In the last Swizzle Studio newsletter, I noted that I was looking for new commissions. The first request came a few days later from Luckystar Studio’s Gene Evans:
Are you up for a painting of Batman? I collect artistic interpretations of Batman.
I started with drawing of a fully-armed Batman (part of the Batman legend is that he never uses a gun) based on poses I found in the Italian pulp comic Diabolik, but Gene gravitated towards a weird little outlier sketch:
I was ready to start on Working Title: Weird Bat-Dog when another email from Gene arrived:
Hate to change gears, but, how about a bat wearing a shirt and tie?
Sometimes gear changes are fortuitous, as the resulting painting in this case is rather nice. I switched from the planned square format to a long rectangle and got something pretty unique, Man Bat 9-5:
Man-Bat 9-5, 12″x6″, acrylic on canvas (click to view large)
Incidentally, there is a DC Comics supervillain named Man-Bat, but he lacks the charms of my little Joker-colored dude.
Cadaver Dogs gig poster, Vancouver 2008
While tidying up the studio last week, I came across a roll of posters I’d designed over the last few years. These posters were for rock bands or art shows I was involved in, and they have a certain cheekiness about them.
Working on posters takes me right back to my beginnings as a graphic artist, designing newspapers and posters using photocopiers, LetrasetÂ© and halftone film. Creating posters like the ones in this post takes a fair amount of reverse engineering, trying to trick Adobe CS into acting like a process camera 15 years past its warranty.
I’m happiest when I have the lead time and budget to actually silkscreen the posters. While the posters shown here were actually either offset or digital printed, they have a good resemblance to three- and four-colour screen jobs.
Animal Crackers art exhibition, Milwaukee 2008
Three piece poster for Printemps exhibition, Ottawa 2005