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July 27, 2011

Weezer Icons: Mix Tape

Okay, this week's Weezer Icons span a few different albums, kind of like a "mix tape" of different Weezer stuff.  As ever, there are descriptions below to help you decipher these images, if you are not a hardcore Weezer fan.

In comics order: 1) The Kitchen Tapes - an early demo tape of Weezer's  2) One of the songs on The Kitchen Tapes was called Paperface  3) This is my redrawing of the fan-created cover to the never released Weezer album Songs from the Black Hole  4) M1 was the name of the robot on board the spaceship in Songs from the Black Hole (voiced by Karl Koch!)  5) One of the sumo wrestlers from the Hash Pipe music video, with a neon green background similar to The Green Album cover  6) Island in the Sun, another hit from The Green Album  7) A section of the Maladroit album cover, redrawn in my style  8) Space Rock, track eight on Maladroit.

Okay, that gets us through some early stuff and Weezer's first four albums.  NEXT WEEK: Albums five, six and seven!

July 20, 2011

Weezer Icons: Pinkerton

This week I've got some more Weezer Icons to share, this time from their epic 1996 album, Pinkerton.  Many of these made it onto the Memories Tour VIP Posters, but here I am posting them in their original, full-color format.  Below each image collection I'll post the references, just in case you are not a hardcore Weezer fan...

In comics order: 1) "You say 'like' too much" from Falling For You  2) The letter to Rivers from one of his Japanese fans which inspired Across the Sea  3) "'Cause I'm a burning candle, you're a gentle moth, teaching me to lick a little bit kinder" from Falling For You  4) "Make a record of my heart" from the double time bridge of El Scorcho  5) Tired of Sex, a spoof on the Trojan condom packaging  6) Pink Triangle - this was another one where I originally drew a pink triangle patch, but when Karl showed it to Rivers, he said that it had actually been a button on the girl's sleeve, so I corrected it  7) "Holy sweet goddamn you left your cello in the basement" from Falling For You  8) "She's got a tattoo and two pet snakes" from No Other One.

In comics order:  1) "Hear me: I want sugar in my tea" from The Good Life  2) "Without an old man cane, I'd fall and hit the ground" from The Good Life  3) A pizza box, from The Good Life music video 4) "Maybe you could break my heart next summer" from Why Bother  5) "It used to be a game, now it's a crying shame" from Getchoo - a spoof on the Trivial Pursuit game design (I know this one is a stretch, but there's not a lot of visual information in the lyrics of this one!)  6) "Yesterday I went outside, with my momma's mason jar.  Caught a lovely butterfly" from Butterfly  7) The flying W which is featured prominently in the El Scorcho video (and all live Weezer shows!)  8) Giacomo Puccini, whose music inspired many of the lyrics and songs of Pinkerton.

NEXT WEEK: Weezer Icons Mix Tape!

July 14, 2011

Weezer Icons: The Blue Album

Hey, remember those Memories Tour VIP Posters I made for Weezer last year?  Each poster was made up of a series of little drawings or "icons" - one for each track on that poster's album.  What I haven't told you though, is that most of those icons were not actually created FOR those posters!

Last September, I got to go backstage at a Weezer show in Vermont, where I met Karl Koch, who has worked as the archivist / web master / fan relations guy / photographer / roadie / everything for Weezer since day one.  At the time, Weezer was about to launch their new website, which is kind of like Facebook, only JUST for Weezer fans.  Each fan gets their own page where they can blog about the band, post their own photos and covers, "friend" eachother, etc. etc. etc.

That night after the concert, Karl sent me a login for the new site, so I could help test it out before it officially launched, and while clicking around I came across a "gift" section.  It was full of these horrible generic "gift" icons.  You know - smiley faces, champagne glasses, a graduation hat - basically CLIP ART.  I thought, "Why not have Weezer-specific gifts?!" and emailed the idea to Karl the next morning.  He was into it.  So I started drawing, and needless to say, I came up with A LOT of ideas.  As I joked to friends while I was drawing them, "I have been training for this illustration job my entire life!"

