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 EarnMojo.com  (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!


Sam Spina said...

wow alec! you can really tell that this is a dream job for you, you pull it off like only a superfan could! pumped to see the rest! ALSO I got my copy of the new phase 7 and really really liked it, I love the loosely drawn sketchbook auto-bio comics! they just seem so real, know what I mean? and Dragons also rules

Alec Longstreth said...

Glad you liked these Sam! I laid out the rest of them and there are a LOT more on the way (60 total!) Glad Phase 7 arrived safely and thanks for the kind words about the sketchbook issue. I feel like it's cheating to send out such scratchy stuff, so it's always nice to hear that people are enjoying it. I hope you are having a great summer in Denver!