Thursday, October 29, 2009

Brand new cover to THWAK trade paperback

I'm excited to announce the brand new mass market cover to The THWAK Bonfire of Insanity Collection trade paperback. The book is listed on page 288 of Diamond's November edition of the Previews catalog. Order yours today from your local comic shop. Books will ship to stores in January 2010.

This cover, as well as the original (which is still available from this blog) was rendered by artist/caricaturist Kent Gamble, longtime CRAZY magazine contributor as well as CRACKED, WACKO, PARODY and THWAK .

To find out what a large Ape, Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne, Miss Piggy & Kermit, a football player, President Obama, William Shatner, Freddy Kruger, an Alien, James Bond, a Talibahn fighter, Darth Vader, Shaq, Frankenstein, Jaws, Jessica Simpson, Michael Jackson and a Super hero have in common you'll just have to order your very own copy. Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band parody poster

Another example of parody. This time of the classic Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band record album. It just made perfect sense to the JOElanta team to recreate this using action figures. You can see that in the last picture a few of the key members of the team have our heads superimposed on bodies. My head being appropriately added to the body of Johnny West, my current collecting obsession.

Frankenstein and The Wolf Man Toy show poster

One thing about putting on the Great Atlanta Toy Show that was so cool was the show posters that we'd commission to be drawn. For me it was great to combine my two loves: art and toy collecting. This piece was done by artist Dave Newton (THWAK/CRACKED/SCARY MONSTERS).
I asked him to emulate that classic image from the movie Frankenstein meets the Wolf man with Lon Cheyney Jr.but to throw in some type of toy that they were fighting over. It seemed a fine image to parody, kinda silly for these tough brutes to be wrestling over a pink cuddly bunny! Initially Frankenstein's head seemed a little too skinny so Dave modified it to the final ready to print poster. This 11x17 poster is one of many that adorns my studio wall and is without a doubt my favorite!

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Corey The Racoon illustrations

Here are the rest of the illustrations that were done for a book that unfortunately lost its funding midway through, hence the fact that only some images were colored with the rest left in their original black and white. I always enjoy drawing animals so this really was a fun project while I was working on it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Unused THWAK art from Gary Fields

Here's another great piece that I was unfortunately unable to fit into the latest trade paperback Bonfire of Insanity Collection. It is from the crazed mind of cartoonist Gary Fields (Cartoon Network, CRACKED etc...) I believe that this particular toon was published elsewhere, but I'm not sure where. Enjoy.

Friday, October 23, 2009


This great premise (from the back cover of THWAK #5) came from underground legend Jay Lynch (Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, Nard & Patch etc....) who also wrote another piece called "The Promotion of Ted McCord" that also ran in this same issue. The artwork was done by Ben Boling The title is reminiscent of Don Martin's approach "One Fine Day".
For more about Jay Lynch check out the interview in The THWAK Bonfire of Insanity Collection 128 page trade paperback available from this blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You never forget your first time

This cover from Jan 1976 is near and dear to me as it is the 1st time that I had ever seen a MAD magazine, and boy would it profoundly change my world. I was living in Kuwait at the time and had just seen the movie Jaws, hence the immediate recognition when I saw this cover in the window of the bookstore as I was making my way into the Sheraton hotel to have diner with my family.

After reading it I became obsessed with buying each issue as soon as it came out. I was immediately drawn to Don Martin's artwork and that led me to start drawing, initially imitating his characters. I must say that I got pretty good at doing the Don Martin thing (check out the artwork to the Don Martin dictionary posted a few months back on this blog) but then branched out developing my own style over the years.

MAD certainly gave me an education about various political figures, historical occurrences and social issues that I just hadn't learned about in school. Back in the '90's after having moved onto other things through the '80's I started collecting MAD again after seeing MAD About the Sixties at a BDalton's in the mall and resumed drawing. One thing led to another and I started submitting to MAD fanzines and then self publishing my own humor magazine THWAK which led to co-editing MAD's #1 rival CRACKED before working on another couple of projects.

