July 8th, 2005


Freelance logic

This week I've only managed 4-hours of sleep per night when I should be hibernating in a hammock in the arms of the one who sends me post QUITTER chores. Instead, the past two weeks I took on four illustration gigs that required rapid turn around and it's burnt me to cinders. The high paying gigs put a serious crimp in my tight ESCAPIST deadline which has me in panic mode before I fly off to the San Diego Comicon next Wednesday for a 6-day QUITTER tour-de-force. A far away SBX so close to London terrorism put me on hyper omni alert and all I can think is "What fuck wrong world?" At least I'm bringing my mother as a date to Comicon to keep me street.

I can't wait for the doldrums of September when I'm complaining I have no paying gigs and all my comic book pitches have fallen to the wayside. Instead, I'll be kicking cans, editing my self-indulgent art memoir, making deliberate accidents with acrylic paint, and maybe, just maybe, writing & drawing my half of AS BIG AS EARTH. If I'm good.

Give it up!

Enough people have seen AMERICAN SPLENDOR the movie and contacted me wondering if that image they saw for a fleeting moment, the one that looks like something from BILLY DOGMA, was something I drew?

The answer is: Yes.

Harvey Pekar and Ted Hope [the movie producer] set me up with the directors to watch some rough cuts of the movie so I could illustrate the scene in the film where Paul Giamatti's "Harvey" tries to write genre fiction and realizes he can't. In frustration, Harvey tosses the comic and decides to write what he knows, and that's what launches his autobiographical comix career.

The producers had found an underground sci-fi comic from the '50s or '60s but didn't have the rights to show a close-up of the interior. They hired me to create a plausible interior page. The only direction was that the page feature some mad scientist creature named DR. QUAKE and that he be yelling "Give it up!" to the hero. I suggested the hero look like a cross between FLASH GORDON and my very own BILLY DOGMA, accompanied by a love interest [whom I based on JANE LEGIT]. I created a scenario around their caveat with the understanding that it would be on screen for a fleeting moment, just enough time for the human eye to catch a glimpse of the words "Give it up," a metaphor for Pekar's crisis.

It seems the image was strong enough for some folks to spot my style and call me on it. For the interest of those folks and my friends, here is that fake page I drew in 2002.

Give it up artCollapse )