SAME POSTER—3 YEARS LATER

One of my all-time favorite cartoons is Mighty Max. Debuting in 1993—a time when seven year old me thought morning cartoons were the most important part of the day. I had never seen anything like MM before. It was darker, a little more mature in theme, and starred a sarcastic, portal-hopping, blond kid destined to save the universe with the help of a rad cosmic baseball cap.

I like to marathon all 40 episodes at least once a year. They're available to watch on YouTube. The quality isn't great, but it does accurately represent 90s VHS tape quality, which is totally fitting.

The series had a line of toys originally produced by Bluebird Toys. It was a "Polly Pocket" for boys kind of thing (also a Blue Bird brand). Bluebird was eventually purchased by toy giant Mattel in 1998.

The toys had these sweet promotional illustrations of various monster hands holding the play sets.

Back in the 90s, boy stuff was drippy and gross, with skulls and robots and slime. Where girl stuff was just pink and smelled like fake strawberries. This is interesting because the Mighty Max TV show actually had a good deal of positive female roles. Max's mom was a single parent and adventurous archaeologist, Max's female school friend was a tomboyish counterpart who was just as sarcastic as Max, and there are even a few really great (and scary) female villains.

About three years ago, I decided to pay tribute to MM with a poster design just for fun. It was never printed, just a nice personal illustration project to work on while watching through the episodes. Here it is.

I was trying to keep it simple and straight-forward. Heroes in the front, baddies in the back, led by the main villain, Skull Master. It was a fun project, finished fairly quickly, posted on Dribbble and forgotten about... until nearly three years later.

Gallery1988 recently reached out to me to be a part of a Mattel art show, and I was happy to see that Mighty Max was one of the toy lines up for grabs! I remembered the piece I did a few years ago and was excited to dig it up again. Needless to say, I was kind of disappointed by it. I guess my style and taste had changed a bit in the past few years. I liked the concept and the composition, but the execution just felt boring and didn't reflect the scary, gross, fun aspects of the toys and shows.

So I redid it!

This new version took about four times as long as the old one, but it was worth it! I added more baddies, more detail, more dimension, and more features to our heroes. Here's a side-by-side comparison.

I had it screen printed with three colors, with the pink being transparent enough to create the purple color when it overlapped with the blue.

I had a ton of fun reworking this old design! It's nice to see first hand how I've worked to grow as an illustrator, always trying to pump out better and better work. This limited edition poster is for sale in the Bandito Shop.

Posted on October 17, 2016 .

NEW POSTER: THE MEMORY OF A LIFETIME

Once again, Gallery1988 asked me to participate in my favorite show of the year, Crazy4Cult. Having created homages to Army of Darkness, Clerks, and Aliens, (all in my top ten) I knew I had to select another cult favorite near and dear to my heart. So I chose to represent the Sci-fi Action Classic: Total Recall. Officially, my first movie mind-blow.

Pretty appropriate if you ask me

Pretty appropriate if you ask me

I watched it with my dad when it played on some kind of movie channel in the mid 90s. I was probably 10 or 11. I know it wasn't an edited version on USA or TBS or something because I specifically remember seeing a certain woman with a certain odd number of certain body parts. Although this character definitely made an impact on me, it was the plot that blew my mind. This was the first movie that didn't spoon-feed everything to me. It was great to experience a movie that confused me and made me wonder. I love that I still don't know whether it's all in Quaid's head or not. Throw that in with awesome Arnie action, killer practical effects, ancient aliens, a memorable score, a sweet title sequence... and uh, 90s Sharon Stone... and you've got yourself a movie.

Did I mention I was 11 and this movie was awesome?

Did I mention I was 11 and this movie was awesome?

DESIGN PROCESS

My goal was to create a poster that looks like an ad for the Rekall service! I really enjoy the commercial you see in the movie for Rekall, so I wanted to make something that would fit with those. The iconic Mars exploration scene in the beginning dream sequence seemed like a good place to start. I wanted the final result to be a little mysterious and reflect the sense of wonder I had when watching TR as a kid.

I scratched out a few compositions, trying to figure out the general shapes and structure of the ad. Ended up with the two figures, instead of just one. Made sure there would be good line pointing down to the logo/copy area of the design.

This started out as a pretty simple illustration, but as with a lot of my recent work, the texture got a bit out of hand. It may look subtle, but those textured vector gradients make the file huge. When I was prepping for print, I had to let one of the layers combine with the pathfinder tool overnight!

Dark red and red.

Dark red and red.

Orange, selected to show all those damn points.

Orange, selected to show all those damn points.

PRINTING PROCESS

Mama's Sauce printed this one for me. They did a great job as usual! Check out the on-press pics below. They even got some video action in there!

rekall-2.jpg

The final product turned out great! It is now for sale in the shop. Can't wait to do it again next year!

Posted on December 16, 2015 .

NEW POSTER: CANCEL THE APOCALYPSE

I had the pleasure of creating a piece for a Guillermo del Toro themed art show at Gallery1988. Lots to choose from, but the choice was simple! Pacific Rim! Check out the finished piece below. It's for sale in the shop.

DESIGN PROCESS

My idea was simple: Gypsy Danger emerging from the smoke of the battlefield with Kaiju hidden in the plumes. The execution, however, was not that simple. The texture was pretty intense and it made working with the file a little cumbersome, but it was worth it! An animated gif of the process is below.

PRINTING PROCESS

Mamas' Sauce took care of printing this one. A nice 3-color print on French Paper. As always, they did a bang-up job!

The man himself even came to the gallery! It was a huge success and I was lucky to be a part of it.


Posted on November 22, 2015 .