Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#1 Strange Drawing

This is a sample - one of 18 strange drawings examined and studied here - from my new Bob Burden/Flaming Carrot art-book: THRILLING VISIONS TWO: PANDEMONIUM BLVD.

This book project is currently on Kickstarter.com. Search for "flaming carrot" in their search engine, or the easily repeatable "quick-link" www.fcckick.com.

As the campaign progressed, I became aware that a lot of people had no idea what they would be getting - as this was not your usual sketchbook, with sketchy pencil drawings etc...

So I had to put out something (this blog) that would give you a better idea. 

feel free to post here. Love to hear what you think.

Please, no drones. 


#2 someone's Sleeping In My Grave Again. I Feel It...

I tell everyone that I invented these guys before I really knew how to draw hair. Actually, I have the original doodles from the old days, the prototype drawings. I think I was just screwing around, drawing odd things and these came out. The image was striking and really grabbed people.

Later, when Terry Beatty and Denis Kitchen came to me and and wanted a contribution to MOD, the first "Punk Rock/New Wave" comic book, I gave them 5 pages of these guys. At the time I already had a few done, but knocked out a few more that evening. I was getting $35 a page and remember thinking: "Wow, if I could 4 or 5 of these a day, I could live off that."

I miss being that naive and optimistic.

#3 An Old Sock, Filled With Toothpaste

This is a later recreation of one of my favorite Carrot scenes. Flaming Carrot shot all these people over an old sock? Who would want to write a comic book about a character like that? But then, to find that the sock is filled with toothpaste? That's just so weird, so disturbing, so sick.

But I love it!  

#4 He Was Surrounded By His Own Pajamas

This was drawn one afternoon in the 70s. 

I ate a slice of apple pie that was left over in the refrigerator. It had only been there a day or two but you could taste the aluminum of the pie tin. I was doing a number of these drawings that day, working on one, then the other. 

This was an incredibly creative period for me. I wrote up, like, 30 of these cartoons, and began drawing them. I don't think I could do that many at one time today. I also was in love that weekend, but more on that later. 

I went outside, thinking about the aluminum taste in my mouth and remembering how, as a child, my sister and I chomped down on tin foil once, and the taste. That metallic taste.

It was a sunny spring day - mid-day - and most everyone else in the apartment complex was probably at work. That time of day was always kind of spooky for me. But I worked at home. Alone. I was a cartoonist. 

It was like being in a ghost town for a few hours every day. 

One time I imagined the apartment complex, covered in 80 feet of ice, like an ice age had come. People and their possessions - sneakers, alarm clocks, toasters, a briefcase with papers coming out -  were floating in the ice, out the windows, entombed forever. 

I used that image/concept in one of the unpublished Mysterymen stories I did for Dark Horse. The MM were testing a flying wing and dropping bombs on the ice. When they examined the craters, they saw a whole alien, or ancient civilization down below, frozen in the ice, and floating. 

Kind of like THE THING, the original one, from the 50s with James Arness. 

I had to get the taste of the aluminum out of my mouth. I could go across the street to FRIDAYS and have a drink while waiting for "happy hour" or go back inside and draw. Or maybe take my pad and go over there and draw some monsters. sometimes there were a few stray housewives or divorcees at the bar there in the afternoon, left over from a 5 martini lunch with the girls.Yes. that would be a good idea. 

Monsters. Yes.

#5 To The Thief's Surprise, The Victim Had A Mask Too!

This was done way, way back.

This is just pencil on paper.

This is crude and primitive, from way back, before I knew how to draw.

I was in high school or college then. Yes. I has a number of these early drawings that presaged the Pharisee drawings that I drew the weekend i was in love.

I tried to do a better version of this, pen and ink, but I could never captured the weirdness of this first drawing. The expression in the eyes, the posture, the tilt of the drawing, the crude pencil lines, it was perfect the way it was, and any revision would destroy the magic somehow.

This is a thing an artist encounters at some point in his career. WHEN TO STOP. You have to learn when to stop. This is true of SALESMANSHIP, DRINKING, GAMBLING, WOOING WOMEN and GETTING CANDY ON HALLOWEEN. (And eating the candy after.)

A salesman reaches a certain point where the customer turns off. When that happens, everything the salesman says starts undoing the sale. Afdter a certain point it's like the salesman is driving nails into his poor vitict's forehead. This is WISDOM so listen. Here now: its the same with an artist and his art. You can get to one point in a drawing and after that, you just mucking it up.
Take a lok at Frazetta's THE DEARTH DEALER. Google it. While the knight in the center of the picture is well detailed, the further you get from the center of the picture, the more flippant and crude that painting is. The rocks are simple, flips of the brush. No detail.

No, Frazetta was not lazy. This was intentional.  The outer areas are indistinct, just like your peripheral vision would make it. But you don't notice. Thats the magic of the artist.

#6 Look! Marlon Brando Is A Humming Bird Now

#7 When Your Hopes And Dreams Talk To You