Thurber's work, (a noted writer and New Yorker cartoonist whose heyday was long ago...but I have always enjoyed his simple but expressive style.)

I had fun with it, and the illustrations accompany major themes throughout, at the start of each chapter.

This book focuses on the work environment...A follow-up edition will deal with people in personal relationships and families.

The book will be released in early June, and I just received an advance copy. --I'll be sitting down with it ASAP so that I can better deal with a couple of particular clients... (No names.)

A sample illustration:


See, it's a rather simple style that I might have been able to draw with my left foot while sipping Vermont-made tequila. Maybe I did. (Don't tell anyone.)


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Speaking of books, I'm currently working on a business book -- this time for an author I have worked with previously, Irl "Mike" Davis. (His first book... amazon.com/Entrepreneur-Asia )

The new book is his biography and will be published toward the end of the year, but a few of the initial illustrations will be featured in a magazine interview with him in late June.

A recently completed sample, (showing the author during his time at Xerox Corp. with the 5:00 stampede to the exit) :





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Next up is a project for a distillery in Vermont called Appalachian Gap. They are launching a new product, "Monarch" Agave maple tequila...and came to me for an comic book style origin story.
The new tequila debuted last month to rave reviews.

(I am hoping to try some soon.) 
(Maybe I already did, while drawing Thurberish cartoons with my foot.)




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A presentation piece for author, healthcare expert and long-time client, Energi CEO Craig Lack.


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I don't know if you're familiar with the term, "Augmented Reality", (content initially used in Google glasses), but it is a rapidly growing industry. The idea is that you can use G. glasses or smartphones and tablets to see hologram-like content in magazines as well as on television and the Internet.

  I have been working with a startup, Marc Communications on some cartoons for advertising and marketing....And they use 'AR technology' to work. 

Below is a simple scene intended to demonstrate the technology. It was created for Marc Communications' initial marketing efforts, including a caption contest: 



The first panel shows a man in his living room. After putting on Google glasses, (or using an app on your smartphone or tablet), the viewer sees the extra content appears in 3D. (The AR content is visible in the 2nd cartoon.) 





  I am discussing partnering with them to create educational AR content for businesses to help with seminars, classes and team building exercises.

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Opportunities for several newspaper political cartoons arose this Spring, but I thought I'd share a few unpublished cartoons from an very unusual project: an effort to fight a large homeowner's association in southern California. (As you may be are aware, HOAs are becoming an increasing source of frustration for millions of people nationwide, with stories in the news regularly covering tales of abuse and exerting too much power.)

I was approached by a group of residents who live in an affluent community in Rancho Mirage, and they detailed a situation that seemed quite unfair, (like Great Britain in 1770) : Heavily increased HOA fees to cover the expenses of a championship golf club -- to which only a small % of homeowners belong. So, we unleashed some humor and caricatures...which apparently had a big effect, (Vigorous arguments broke out and lawsuits were threatened!)

Two samples:


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The monthly advertising piece for Connect360 Multi Media in New York NY...



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During the past year, I was commissioned to revamp the corporate mascot for Armour-Eckrich Meats... So, we "Sal the Salami. (Okay, he's not a so cool or as well known as the Oscar Mayer hot dog mobile.) The main use for Sal so far is in inspirational and safety posters for their employees in various meat processing plants.

We have done nearly a dozen so far, and here are some new ones:



Bear in mind that I did not write these. (I like butterflies and positive messages, but a sausage butterfly -- even if it using a quote from Ghandi, is not something I could have dreamed up)


A 23" X 36" safety poster for a meat weigh station. (Having never worked in a meat weigh station, I have no idea how accurate this drawing is.) The blue stuff is plastic wrap, BTW, not spoiled pork.



           Some photos of safety posters in the Armour-Eckrich Meats plant in St. Charles Illinois.


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Lastly, one of several financial cartoons created for Axel Merk's column, (Axel is President of Merk Investments and a regular guest on CNBC's financial news show.)


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The next month or so includes several interesting client projects, including illustrating a new book, some political stuff for a few newspapers and further posters for Armour Eckrich. I'm also starting work with new client, Aparium hotel group in Chicago. (They specialize in boutique hotels, such as the Elysian in Chicago, the Iron Horse in Milwaukee and the The Charmant hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin.)

If you've made it this far without losing consciousness, you deserve an award.

I hope you enjoy your upcoming summer.