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This weekend I will be doing an event with Timberland, inspired by Boston’s bi-annual ArtWeek Celebration. I will be drawing on the Timberland Classic 6-inch Wheat Boot this Saturday (10/8) from 11am to 5pm at the Timberland store on 201 Newbury Street in Boston. Come through. Buy some boots. I’ll draw on them.
About ArtWeek Boston…
ArtWeek is an award-winning bi-annual creative festival featuring more than 150 unique, unexpected, and creative experiences that are participatory, interactive, or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. Born in Boston, ArtWeek has grown so rapidly since its 2013 launch that it now serves communities throughout all of Eastern Massachusetts.
Cherish Yesterday, Dream Tomorrow, Live Today
Sensational Spider-Man no. 21. That was it. That was the issue that marked my first professional collaboration with Mike 10 years ago. As the “guest inker” on that particular book, it was a huge deal for me for 3 reasons…
1) It was a popular title that already had an established creative team in Todd Dezago, Mike Wieringo and Richard Case and I did not want to disappoint.
2) Mike requested me personally.
3) Mike was, is, and always will be one of my favorite artists. Not just from a professional aspect, in that he was an absolute joy to work with, but mainly because I was such a big fan.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the main reason any of us do what we do in this business is because we love it so much. Mike loved comics. It showed in everything he worked on from Impulse and The Flash to Spider-Man, Superman and Tellos. He was (like most of us) a fan himself. At times that can be a bitter pill to swallow, because in tandem with this ongoing love-fest are several outside factors that might cause one to question why we “love” this medium as much as we do. If I may borrow a quote from my friend Jeff Smith (I don’t think he’ll mind); “Deadlines can be brutal, but the day has not yet dawned that I put ink to paper without the same childlike enthusiasm and curiosity that led me to pick up a pencil in the first place. This drive may be part and parcel of being a cartoonist; certainly no one I’ve ever met in our profession pursued this bastard child of art and literature because they were encouraged to by the higher education system, or because they thought it would raise their social status. Comic books are a child only a mother could love. Fortunately, most of us in this corner of the cartooning world are huge mothers and regard every line with surpassing joy.”
I first met Mike back in 1994 at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. I became a fan of his work from the first time I saw it. We’ve worked together off and on over the years and recently re-connected this past year to do a few projects at Marvel. We’ve attended conventions together, traded artwork, and at times (especially while on the job) shared pleasant conversation. Comic books, for the most part, are a collaborative art form. If I were to look back on the books I enjoyed as a child, I would recall a sense of care and attention to detail in the visuals that got me hooked from the beginning. That’s no accident. In fact, it is the very same feeling I felt each and every time I worked with Mike. He had me hooked from the beginning. As collabs go, each artist is a complement to the other. The penciler complements the writer, the inker complements the penciler, and the colorist complements everybody. When artists work together, who have a mutual love, respect, admiration and appreciation for each other’s abilities, you get beautiful work. Period.
All that being said, thank you Mike (and Todd) for asking me to be part of TELLOS. If I were to hang up the brushes tomorrow and call it a career, then collaborating with you on YOUR very own project will have been the high point. I’m very proud of that work and I believe it showed in every single page we produced together. I have so much respect for you as an Artist, a Friend and a Human Being. Whether or not you truly understood or accepted it, your work touched many, all over the world and continues to do so. Godspeed to you my brother. I will miss you dearly.
(*Remembrance from August 15, 2007)
“What Are You Going To Tell Them?”
Jon Onye Lockard
Incredible piece by one of my favorite artists, the late Dr. Jon Onye Lockard. Timeless. I’ve been staring at it a lot these days, as I try to digest recent events. It’s important that we let our young people know they are valuable and have the power to change the world…because they are the ones that are going to do it. And they’re much smarter than we are. Educate. Uplift. Empower. Teach TRUTH.
Last week I spent the evening at ARC (Architectural Resources Cambridge) in Boston. I was invited to be a guest critic for some incredibly awesome final presentations from students at the Boston Architectural College (BAC). “Skyscrapers & Superheroes” is an advanced design studio created by Mark Urrea and Richard Yeager. The studio explores what it means to introduce a small change in an ordinary system through utilizing the qualities of superheroes. It challenges the students to explore how a small design intervention can have the potential to radiate and change the perception of an existing context/host completely. Each student was given the task of creating an intervention for one of Boston’s most famous landmarks…the John Hancock Tower in Copley Sq.
Images from Kun An’s presentation incorporating Iron Man from Marvel comics…
In the Spirit of Remembrance…
I never met Prince, but was fortunate to be in his presence on two separate occasions, courtesy of my good friend Evan Theodore Stent (as much as you think you might know about The Artist, this bro knows more. TRUTH).
The first time was in the 90s, back in my NYC days at a private record release party for Larry Graham and Chaka Khan in the east village. I had just relocated to NY for work, and before I could unpack one box, I was at a party with industry heads, celebs and music lovers till 3 or 4am. I remember Prince casually walking right past me when he arrived. No heavy entourage or bodyguards, just himself, Larry Graham and a few other people. I was amazed at how chill, laid-back and accessible he was the whole time we were there. Class Act.
The second time was the first and only time I got to see him perform live. It was in ’04 on the night of the 19th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The ceremony was held at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and broadcast on VH1. Prince hosted a private after party/concert at Club Black in Manhattan (now known as Terminal 5). The location was never publicly announced, so you had to be in the loop to even know where it was. The club had an upper level over-looking the stage that was reserved for the guests coming straight from the Waldorf (VIP). The rest of the club was standing room only, first come, first served and we were front row, off center, to the left. I’m a music lover. So, by definition, that would make me a Prince fan. Not the biggest Prince fan…not even close, but music lovers love good music. To say I was mesmerized would be an understatement. It was easily the BEST live show I have ever seen. The band was flawless. The sound was top notch. Perfection. And this brother just got off stage from his own induction ceremony performance a few hours prior…a true testament to his dedication and mastery of Performance as Art. Inspired? You better believe I was!
The connection between music and visual art is seamless. It’s all story telling. It’s all connected. It’s all Art.
When we look back on our lives and recount all of the significant people, places and things we encountered along the way, we will realize that all of it, the good and the bad, the painful and the pleasant, contributed to the men and women we have ultimately become.
All Art is Relative and we have lost an Incredible Artist. Godspeed my brother and Thanks for the Love.