Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Carthaginian Solutions: The After Party

"Delenda est Carthago" The destruction of Carthage by the Romans was one of the first instances of co-ordinated genocide in recorded history. It was a phrase that Cato the Elder  used in most of his speeches in the Roman Senate after the Second Punic War. (Wikipedia link for interested parties) Paralells to certain aspects of our foreign policy seemed relevant to me so I started thinking of ways to work that into a picture. i was reading about the first battle of the American Civil War, and people from the north thought the war would be a joke and actually camped out on hillsides to have a picnic to watch the first battle. Nothing like watching people die as a backdrop to a party, again it seems very similar to the war we all sit around and watch people  and civilizations bombed to shit from the comfort of our living rooms.

I used a xerox transfer to put the drawing on the plate and ended up etching it a bit too long and spent way more time than I should have scraping and burnishing. it includes about every technique I know except drypoint.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Always on the Prowl

Graphite, Ink and Photoshop

Transfer on Lithography Stone.

Work in Progress, Scraping and Crayon

© Marcus Howell Graphite, Ink, and Photoshop, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Just Want My Fair Share . . . And That's All of It"

14" x 18" Graphite, Ink, and Photoshop

This started out as a preliminary sketch for another, bigger project but i just added some other things to it as I got going. I had a dream I was fighting off giant hornets while trying to drown a foul mouthed lamb in the ocean. I don't remember what it was saying but I knew that lamb was unspeakably evil and needed to be destroyed. It was not going down easy. I couldn't see the lamb's legs in the dream so I added all that paraphernalia on it's hindquarters to explain it's unreasonable stamina.

Here is the un-Photoshopped version:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Carthaginian Solutions

"An elaborate summer gala hosted by the influential and despicable attended by the craven and corrupt, with an afternoon showing of genocide for the entertainment."

© Marcus Howell Graphite, Ink, and Photoshop, 2014



"She crept slowly along the dark corridor, regretting her choice of direction. The air was thick, hot and wet with a hateful, bloody smell.  Cyclical echoing sounds of choking, maniacal laughter changing to a racking sob and quickly transitioning back to laughter accompanied her. When the spotlight flared, she saw the source of her processional soundtrack and it evoked far more hatred than pity."

Intaglio, 2014

© Marcus Howell


Monday, October 10, 2011

Polishing a Turd

This one comes as a bit of a revamp of an older drawing:
I expanded it mainly for the purpose of adding to the disastrous etching that I finished, then hated and spent two days scraping out:
I decided to abandon it and let the corrosion take it. The facial expressions were terrible and the picture itself is kinda thin on it's own so I expanded on the idea and I think it looks much better now and the concept is much stronger. Upon completion, I watched the entire Twin Peaks gold box set and I think I created some alternate version of the black lodge:
I recently received some feedback on my work (that I didn't really ask for) and it seemed the general consensus was that the size of my work was holding me back. Those of you who have gone to art school will recognize a series of cliches: "make it really big", "Do, like, a hundred of these", and the ever popular, "Good direction, think about adding/subtracting color". They are very similar to the end of the game cliches you get form every ballplayer not named Brian Wilson. They seldom mean anything but these folks are paid to say something so that's the stock the pick from. My graduate professor was a bit different, because he was either smarter than those teachers, or he actually gave a shit what happened to his students. He always broached the "bigger is better" argument with reasonable qualifiers: The content of the work should require a larger size, a question of substance not form. I may be being a little too hard on my reviewers, that could be exactly what they meant. Well, message received I'm working larger:

It's measuring in at an awkward 12" x 36". On copper, with Dutch Mordant. In a side rant-Fuck Ferric Chloride. I understand the need for less toxicity but it completely negates the advantage of using the way more expensive copper plates: the length and clarity of the bite. The non-toxic way of etching just doesn't work, the results are inferior. You may live longer but if all your work sucks who cares?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Johnny Craig and some bits O' sketching

Finally working on some new stuff after two and a half months full of moving and work nonsense. This is going to be part of another composition, and from a completely different perspective angle, but I needed to do some stuff to knock the rust off. This is what it looked like the first time:

It's kinda funny, but also just looks wrong for what I intend to do, so I redrew the face:

When this one is done it will probably be one of those things where Chad Woody and I laugh maniacally and everyone else is filled with horror and revulsion.

Meanwhile. . .

Johnny Craig was one of the best artists of the EC Comics of the fifties. Compositionally he was without peer, unfortunately those skills also led to the near downfall of an entire industry.

They may be in bad taste but they are also fucking great. You can read more about the whole sordid 1950's "War on Comics" here or in The Ten Cent Plague. It's been covered far and wide so I'll not reiterate. He was a good, verging on great draftsman. You can lose yourself in his work pretty easily but it doesn't have the same visual flourish of say Wally Wood or Alex Raymond. I'll stop talking and just let you peruse what is regarded as one of his masterworks, The Sewer.

Good stuff. I apologize to all the hipsters who accidentally got this page searching for that douche twat of a singer.