Thursday, December 12, 2013

From the Tomb of the Space Gods

I illustrated about 30 characters for The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe REDUXE Edition blog.  My assignment: the nigh indestructible, practically immortal beings, the Eternals, created by Jack Kirby in the mid 70's.  Artists invited to participate are given free rein to depict the characters anyway they see fit, from simply doing one's version of the classic costumed look or reimagining them altogether to present a unique take on long cherished (and some sadly ever-unloved) Marvel comics characters.  Below are a few of my favorites from my lot and check out the rest of them and of what everyone else is doing by touching…HERE!   


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giver of Rings - Chooser of the Slain - Phantom of Sorcery

Once the land was good and green and there was moon and sun
But all things in the light were dimmed when came the ring, The One
It was lost and sought by those whose hidden hand held rotted blade
The hands of nine who went unseen for they were of shadow made
Their ghastly king of ghostly form rode forth with blighted sword
Searching ever for the ring, weapon of his dread Dark Lord
Here was death bade stalk the earth, chooser of the slain
And all who trodden in his path would stand their ground in vain

 This is a new painting which was a comission to depict my own version of the Witch-King of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgul, from J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" novel.  I was inspired by a number of medieval sources including the Bayeux Tapestry, the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry (various other tapestries), and Osprey's Men-At-Arms reference books featuring arms and armor from Europe and Arabia.

The painting from top to bottom:

Minas Tirith, Mount Doom, and Minas Morgul
The Angel of Death (whose sash should read as "Do you not know death when you see it" to the best of my effort), the Witch-King, and his lieutenant the Nazgul Khamul
Slain men of Minas Tirith, Minas Ithil and Rohan
A vulture snacking out on a deer, The remaining Nazgul sitting with their rings under the ever watchful eye of Sauron, a fell beast
Two dead kings of men within reach of the One Ring

Grab a print if you like! Let MEDUSAWOLF be your gateway! Here are some close ups:

Friday, August 2, 2013

The G.I. Joe Artwork of Hector Garrido

Cobra C.L.A.W., 1984

I'll never forget being a kid and looking up at toy racks in stores like Woolworths, the now defunct BEST chain, and the out of business KB Toys and trying sooooooo haaaaard to decide which G.I. Joe toy I would momentarily beg, plead, and bargain with my mom to get me!  Without a doubt it was the colorful and exciting packaging that drew me toward those toys.  In my opinion the design of the 1980's G.I. Joe toy line, from the artwork and graphic design of the packaging to the character design and sculpting of the figures (for the first several series there were very few duds!), and the thought put into each character's biography are unsurpassed in the realm of American toys.  All of those physical and intellectual details are what Larry Hama (writer of the file card biographies and the original 155 G.I. Joe comics from Marvel) calls "the little bit of information that triggers the internal fantasy machine to fill in the holes, gloss over the mold lines, forgive the compromises for the realities of manufacturing and creates that wholly personal 'state of play' wherein universes are born."*  

Toys were to me (and still are, let's face it) like a Bowflex home gym for the imagination.  They provided a little information and then you'd tell yourself a story and take your toys for a ride anywhere you wanted and for as long as you felt like (or until you had to go to bed).  As an illustrator I undoubtedly still enjoy the benefits of those moments I spent contemplatively smashing Snake Eyes into Destro and putting the bad guy into a jail made out of sticks jabbed into the dirt.

As I get older and look back more and more to those times under the trees in my yard with my tons of Joe toys (I was a lucky kid to be surrounded by so much plastic) I realise how much of an impact the art and design, especially the packaging art, has had on me as an artist.  And I only recently discovered the name of one of the artists responsible for it:  Hector Garrido.  From what I can tell Garrido is responsible for much of, if not all of, the artwork featured on the packaging of the earlier series runs.  He contributed to everything from action figure and vehicle packaging to game backgrounds and the covers for the G.I. Joe Find Your Fate book series.   I have no idea how long he contributed to the toy line but it is obvious as the series advanced the artwork was being made by someone else, but his were the best.

In my searches online for Hector Garrido's links to G.I. Joe almost  no one on Joe fan sites and message boards mention this guy at all.  A little strange and sort of sad considering that he's probably hugely responsible for a lot of folks appreciation for the toys and even for inspiring other artists.  It's also interesting to think of the impact his renditions of those characters had on the sales of G.I. Joe toys for Hasbro (and still have, for in recent years the company has reissued a lot of characters from the original line with packaging that features Garrido's old artwork but updated to accommodate changes to the figures).  After all, and at the very least, that artwork maybe more than anything else influenced the imagination of all the boys and girls who were standing there in stores just like I was, aiding them in their decision of which figure they wanted most.  Well, the artwork and how many accessories they came with.

Apart from G.I. Joe, Garrido illustrated countless book covers for Gothic romance novels (flickr page
), Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir's 1970's action adventure series "The Destroyer" (which in 1985 became the Fred Ward starring, OKish/crummy action flick Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins [it didn't continue]), Paul Kenyon's espionage series "The Baroness" (no relation to the Joe character), an awesome looking series of horror paperbacks from Avon Books (including Richard Matheson's "A Stir of Echoes"), and Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys adventures, and much, much more.

* From the Foreword of Mark Bellomo's "Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994" 2nd edition

Anyway, here are some of my favorites:

Cobra Commander, Battle Armor, 1987

Barbecue, 1985

Cobra Soldier, 1983

B.A.T.S.,  1986

Cobra H.I.S.S. 1983

Doc, 1983

Dusty, 1985

Firefly, 1984

Cobra Commander, 1984

Lady Jaye, 1985

Mutt and Junkyard, 1984

Flash, 1982

Storm Shadow, 1988

Cobra Flight Pod, Trubble Bubble, 1985

Zartan's Swamp Skier 1984

Zartan. 1984

Crimson Guard, 1985

Baroness, 1984

Snake Eyes, 1985

Tele-Vipers, 1985

Alpine, 1985

Bazooka, 1985

Beachhead, 1986

Eels, 1985

Scrap Iron, 1984

Torch, 1985

Destro, 1983

Storm Shadow, 1984

Monday, July 15, 2013

"CERTAIN DOOM" - Deleted Scenes

Here are a few paintings I did that didn't make it into "Certain Doom," An artshow I did with the incredible Jeanne D'Angelo, due to space restrictions/unecassary panic over not having enough work.  I'll post some images of the show soon enough but for now I thought it would be fun to look at these poor saps.  I'll have these available for prints in my Etsy shop in the near future also.  The show runs until September at Grindcore House in Philly. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nothing Can Save You!...Except not going (but don't do that).

On July 12th my extremely talented friend Jeanne D'Angelo and I are having an art show,!  I'm sure most of you who look at my blog are already familiar with Jeanne's work but if you are not, look RIGHT HERE!  Awesome right?

Above is a little sneak of some of the pieces I've done so far and if you want to follow along as we work on new stuff you can look here at Jeanne's Instagram feed and over here at mine (just tell all of those pesky cats to get out of the way)!

There's going to be an event page set up on Facebook with all the gruesome details about the show in a few days which you can find out about...

...HERE!! on my FB page or on Jeanne's.  Thanks dudes!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I’m very excited to announce that $5 from every Doom Division bicycle print sold will be donated alternatly between the V-Day Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls Worldwide (about 93% of $ they raise goes to programs to end violence against women and girls), and Victory – Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute whose mission is to advance the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in leadership roles around the world (about 96¢ for every dollar given goes toward their efforts).

(I figure if these guys are supposed to be superheroes I might as well put them to work somehow.)