Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Another day, another gallery opening an exhibition of loosely-themed pop culture-derived art. This time it’s “The Gang’s All Here” at the Bottleneck Gallery, Brooklyn, beginning Friday and continuing through Dec. 7 (my birthday, fact fans!), 2012. Above is Chris “Raid 71″ Thornley‘s contribution. Chris (creator of that much blogged Hellboy/Peanuts mash-up “Hellnuts” a while back) is also a major contributor to the charity Art V Cancer, well worth supporting. That’s one e-commerce site you can feel good about using. More comics-quoting work below from the fields of illustration and design, including work by Butcher Billy, Walter Simonson, Wally Wood, McBess and others — including one very famous NSFW image re-contextualized!
Butcher Billy, the Brazilian artist behind the much-blogged Pop Art Turtles, has followed that up with the frankly insane Pop Bastards, “a clash of pop culture icons.” Doctor Manhattan vs. Michael Jackson vs. Alfred E. Neuman? Check. Arnie’s Conan vs. The Huld vs. Bettie Page? Check. Porky Pig vs. Robocop vs. The Joker? Check. But why, oh, lord, why? I’ve no idea what is going on in this guy’s head, but his technique is impressive. Bonus points for his use of Cooper Black, the font that always says “cheap T-shirt bought at a fairground.”
A message turned up in my Twitter feed the other day about Johnny Physical Lives, a Kickstarter campaign for a documentary film by Joshua Neuman (presumably another relative of Alfred E’s) about his younger brother’s experience with leukemia through the eyes of his alter ego — a rock star named “Johnny Physical.” The campaign promises backers the choice from special edition prints of album cover illustrations by Jim Mahfood, Paul Pope and Dean Haspiel, but the campaign video prominently features this piece by the great Walter Simonson.
He’s also customized a vinyl sculpt for Hell Lotus, a Singaporean art show (his contribution here), but I’m highlighting another contributor, Walter “Chauskoskis” Jacott, for its direct comic book referencing. Also – somebody actually bought this. Their name probably should be kept on an FBI database or something.
Another Brazilian: Fabian Ciraolo. His stock in trade is pictures of iconic celebrities recast as tattooed, iPod-waving, indie-band T-shirt-wearing hipsters. He’s also partial to some classic comic book iconography.
And finally, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and Warwick Johnson Cadwell is selling things, including commissions, far too cheaply. He includes this Doctor Strange illustration as an example. This is marvelous, WJC has captured the essence of Ditko’s era on the character here perfectly, without being in any way in thrall to his style. Quite a trick.