Wednesday, January 31, 2007
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When I was younger I remember I ate, breathed, drank and did everything movie monsters. If it was scary or creepy, I was really into it. It is really amazing how much of my thoughts and everyday life were consumed by them at that time. I remember walking over to the local drugstore "Davis Drug" every weekend to either buy a "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine or to buy a pack of the 1973 "You'll Die Laughing (AKA: Creature Feature)" trading cards produced by Topps. These magazines and trading cards provided me hours of entertainment and drawing inspiration, and probably helped set the course for my career path in comic illustration and sculpting.
I can remember when I was younger that I would always check the TV guide to see what monster movies would be on television that week. I would mark the ones with a pen that I would be interested in seeing and take the TV guide to my parents and ask permission to watch them ahead of time. My folks would usually let me watch them as long as I had done a good job with my homework, chores and that I didn't talk back too much. I always hoped that movies would be on either Friday or Saturday, so it would be easier to get permission to stay up late to watch them.
Some of the old movies that I remember seeing and have really strong memories of are "Angry Red Planet", "Godzilla", "War of the Gargantuas", "Earth vs. Flying Saucers", and "Gamera". These movies appeared regularly on "Creature Feature" a television show that was devoted to showing only scary movies. It was broadcast here in Denver back in the early 1970's. I guess I have been nostalgic lately, the only inspiration I seem to get is from looking at the monsters from my youth.
The illustration above is of the kaiju toy "Gamera: Defender of the Earth" made by Bandai in 1996. This particular Gamera toy was given to me by my old boss Brian Pulido (bankrupt Chaos! comics Publisher) as a Christmas gift. I created this illustration with a little photography, traditional drawing and Photoshop.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
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After a very long time of hunting, searching, and ebay watching, I was able to secure the ever elusive bronze Kaws x Pushead Companion. To celebrate, I decided to do an illustration. It is based on the "Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci.
I have been having a good time doing these "Toy Illustrations", I hope I can find time to do more.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
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I have had Japanese kaiju on the brain lately. It seems that every spare moment that I have I am thinking about kaiju, doing sketches of kaiju, and even taking pictures of kaiju. This illustration of Godzilla is the result of too much spare time and a combination of photography, drawing and Photoshop. I took a picture of my manager's "Wide Spread Panic Godzilla" (That is what she calls it, not sure why.....) and then the illustration just took off on it's own. I did set out to see if I could make a vinyl toy come to life in an illustration, but that is about as much thought that I had put into it. I think that the end result turned out pretty nice.
I have always loved Godzilla, especially the very first movie that was directed by Ishiro Honda in 1954. It is really amazing how much this movie affected me as a child. I can remember dreaming of visiting Japan so I could see where Godzilla lives. I wanted to walk in his footsteps, visit Monster Island and see the shores where he came out of the ocean. I was going to make sure when I visited Japan for the first time, I was going to visit those places and realize those childhood dreams.
During my first trip to Japan, my wife and I were riding the "Shinkansen" or bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto to visit her Aunt and Uncle. When we arrived in Kyoto, we stepped off the train and the first thing I see is this HUGE wall poster:
I asked my wife to translate and she tells me that it is an announcement that there will be a show for Godzilla celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Daimaru department store at Tokyo Station. Thankfully we would be traveling back up to Tokyo before the show ended.
So, we spend time in Kyoto and Hiroshima and I had a wonderful time getting to meet all of my wife's family. But deep in the back of my mind there was the thought that I would finally get to see Godzilla in person.
We say goodbye to my wife's family and we travel back up to Tokyo station on the Shinkansen. We exited the train and walked over to the Daimaru department store. We had to stand in line to purchase a ticket, which I didn't mind because I was so excited to see this show. Once we got in the front door, there was a long hallway that had all of the Godzilla movie posters hanging in chronological order and a brief history next to each poster on how that "Gojira" (that is what the Japanese call him) movie was conceived. After looking at all of the posters, I turn the corner and the hallway opened up into this very large room where there are all of the props and rubber monster suits on display from almost all of the Gojira movies. I was in heaven...........I walked very slowly from one display to the next, taking pictures and observing as much as I could.
It was an unbelievable moment for me. I got to be that little kid again.......
I want to thank my wife for putting up with me on that day. I don't really think she knew how excited I was to see this and how important this moment was to me.
Thank you Pecochan, for helping to make a little kid's dream come true.