I must say that had I not read MAD I never would have been so driven to be a part of the wonderful heritage of the humor magazine genre that I had enjoyed so much as a child. It has brought me countless hours of fun and I hope that others have enjoyed some of these publications as much as I have.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Journal of MADness illo

Here's an illustration that was done for John Hett's Journal of MADness to call attention to the fact that they were moving location (ie. one broom closet to another!) - notice the sly placement of a THWAK magazine in the guys back pocket!

An interesting brush with Lucas Film

In 2005 Buddy Finethy and I started the Great Atlanta Toy Show to fill the void of a general Toy show in this market. Our second show was to be a Sci Fi themed extravaganza that coincided with the latest Star Wars saga "Revenge of the Sith". The show included close to 100 tables of Star Wars, Star Trek and Sci Fi toys, costumed members of the 501st clad in Stormtroopers outfits as well as a very convincing Darth Vader aka "Vader Painter" with Lego as a sponsor and members of a local improv group Dad's Garage
doing a Star Wars themed skit - the whole show was a lot of fun.
An added bonus was that Methane studios
(responsible for plenty of great concert posters) did our show poster with a light saber wielding Darth Vader having just decapitated some iconic toys (a bearded GI Joe Adventurer, Big Boy and a Troll). Limited to only 100 signed posters, members of the studio team sold this and many other creations at the show. We were fortunate to have been given a handful for future use.
Later that year while promoting JOKESTER & THWAK magazine, The Great Atlanta Toy Show and JOElanta
at Dragon Con we were selling a variety of old show posters including this one. Some months later a mutual friend happened to be at a lecture held by Steve Sansweet (Director of Content Management and Fan Relations at Lucas Film) where he was discussing the many uses of copyrighted images and how he often alerts the Lucas Film lawyers about some of these items. In the same sentence he mentioned how every now and then he'd come across a very cool use of a character and how he just purchased a Toy show poster at Dragon Con!
Imagine our surprise that we had sold him that poster. Glad they decided not to sue us - Thanks Steve ! : )

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Behind the Scenes at CRACKED - cover #363

Wow we sure went back and forth on this one! One thing that has most certainly dealt print media - like putting out a monthly/bi-monthly humor publication a blow - is timeliness of its content. In this case the now infamous Janet Jackson Super Bowl mishap had just happened and the uproar that it created was great fodder for the media. That paired with the fervor about the upcoming Presidential election between President George Bush and Senator John Kerry led my cohort in crime, Scott Gosar to come up with some truly whacked out interpretations for artist and caricature extraordinaire Kent Gamble to illustrate.
These images have only once seen print in the limited print run of the publication APACFA (see earlier post). From the top we have Condeleeza Rice & John Kerry all rocked out and then two alternate possibilities with First Lady Laura Bush & John Kerry. The theme of the issue had already been decided as being a Rock/Pop music issue and with a lot of push back from publisher Dick Kulpa we ended up with a much tamer Rock & Roll type cover with various stars from the period as well as Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick who (in a publicity stunt)had just been named as publisher. Notice that the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake reference still made it onto the cover, although without the biting in your face imagery we were hoping for.

CRACKED magazine T-shirt

Interesting CRACKED T-shirt by the very artistically accomplished CRACKED publisher Dick Kulpa. It was always Dick's intention to change CRACKED's direction and image with many varying results - BITE ME?!


Here's a seldom seen poster from Don Martin that was produced in 1975. Free Fare were a music group and this appears to be some sort of music festival. This particular poster is hanging in my studio and as I was taking this picture my daughter trying to be sly (and succeeding at that !) attempted to sneak a STAR WARS Storm trooper into the picture - you can barely see his fist in the far right : )

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

3 one pagers by Ben Boling

Above are 3 of my favorite panels that artist Ben Boling has illustrated over the years. The 1st was from CRACKED #362 written by Steve Herold, 2nd "Worst in Show" from CRACKED #364 written by Scott Gosar my partner in crime at CRACKED and 3rd from JOKESTER written by Carson Demmans. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sergio Aragones Poster

Here is one of a limited number of 11x17 posters that were produced for the Jack Davis Distinguished visiting Artist Lecture discussed in an earlier post.