Sunday, November 29, 2009


It's  Scary Monsters time again!  Here's the wraparound cover for the seventy-third issue.  Considering the subject matter was '50s space kids, I couldn't resist going all retro-comic booky this time.  I worked the magazine's mascot, Sam Scare into the crowd of frightened kids on the back cover -- though he doesn't exactly seem scared.  I loved drawing that big globby space brain/amoeba thing!  The various elements were drawn in ink and/or pencil, and combined and colored in Photoshop. 

Now on to several commissions, more Return to Perdition pages, and packing up some artwork I've sold to collectors....

Monday, November 23, 2009

SHOCK STORIES original art and printed cards

I couldn't resist another post related to the URBAN LEGENDS and SHOCK STORIES cards.  Here are a couple shots of my original black and white line art, compared to the printed colored cards.  The art was done at 5 x 7 inches and reduced for publication.  These are both from the SHOCK set -- so there is a 3D version as well as the standard color card.  The 3D cards are the ones with the simpler "flat" color.  I told you some of these were grisly!  These two are in my "keeper file" and not among the originals I'm offering for sale.

Urban Legends and SHOCK STORIES trading cards

At long last, I have my comp box of the URBAN LEGENDS and SHOCK STORIES trading card sets I drew for Monsterwax!  This project was a long time in the making, and it's a treat to see it finally on the market.  I spent this afternoon sorting through the cards, assembling my sets by opening the packs contained in the box.  Each box contains a complete basic 50 card set of both SHOCK and UL -- as well as 3D subset cards and various extras.  I even got two of my own sketchcards back!  The original B&W line art art was also returned -- and I'll be offering up the majority of the originals for sale -- including the paintings for the wrappers.  Contact me for details on that if you're interested. 

As someone who collected trading cards when I was a kid -- way back in the 1960s, when you could get cards of The Beatles, The Outer Limits or Gomer Pyle, it's a real kick to have created the art for an entire set (two sets, really!), and to see it presented in the traditional "wax pack" manner.  Now if only each pack contained a crumbling stick of dusty pink bubble gum....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mighty Joe Young

Dig this double-page magazine ad for Mighty Joe Young!  Enjoy, fellow stop-motion fans.

More comic strip ads

As promised, here are a pair of Fearless Fosdick Wildroot Cream Oil ads.  I'm also posting a couple Terry and the Pirates Canada Dry advertisments, a Sgt. Bilko photo comic (for Camels) and several more Li'l Abner Cream of Wheat strips.  I have MANY more Abners -- comment if you want to see them here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Li'l Abner -- pitchman!

It's a testament to the popularity of Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner, that clients must've been falling all over themselves to use Abner as pitchman for their products.  Have a look at the variety of ads shown here.  As always, click on the images for larger versions.

 Abner and family want us to buy Fruit of the Loom underwear -- Abner seems to prefer boxers, while the next generation is sporting briefs. 

Abner is knocking back Kraft caramels in this ad.  A previous blogpost on comic ads featured the Daisy Mae version of this advertisement.

Abner hawks laundry soap, while urging you to name this Shmoo!  Heck, I'll name a Shmoo for 20 grand!

Abner plugs the Bob Hope movie, That Certain Feeling -- which, not so coincidentally, features a cameo by Al Capp!

And now we come to the cream of the crop -- literally!  Cream of Wheat ran an ad campaign featuring Li'l Abner for over a decade -- from the early '40s into the '50s. The two full page ads directly below are not typical of the campaign.  Most of the ads were of the comic strip variety -- keep scrolling down to see three examples of those.

The first comic strip ad is an early one -- from 1941.  Early examples all have this "long shot" look to them, but it wasn't long before someone figured out the format allowed for a big top panel - and that panel could feature a big sexy shot of Daisy Mae (or Wolf Gal, on a few occasions) -- and the strips started looking more graphically pleasing (in more ways than one).   Ads usually ran in black and white or two color -- I've only seen a very few full color examples.  I have dozens of these -- and if you folks like them, I'll scan and post more -- just ask.

Alas, all good things come to an end.  After a decade of  selling their product with comic strips featuring a lunkheaded hillbilly and (more importantly) his gorgeous backwoods gal, Cream of Wheat retired the Li'l Abner campaign and brought in a rambunctious kid to pitch their cereal.  Here's Dennis the Menace taking Abner's place.  Dennis' mom is kinda cute -- but I must admit -- she's no Daisy Mae.
Now before anyone takes me to task for forgetting the Fearless Fosdick Wildroot Cream Oil ads -- I do have a few -- and will scan and post them soon.  In the meantime, please let me know if you'd like to see more of these comic strip ads!

George Tuska 1916-2009

Cartoonist George Tuska, probably best known for his run on Marvel's Iron Man in the '60s, passed away recently.  This prompted me to go to my files and pull out these pencil drawings he sent me in October of 2000.  I'd written him a fan letter, and asked if he had any drawing advice he'd pass on to aspiring cartoonists.  I wasn't teaching at MCAD yet, but had taught a few cartooning classes at schools and museums in the Quad Cities area, so thought it a question worth asking.  George responded with this lovely pencil drawing of Iron Man -- and a page of notes on inking.  The sideways comment reads: " Years ago working with Will Eisner, Will's pencils were very sketchy.  He knew how to ink The Spirit. I couldn't ink it!"