Some have since been put up on the site, but because of some back-end problems, the resolution on the icons is really horrible and they are not getting much use.  Here's a screenshot of how they actually look on the site:

A little dissappointing, right?  Especially for the ones with text, which is completely illegible.  Anyway, a few months later, Karl emailed me to say they are now using some of the illustrations as weezer "badges" on this site  (I don't pretend to know anything about this.  It's something to do with smart phones I think?).  Here's a screenshot of what some of THOSE look like:

Again, these are so small you can't read any of the text, or really enjoy the illustrations.  Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining!  When the call came in to use some of these icons for the Memories Tour VIP Posters, it felt like every instant I had spent on these drawings had been well worth it.  But lots of people have told me how much they enjoyed the posters, so now it seems a shame that everyone hasn't seen the REST of the Weezer "icons."  

SO!  For the next couple of weeks I'm going to post them, in groups by album, along with cheat sheets, so you know what each of the drawings references.  This week I'll start with The Blue Album icons, some of which were later used in the poster.  Please note that these were originally created in full color - I recolored the poster versions with a limited palette based on the album covers.

BLUE ALBUM 1 (in comics order): 1) "Heartbeat" the massive build from Holiday 2) Surf Wax America, a spoof on the packaging for Sex Wax brand surf wax 3) "when I'm away she puts her makeup on the shelf" from No One Else  4) A juice box, which Rivers takes a sip from at the very end of the Say It Ain't So video.  I always imagined it was apple juice...  5) My Name Is Jonas name tag 6) "molecules of oxygen and carbondioxide" from Only in Dreams  7) The Garage, from In the Garage  8) "your wallet photograph" from The World Has Turned and Left Me Here, which is a bonus one, because I made his girlfriend that super cute girl from the Buddy Holly video who Brian is making eyes at.

BLUE ALBUM 2 (in comics order): 1) The chorus from Buddy Holly  2) A 12-sided die from In The Garage  3) "Don't look now, but I've lost my shoe" from Buddy Holly  4) A sweater, with a strand, ready for pulling from The Sweater Song  5) "We will write a postcard to our friends and family in free verse" from Holiday  6) "Bokkus" the character on Pat's bass drum which is featured in the Sweater Song and Say It Ain't So videos 7) When doing research for these drawings, I looked up the line "This bottle of Stevens" from Say It Ain't So, and found a BUNCH of stuff on the web that said this was referencing Stevens Point brewery so I drew one of their bottles for the icon.  When this one made it onto the Memories Tour posters though, Karl showed it to Rivers, who said that it is "Steven's" in the possessive (the name of his step dad, who the song is about) and so it is still referencing the "Heine" from the first verse.  Thus, I redrew 8) a bottle of Heineken.

NEXT WEEK: Pinkerton!

July 6, 2011

Site Redesign! New Portfolio!

Well, after some hemming and hawing, I finally decided to totally rearrange this illustration blog, which now redirects to:  Basically, I added some pages at the top of the site, which absorbed all the static content from the previous site.   You can now easily see my client list or use the contact page to get in touch with me for projects.  I also put up a biography page and moved all the links from the sidebar of this blog to their own page.

I also made these little drawings for the sidebar, to link to my Flickr and Twitter accounts, because I always like it when other illustrators do that on their sites.

Last but not least, I made a new portfolio page!  I am pretty excited about it.  I used this fancy issuu PDF viewer thing to embed it (a trick I learned from Keny Widjaja).  Here, I'll embed it below too so you can check it out.  If you click the arrows on the sides, you can scroll through the images at this size, or if you click in the middle, you can view them in full screen mode, which is pretty cool.  Just hit escape to get back to your normal screen.  This will be much easier to update than my old portfolio site, plus people can download the PDF if they want to print it out or look at it later.

 I'm pretty sure I've ironed out all the bugs with the new site - old entries are forwarding to the new domain, and the old RSS feed still works (I think...) but please let me know if you notice anything that needs tweaking!  Next week I'll have some new stuff to show you all.  I hope everyone is having a good summer so far!