Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two More Strange Santas

As I said in December of 2006, I hate the holidays, but I get a weird kick out of drawing Santa Claus, (I'm sure it has something to do with those Rankin Bass Christmas specials). I particularly enjoy putting Santa slightly outside of his usual context. Here are two new ones.

The first is a drawing for a Christmas card from The Onion. In this case, the Onion folks approached me with a fully-realized concept. I thought it was a cute idea, and I was thrilled for the opportunity to work for The Onion. The "Stoop Santa" drawing appears on the card's front, and when you open it, the caption reads, "he's real, yo."

I worked with Glenn Severence and Colin Tierney at The Onion's NYC office, and these cards are available for purchase here:,-yobrholiday-card-set-p-282.html

The next one is a concept that was all my own. Sal Canzonieri of the band Electric Frankenstein asked me to come up with a poster for their December East Coast tour with The Damned. Here's the result, with all the type removed for your viewing pleasure.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Strange Santas

That nightmarish, saccharine music blasting from speakers everywhere signals that Christmas is fast approaching. While I'm not crazy about the season in general, I am a big fan of all Santa imagery, the kitschier, the better. This is probably due to the fact that I spent my diapered years watching those charming Rankin Bass animated TV specials, (which I'm STILL very happy to watch, thank you). For that reason, I look forward to holiday illo assignments, and the chance to visualize some of the weirder aspects of the jolly old elf's imagined history.

Here are three strange Santa illos from recent years: the first is an illo from the Boston Phoenix , assigned to me early last month by Catherine Tumber, (while Kristen Goodfriend was away). The article was a stream-of-consciousness piece consisting of hundreds of made-up band names; things like "Christmas Vampire," "The Devil's Tomato," "Scowling Baby," etc".

(Looking at that drawing, I'm reminded that over the years, I've done a handful of similar illos featuring whimsical bands comprised of robots, giant fish, aliens, and the like; at some later date, I'll collect them all and post 'em here.)

Next is a pro bono cover I did for an odd 'zine called ODDFELLOW, where we see a rapier-wielding Santa dressed in military regalia, dueling with the mag's creepy Masonic mascot, (a character originally dreamed up by the excellent cartoonist Jason Little ).

Last is a cover I did for New York Press' Holiday Gift Guide in November of 2003, (I think this was during Nick Bilton's tenure as Art Director) where another warrior Santa prepares to drive a spear directly into the black heart of his eternal foe, Lucifer.


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