Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Season's Greetings 2010!

Season's Greetings, Blog Followers. Sorry I've been kinda lazy with showing off my work lately. Sadly, I've been too busy doing work to show it off. And what's worse is most of the pieces I've been doing are Christmas I can't show them off yet.

It's been a year of ups (Joannie) and downs (North Catholic), but 2010 seems to be ending nicely. I was just hired as the new Development Coordinator at the University of the Arts. Since I have been teaching there part-time for years and they helped several of my high school students in the past (not to mention giving me a grant towards Sketches of Fishtown, Vol II), I am really happy to join the staff. I love the school. They treat me really well. It's nice to be attached to a mission I believe in.

Anyways, here are a few Christmas-related drawings I've done in the past few weeks. The first is my Christmas card, which I have included Joannie, Aaron, Brandon, and Joannie's dog Zoe in. Joannie very much wanted me to do a family-type card this year. I'm glad she did, because I think it's the best one I've ever done:
Here is an ornament I made for Joannie's Mom. Every year, my Mom sent out a Lion & Lamb card. So I wanted to include big Joan in that tradition somehow:
And here is a piece I did for Spirit Newspapers to accompany the article "Scrooge, the Grinch, George Bailey, & Me":
I hope everyone has a great Christmas and an awesome new year. Please keep in touch.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

I just wanted to take a minute to say Happy Thanksgiving. I wrote the following article for the Spirit Newspapers with the help of several great Fishtowners who help me appreciate the neighborhood and life in general.

It's easy to get sidetracked and look at all the bad in life. So it's nice to be reminded that the things of real value cost nothing. Thanks.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cancer Gremlin...The Evolution of a Character

Recently, Marvin Bowe, Senior VP and Creative Director for the Navicor Group, contacted me with a really fun illustration gig. I was assigned to draw a little gremlinie-type monster to represent a certain kind of cancer that many doctors and patients overlook and forget to ask about. The character would have been used in ad materials for a medicine to treat that type of cancer.

The art team on the job liked some frog-like creatures I once drew in a Meathaus comic. They also gave me some very specific criteria and e-mailed over some microscopic photos of colorful cancer cells. The concept reminded me of the ads for Mucinex and even the Crest's Cavity Creeps and Raid's Bugs from past ad campaigns like that. They wanted a quirky character, but in a way, he needed to be sympathetic. Because we were trying to remind doctors not to forget to ask about him. Here were my initial pencil sketches:

They really liked Sketch A. It most resembled the characters that initially attracted the art directors to my work. I also liked the characters with less human proportions. The art team also asked me to make the character more mischievous and less sad. I took "neglected" to heart when doing these first drafts, but they wanted a character with a more "Tasmanian Devil" or "Gremlin" attitude. I was glad to hear that, because those guys are way more fun to draw. They also asked me to lose props like the signs. And since they liked the body shape on character B as well, they asked me to "Jabba the Hutt" him up a bit and add some horns.

So here are the final two drafts I came up with:
Unfortunately, the actual concept was not used by the pharmaceutical company. However, it was a great job. It was fun and Navicor treated me really well. Also, I got to vilify cancer (which I hate). All in all, it's been my favorite freelance gig this year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sketches of Fishtown books - price reduced...

Gearing up for the holiday season. I am looking to unload the remaining Sketches of Fishtown books I have. If anyone wants to get some books for a gift or stocking stuffer, let me know. I am selling them for $3.00 apiece. I am selling each set (a copy of volumes I and II together) for $5.00.

If you're in Fishtown, they have them for sale at the Spirit Newspaper offices at Gaul & Susquehanna.

Or if you'd like to purchase one from me, I can draw a little sketch in the back and personalize it. I take paypal or you can e-mail me to discuss payment and shipping/delivery/pickup:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

World's Fair Art Show at Shadow's Space in Kensignton - November Through December

Below are my submissions for the World's Fair Art Show. I took old whisky bottles, boiled them, peeled the labels, and made my own old-tymie labels. I did my best to make them somewhat reminiscent of old times, but still have my own personal touch. Each bottle is named after or in some way connected to someone or something in my life. Some are inspired my things domestic (like Newton's Snake Oil named after my Joannie). And some are inspired by wanderlust (like the Hobo Fuel). And then some are inspired by people and places I've known internationally (like Victor Vovc, a brilliant Moldovan doctor who I used to work with). All labels were drawn and colored by hand on sticker paper. The photos don't really do them justice. There is attention to detail that can only be observed properly if you're close enough to fog them with your breath. So come on out tomorrow to the Fair!

