Wednesday, January 16, 2008

ATHF Logo treatments

Here are some logo treatments I did to go with the image below. I had to come up with a type treatment loosely based on the ATHF logo and give it that "death metal" feel.
I enjoy doing this kind of stuff as well now and then.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Frazetta Homage

After Vince's comment, I decided to do a version with the smaller planet because it does make a nicer composition. I'll let them worry about picking the right Tee shirt color.....they'll likely go with black anyway.

I've been working on this illustration for several weeks. It's for a style guide and some T-shirts.
The idea was (don't laugh) to try and get a Frank Frazetta styled feel which, if you have ever seen the man's work, is a ridiculously tall order for a little ol' hack like myself.
I actually had to be my own model for the central figure (Carl). So sad.
The Adult Swim guys wanted "naked girls in chains" but I couldn't go that far because it would likely ruin any future plans I have to run for a public office.
I did it in Painter and Photoshop.
While I flirted with the idea of painting it in oils, but thought better of it....wisely I think. boss liked an earlier airbrushed version I did better because it had that
painted on the side of a 1976 Ford Econoline Van look about it. So I have both versions posted now.

At the top is a pencil layout done before the final image.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Little Match Girl Redux

Now I ain't much fer fancy book learnin' but it occurs to me that "The Little Match Girl" is a classic parable. Parables are meant to illustrate profound or abstract truths with relatively simple word pictures or stories. Usually the characters are nameless as in this case, because they are more symbolic than narrative.

Our main character is the girl...we know she is little, cold, poor, tattered, abused, motherless, weak and likely malnourished. She is the ultimate symbol of innocence and helplessness. You could not find an object more worthy of charity....she has a father who is abusive, neglectful, and cruel. He has failed in his duty to his daughter in the most basic ways, by not providing for her life & safety and emotional well being.

Society (albeit 19th century society) is also implicit here because she dies selling matches at night to passers by on the open street who obviously have no pity on her plight or who (like us perhaps?), just assume somebody else will intervene to help. I can conjecture that she is rather plain looking because the world values physical beauty and would have more likely responded if she were exceptionally cute.

The matches are of course, the fleeting vestiges of light which itself is symbolic of life, heaven and ultimately of God. In their illumination, she sees her deceased grandmother, a symbol of the only love she has known in her life. Granny is hope and acceptance personified.

Our little one also sees an oven symbolizing (warmth), food (sustenance), a magnificently lit evergreen Christmas tree (regeneration), and a shooting star which the author reveals as prophetic of what will soon happen to her.

The whole context is set on a cold & windy (life's tribulations) New Year's Eve which represents among other things: transition, a fresh start, and the wonder of what will that things will get better.

In my opinion, this is no mere exercise in nihilistic story telling. Oddly enough, that kind of cynicism is more in vogue in our modern world where we have so much. Even the poor in today's western civilization live much better than the majority of the folks who lived in Andersen's 1800's. The author was very familiar with poverty (see his bio here) but he is not necessarily focusing on the tragedy of her short miserable life, but the fact that she is given hope that as her last match is extinguished, she would find herself in a place, "where there's no cold, no hunger, no fear."