Benjamin Marra, perfecter of awkward angles and radical tangents and exploding heads and 80’s boobies, recently re-visualized American Psycho in a crisp Pettibon-ish series of drawings. They provide a nice contrast to the way Marra often works his comics, which tend to be explosively high-speed and feverishly paced. He excels at both approaches, and further proves why he is one of the best action comic artists out there. Get deeper, read his blog, visit his website, frequent his webstore, and amazingly, you can buy a bunch of his comics, released from his very own Traditional Comics, for only 16 bones. I bought ’em. You?
Straight out of Rutger’s MFA Painting program, Paul DeMuro is creating some wildly thick paintings. The first time I ever saw his work was at Jolie Laide’s Tri-State show, and he flat-out stole the show. These paintings are way too physically powerful for the internet to capture any of the ka-pow they possess, but you can still get a general feel for these high-energy works. Unfortunately, he just finished up a two-man show with Alex Da Corte at Jolie Laide, entitled BLEACH, but I’m sure he’ll have plenty of future shows so you can get a chance to check out his work in its proper environment (a primer).
SF-based Shalo P manhandles the space occupied by figurative pop references, and slices up the time it takes for skin and blood to drip out of frames inside of frames. It’s heaps of muscles, genitals, childhood idols, and crushed steel, for the eyes to get sloppy with. I especially enjoy what he has been doing with his coloring method, which has a lo-fi Photoshop (MS Paint aspirations) collage feel. He must be, he just has to be, having a great time. You can go deeper in this Fecal Face interview, catch his latest tumbles, or flick it, and no matter what path you choose you are bound to get excited about this guy’s work. To get physical, pick up DEATH TRIP, a collaborative zine with Peter Gray Hurley, put out by Drippy Bones Books.
I don’t know much about Irkus M. Zeberio, but his work caught my eye as I was tumbling through this. Directly pasted, his bio states, “Irkus M. Zeberio born in Donostia-San Sebastian, down by the Pyrenees near the Atlatinc Ocean at the land of the Basques . I came to Barcelona nine years ago. As the years went by I became an illustrator by a mutation process of my cells.” Besides being intrigued by his inclination to use the landscape format over the portrait format, I’ve always been fond of the stringy word balloon, which he uses very effectively, wrapping his drawings tightly in words. Additionally, simple color palettes on top of scratchy lines can never be wrong. Basque in it…
Paul Buckley, the VP Executive Creative Director for Penguin USA, has continued to art director and design some of the most eye-catching book covers I’ve ever seen. Instead of relying on a simplified photograph with super-clean typography, or reaching back for a retro look, Buckley hires the best-of-the-best in illustration and independent comics (Burns, Hanuka, Millionaire, to name a few) to create wonderfully fresh graphic images that leave little to be desired. And since these books are all classics, you don’t have to worry about being deceived by these alluring covers, because the interiors are guaranteed to be just as perfect as the exteriors. It is encouraging that the daunting sterility of the Kindle and Nook are being combated by men like Buckley, Kidd, Gall, and so many more, and if such devotion remains to be ceaselessly put into future book production, there should be little fear of physical books disappearing anytime soon. For a complete look at all of the book layouts (fronts, backs, interiors) see Sir Buckley’s Flickr.
I came across Ken Reid‘s work through various internet wanderings, and his humor and technical skills still blow me away every moment I look at them. His work bears resemblance to Basil Wolverton‘s, and both mastered the art of the humorously grotesque image which dominated 70’s comic magazines. It’s easy to see how work like this went on to influence ZAP Comix and WEIRDO, and these in turn went on to influence a large portion of contemporary independent and underground comix. Below is Reid’s WORLD WIDE WEIRDIES series, an extensive collection of visual puns inspired by different locations in the world, which originally appeared in WHOOPEE! and Shiver and Shake. Some of these fly right over my head, but its makes no difference when the imagery is as compelling as it is. ‘Nuff said.
CANADA is a trio of filmmakers, Luis Cervero, Nicolás Méndez & Lope Serrano. Located in Barcelona, they bump out mysteriously sexy music videos that feel like a mix between an Alejandro Jodorowsky film and an American Apparel ad. According to their info page on their website, “…CANADA has pursued excellence in different projects, advertising, fashion, music promotional videos, television and cultural events.” On top of all that fun, they were also guest writers and did an interview with Its Nice That, which helped to shine a bit of light on their interests and personalities. So far, I haven’t seen a video created by them that wasn’t worth watching, but my heart will always belong to the first one I ever saw, El Guincho’s Bombay. You’ll find El Guincho, along with Scissor Sisters, Battles, and other music videos below. Feast.
Stephen Mattheu Booth knows how to make a character worth remembering. I can’t say exactly what it is I enjoy about his characters, but they all just seem like they would be awesome to hang around with, and even his abstractions retain this figurative charm. I’ve always had an appreciation for this manner of art in which one can imagine the artist making these awesome drawings on a couch, or in bed, or at a bar, all without having to go to a studio and worshiping an easel, or using some computer tool to clean up his lines. It just feels right. And fortunately, he doesn’t draw fan artish mutated forms of Spongebob or Mickey Mouse, but instead, his work seems to sprout (growth being important here) from characters like Slimer, Donald Duck, Pluto, and other childhood favorites. How could you look at that #$!@*☁ duck and not smile?