World’s Fair Art Exhibition, 1st Stop: Shadow’s Space Gallery 1248 Front Street Philadelphia, PA November through December Opening Reception Friday, November 5th, 2010 from 6pm to 10pm (After Party downstairs @ Kung Fu Necktie)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CcTC Spookatcular 2010


As I have listed here in past years, the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society are always very generous with their time and art when it comes to worthwhile charitable causes. We've had a tradition of making these trick or treat bags for the kids at the CcTC (The Children's Crisis Treatment Center) now for over ten years.

In the past four or five years, these bags have become part of the 2010 CcTC Spooktacular, sponsored by Charette, the AIA Philadelphia and students of CHAD (Charter High School for Architecture & Design). The Spooktacular event provides kids at the CcTC (The Children's Crisis Treatment Center) a place to trick or treat and have a safe and happy Halloween.

This year, we had to spread out, but still got the job done. Along with the aid of family and friends, we completed 100 bags. Members and friends who worked on the project this year include: Christine Larsen, Andrew Hart, Melissa Lomax, Scott Derby, Dave Perillo, Christian Patchell, Tom Whalen, Val Costanzo, Kyle Margiotta, Joannie Newton, Brandon Heary, Valerie Deaton, Christine Venturis, Ben Cady, Jenny Drumgoole (and her students at Rowan University), and myself.

Making these bags every year reminds me that holidays can be fun, happy times even though I'm an adult. Just because we can't reap the benefits the way that kids do, there is no reason to leave behind the excitement and joy you can feel this time of year.

Special Thanks to Erike De Veyra for coordinating a great deal of the PCS end of this event.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spirit Newspaper Article: Lacey's Law

I just wanted to share a link to a story I've written recently for the Spirit Community Newspapers about my cousin Lacey and her legacy. Please click the link below.

On Sunday, October 10, 2010, we will be holding the Fourth Annual Lacey Day at Holy Name Church at Gaul and Berks Streets. It's always a huge fantastic block party, inside and outside. The Doo Wop group, The Exceptions will be singing live. There are great prizes, food, drink, and a huge group of positive people coming together to celebrate Lacey's life. For more information, please visit:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Caravan Festival Poster 2010

Recently, my buddy Aaron Luis Levinson (Grammy-winning producer and all around music nut) hired me to design and illustrate this poster for the upcoming Caravan Festival he put together for the Electric Factory (Oct. 21, 2010). Aaron has a natural ear for great music, especially bringing artists together. I'd work with Aaron over and over again. He believes in music like religion. When he puts projects together, he always tries to bring people into the mix that can bring something unique and fitting to the table. He's proven this with his eclectic and popular albums "The Philadelphia Experiment", "The Harlem Experiment", and all the work he does for Range Records. We've talked time and time again about this community-based concept, not only for the music, but packaging and promotion as well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Halloween Show at Proximity Gallery - October 1

The Philadelphia Cartoonist Society and the Autumn Society are teaming up for a show at Proximity Gallery on October 1, 2010. This will be a Halloween-themed show with over 30 artists displaying work. please click on the photos below to see closer details from some of the pieces from the drop off day.

Here is a detail from my piece, entitled "7 Crows":
Please stop by Proximity on October 1 for the opening or some time during the month of October when the gallery is open. Proximity is located at 2434 East Dauphin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125. For more information , please contact Janel Frey at 267.825.2949 or e-mail:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

PBR Crate - Final

I finally got a chance to get these photos and scans up on the web here. I finished the Pabst Blue Ribbon vintage crate a couple weeks back. Thanks to my buddy Gravy for his patience and Pabst's generosity for all the sponsorship they've given me and the Philly Cartoonist Society over the years. I drew all the images on sticker paper, inked them with waterproof Micron pens, then colored them with waterproof markers, like Prismacolors. I also used some white colored pencil for highlights. Then I cut out the shapes with an razor and stuck the pieces to various sides of the crate. Then I used waterproof ink for the "Pabst" lettering on the top of the crate and the ink coming from the pen of the "Jeff" cartoon. Thanks to Joannie for challenging me to be a little more careful with the ink and not settle for laziness. When I was finished laying it out, I sealed the whole crate with about five coats of high gloss acrylic polyurethane. Since the sealant was water-based, I had to use all waterproof materials on the initial drawings. I used the water-based so it didn't yellow the sticker paper. Anyways, below are the final scans and then photos of how they look on the crate. Now I just have to get it back to Pabst...