Thursday, April 30, 2009

Factory days comic strip

In the mid 1980's and early 1990's, I gathered material from work about my bosses in the factory to interpret in a strip. Each character actually existed. In other words, if I lined up the players and asked you to match them up with their drawn caricatures, you probably could.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Uzi Monster

The Uzi Monster has no social skills. Asking for a cigarette is one thing. But asking for one's gun is not even acceptable in some of the most human societies. Some may feel sorry for him and let him have his way, but ultimately that would only exacerbate his disease. Don't you get it - He's spoiled rotten, because of other's kindness - he's been killed with kindness!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heel Moster

This monster is the Foo-Foo type that walks an expensive white dog in the neighborhood. Perhaps she is a bit like the madame in "101 Dalmations," but with the single word of "Heel," she keeps the spoiled beast on the thin and narrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not in the Mood

The ruffled head gives this monster a pensive, thoughtful stance. Could you imagine putting all the energy in this stance over something as mundane as asking oneself "Is tomorrow going to be a good day?"Why even waste the effort asking such a question? Tomorrow is what you make it. Tip: Get a planner.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Working with Genius Pablo Ferro

My article on Blogcritics about my lucky break working with artist Pablo Ferro. Here is a collage of 2 pictures of the model I painted for a Rolling Stones live concert in VA, while working with Pablo.
Working With Genius Pablo Ferro
Written by Larry EstesPublished April 16, 2009

For one evening in 1981, I was working with someone that famed director, Stanley Kubrick, calls a genius. I call him a willing accomplice in my first lucky break.
His name is Pablo Ferro. He pioneered techniques for editing hand-drawn titles for such classics as Dr. Strangelove, Clockwork Orange, and Beetlejuice, among others. He won an Art Directors Hall of Fame Award in 2000. You will be hearing more about him next year as a documentary about his creative contributions to film comes to completion.

In December of 1981, the Hampton Coliseum in Virginia was a stop on the Rolling Stones’ Tattoo You tour, which featured a nationally televised HBO-broadcast of the concert. I was working at a record store as a display artist when I got the call that I had several hours to “tattoo” a nude model, part of the opening act for a live Rolling Stones concert.

Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Not only had I never painted on the fleshy surface of a human body, I never had to perform work under the scrutiny of Hollywood types and under the pressure of the strict deadline of a live concert by musicians billed as the “greatest rock and roll band in the world.”

I stopped at the local five-and-dime store and purchased brushes and some acrylic paint, then I sped off to Hampton. Like clockwork, a bus met me in the parking lot and Pablo opened the door to let me in. We pulled up to the backstage entrance to the coliseum.

Within minutes I found myself in a small room with Pablo and a drawing table. I was informed I was replacing the original artist that was just fired because the letters he stuck on the model kept peeling off. The model was fired, too, because she was too curvaceous for the letters to adhere.

Within minutes, the new model walked in and disrobed. I asked her to lie on her back so I could “tattoo” her face like Mick Jagger’s is done on the Tattoo You album cover. Another woman kept making the rounds with a tray full of grapes and other fruits. After I finished painting her face, I started adding similar black patterns to her nude body.

Pablo had been busy sketching letters on paper, but after a while he gave me full creative freedom, saying, “You got it.” Finally, I was told to add in color, the radio station numbers where the concert was being broadcast.

Soon, the videographer began a serpentine sweep from her feet to her head, scanning the numbers, while I was doing last minute touch-ups. It was a surreal experience to be in this fast-paced, creative zone where one action overlapped into another.

In retrospect, I can look at that experience as a privileged peek into the working mind of a genius. I have a new appreciation for text because of Pablo's obsession to treat it as more than just labels, and unleash its hidden magic as if it were some kind of dormant hieroglyphic yearning to erupt.

Years ago, I tried to find some information on Pablo, but I couldn’t. Last night, in pursuit of something to write about, I tried again, and was surprised to find so much information on his impressive career.

Lingering questions about who he is will continue to be edited out of our collective consciousness. In my case, my memories of working with Pablo have just become a lot more meaningful.

No Cussing

This monster looks confidently adamant about enforcing violations on his beat. No badge, no medals, no walkie talkie. Just good old intimidation. O yeah, he is carrying a stick of sorts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Magnetic Personality Monster

Some monsters have their personality types incorporated on their body designs, sort of like wearing a sign on one's forehead that was given at birth that describes a dominant feature about the wearer. Would it make it easier to find a mate? An employer? Or would it be too much information too early, defeating the "getting acquainted discovery" stage of a relationship. Anyway, here he is - Mr. Personality wearing his namesake on his arm, or rather, head.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


What happens when a monster is getting ready to do the rain dance and it is not neccesary to do so, and even detrimental to area crops? For those Trickster-dominant monsters, we have the "Don't Dance" Rain Non-Maker Monster. History books have stubbornly ignored their importance in the survival of tribes and their painstakingly nurtured crops.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Candy Sawhead

That awful candy from Christmas - that's what his colors suggest to me. This monster has a saw head, thus his name "Candy Sawhead." He is coming out of his wrapper - a sort of rebirth, yet his facial expression reveals his anxiety at still being imprisoned in the form of a consumer product. Is he freer without his wrapper? Who knows for sure. He needs a home - buy him and use him as the framed mascot above your candy dish. Original and full of personality - Candy Sawhead. Only $149.

Caliko Monster

The name "Caliko" was inspired by my fondness of cats that color and the speckled patterns on carpet foams. What's in Caliko's hands? That's one of the things I want to ask him. I would guess he has a needle, thread, and an arrow, but who knows, I was only the drawer. Original monster drawing $185.

Easterman Monster

From my monster pages around April in the mid 1990's. I just named this one Easterman, not only because today is Easter, but because he brings to mind the Easter Island statues. I went bike riding today with my wife in the neighborhood I grew up in and there was a replica about 2 ft. tall of one of those statues in someone's front garden. I will sell this pen and magic marker drawing for $195. I can't tell you why I was compelled to draw some 100 monsters in April in the 1990's.

Half Moonie Boxer Monster

One of the creatures from my monster pages, sheets that I just drew monsters on. When I title them, I use my own well of memories of imagery and literary elements. This one I drew in the mid 1990's, but just named it minutes ago - "Half Moonie Boxer," influenced by half moon shapes and the word "moonie." My first run in with the Moonies was when I was in Florida way back when - they would stand on the busy streets, like Sunset Blvd, and sell flowers from a basket. They wore 60's style garments and seemed very happy. This boxer is ready to fight and go ahead and try to break his nose - he don't have one! This original magic marker & pen drawing, "Half-Moonie," $195.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Magic Marker Monsters

From left to right, Quaad, Inca Ray, Diplo, Magi Blue, Rye Catcher.
In the 1990's, pages of monsters emerged in my art journey. They became a magnet for color as I used magic markers to give form to my penned shapes. They had an eerie nature that suggested that the right spell could bring them to life. I wrote in my notes, as a description, "...combining the primitive with the technological, the ancient with the present." I will be posting more soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009