Archive for April, 2008

Olympian Bear Attacks TIME Magazine

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The above is a recently completed illustration for the Asian branch of Time Magazine in Hong Kong. The article that the image pertains to addresses speculation and uncertainty of how China’s economy will perform in the wake of the upcoming summer Olympics. Upon giving me the assignment, deputy art director Nilanjan Das suggested that a bear might make a good representation of a brutish economy. As it happens, I have a love of bears born primarily out of wonderment and fear. This wonderment and fear should not be confused with the mania personified by Timothy Treadwell in Herzog’s Grizzly Man documentary. I’m not like that. I like to observe bears but I wouldn’t want to live with one. Regardless, for the purposes of this project, our course was set.

The assignment happened to come to me right before taking off for a decidedly lost weekend with my brother, so working quickly was of the essence. The final sketch was approved Friday afternoon and the final illustration was delivered the following Monday evening with my brother’s and my fantastic voyage sandwiched in between. It was quite a ride.

The article can be read here, and the quick-as-nobody’s-business sketches that Nilanjan and his editors graciously entertained before landing on our final are included below:

1. Loose Change – Notice the lack of bear.
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2. Bear Tunnel – The Olympic torch lights the way into the bleak void that is a bear’s salivating jaws.

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3. Bear as Socio-economic Superfreak.
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4. Bear vs. Olympian in a heated battle for the governance of China!
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Mammal Finds Out Who’s Tough

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Mammal was representing hard at the New York Comic Con over this past weekend. As a promotion for our in-the-works second issue devoted to the concept of machismo and the exploration of the masculine identity, mastermind Devin Clark asked those at the con who stopped by our booth to ask themselves whether they considered themselves to be tough or not tough. Black and white wood placards were provided so that those who were asked could choose and wear their designations proudly. Asking someone whether they consider themselves to be tough or not tough proved to be a far more significant reveal into the minds and hearts of those attending the con than any of us would have anticipated. Our biggest surprise was Lou Ferrigno, pictured above, who despite being built like a one man war machine and spending a few quiet years as the Incredible Freakin’ Hulk, was unafraid to share his inner vulnerability with us. You want tough? Here’s a virtual superhero brave enough to share his true self to a group of erstwhile strangers. That’s tough.

More photos of those who were ready to confront this pressing issue and pose for the camera can be seen here.

Rhymes With ‘Yossarian Annihilation.’

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One of my uncommissioned pieces of the past year was recently selected as a part of the forthcoming American Illustration 27 volume that will be published this November. Given the bleary and exhausted state I was in upon receiving the news earlier this morning, this was about an ideal a hangover cure as I’ve ever had.

I’ve been awestruck by the work I’ve seen in AI for years (my good friend Ben Marra’s work included therein in previous volumes) and I’m thrilled beyond reproach to be included in this year’s volume. Thanks guys!

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