Halloween at the Chateau Marmont

Illustrated an article about a solo séance at the Chateau Marmont for the online magazine Road Trippers (it’s good! check it out). One of those out-of-the-blue jobs where I met someone at the Indy 500, they liked my drawings and over a year later rec’ed me to an editor looking for some drawings. The turnaround time was ridiculously quick—just a week from 1st contact to the due date. With my clogged schedule I basically did the entire 3 illustration job in one insane 17 hour overnight stretch…but, because the content was so fun, it was actually one of the more enjoyable all-nighters I’ve pulled….

So there’s that.

Illustration is interesting because a reader will pick this article up (or click on it, I guess) and be immersed in what looks like a collaborative world devised by writer and artist (with behind-the-scene presence of an editor, art staff, etc., implied), but in fact I had no contact with Dan Shapiro, the author of the piece. Just a series of breathless texts with the editor, and one phone call the night of the deadline. I did have the article, so I had something very solid to riff on. And they’d asked for something “wild, like Scarfe.” We were all happiest with the first image, in the bathtub. The last image, with the ghost in the room, was both the slickest and the one that’s sort of least successful I think….spells it all out too literally, maybe. Which points out the other big obstacle to getting the best work done: the time constraint. If I had another day or two I could have redone the seance drawing into a wilder technique.

But them’s the breaks in the life of a freelance illustrator. I did get the best text message reply ever when I sent the editor the first two images: “I FUCKING LOVE THESE!!”

CLICK on the images below and it’ll do that carousel thing….

Illustrating Autoweek's Columnists

Since Sept. of 2017 I’ve been the “Contributing Illustrator” of record for Autoweek Magazine. What that means is I do a black-n-white + single color illustration for the editorial column that opens every magazine. I was asked to take this on when the magazine art staff undertook a top-to-toe redesign back at the end of 2017. Now I’ve done over 30 of these, and thought I’d better share some of my faves here.

The Legend of the Lost Lancia

Autoweek sent myself and Pal Peet up into the hinterlands of the Great Lakes region in search of a legendary rally car, the Lancia Stratos. Stories of a genuine team car abandoned in the woods of northernmost Michigan have been swirling for years, and the magazine knew only its most intrepid reporters could get to the bottom of the tale…

READ IT ALL HERE!

In the process we witnessed one of the world’s most affordable and exciting forms of motorsports up close, stumbled onto a mysterious government testing site, talked with air rescue pilots, found a thriving culture of DIY racers of every gender and background, took a lap on the dirt in a vicious, vintage 1980 Ford Escort Mk. II rally car that blew our minds, and spent an hour hanging out with the man many rally aficionados consider the greatest rally driver of all time, Hannu Mikkola.

All in all, a good trip.

If you haven’t watched any rally footage before, click on the links above—it is insane and insanely cool.

I did a dozen or so illustrations for the article, Peet wrote the text. Peet and I hadn’t done an article together before, but quickly fell into a routine where we’d take turns chatting up sources and then splitting up to pursue leads…frequently I’d listen to Peet interview someone while I took notes; I’d sketch some, and Peet would take photos that I could later use as reference for the big illustrations. We expected to have fun on the assignment, and figured the final article would be good, but neither of us expected to work so dang well together. We were a real team—and it really improved the work! We decided we need to do more articles together like this. The organizers and sponsors agreed—both the race organizer, and the primary sponsor of the event, Dirt Fish Rally School came up to us at the event’s closing awards dinner and said we were the best journalists they’d ever worked with (!). So much so, Dirt Fish invited us out to take a 3 Day course at their school so we could write about the experience.

An article on that experience will be coming soon….

Sketchin' the 2017 Indy 500

The good folk from Autoweek Magazine (a wonderful pub that you can check out HERE and maybe even...subscribe?) and Chevrolet sent me to this year's Indianapolis 500 to create another of what is becoming a series of "Great Race Sketchbooks." The race experience exceeded expectations in every way. I spent 5 days on the ground searching the scene for "sketchables." I always feel like I'm never getting enough down on the pad....I took the sketchbooks home and Autoweek indulged me another week and a half or so to flesh out the sketches for publication (Autoweek is the best). Instead of writing an accompanying article, this time I put the comments/narrative its on the drawings themselves. You can check out the article HERE; a selection of sketches below.

The Nürburgring is a Racetrack in Germany

The Nürburgring is a Racetrack in Germany

My article for Autoweek should be hitting doorsteps (and the web) any day now. They sent me to Germany to spend a weekend with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus as they took on the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. It was wild...here's a snippet of the epic sketch journal I turned in to the magazine.

Read More

San Diego Comics Fest 2016

The good people who run San Diego Comic Fest asked me to do this year's program cover. The honoree was Forrest J. Ackerman, trailblazer of sci-fi fandom and owner of the "Ackermansion" where he kept his mongo collection of movie memorabilia. Most famously he created the "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine, and this provided the inspiration for my illo. How could you not have fun digging into these guys? Everything was so last-minute we didn't have a chance to print any posters in time for the Fest--but they are available here on the Comics by Marty Davis website. Check 'em out! I only made it down on the weekend, but lots of fun to see old friends and make some new ones. And gratified to see the Fest reach a whole 'nother level of popularity this year...must've been my cover!

APE CON 2015

San Jose welcomed the great unwashed alternative masses to their downtown this weekend past, and boy did we have fun. A proper blogsite would have blasted fans and followers with the news beforehand, but we prefer to work retroactively thru the psychological mechanism called REGRET.

"See what you missed in San Jose...?"