‘Hobo With a Shotgun’ poster

I’ve been talking about working on this poster for a couple of months now, and I’m super happy to have been given the green light by the hobo boys to launch it. Here is the Signalnoise poster design for the upcoming film Hobo With a Shotgun. I’ve been waiting close to 3 years to work on this thing, so I was thrilled when Jason and Rob asked me to get rockin’ on it. I have known Jason and Rob for a few years now, meeting them through the comic book crowd here in Halifax. Great guys.

Here’s a bit of back story. I was asked by director Jason Eisener to come up with a logo for “this thing he was making for the SXSW Grindhouse trailer competition” back in 2008. He sent me a cut of the first Hobo trailer and I cracked up at it’s content, awesome cuts and obvious homage to independent action flicks of the 80s. I had very little time, so I put together this logo for him which they liked so much they kept for the theatrical release.

I even designed the logo for The Plague, which will also be appearing in the film. Keep your eyes out for it.

Fast forward, the boys ended up winning the SXSW Grindhouse Trailer competition and started the process of making the full length feature film. Our whole crew lost our minds when we heard Jason managed to slate Rutger Hauer for the lead role, goddamn Roy from Bladerunner! The boys even fought to shoot the whole movie in our hometown of Halifax/Dartmouth. As you can well imagine, we are all mighty proud of these guys for keeping their work home-grown, adequately putting our little city on the film map, shotguns a’blazing.

I worked on this poster for about 2 months. I knew early on that I wanted to do something different from the typical film poster, something painterly like film posters from the ’80s. I started researching guys like Drew Struzan, Bob Peak and Bill Sienkiewicz to get a good idea of the style in my head. I also did a lot of drawing up front because I had no idea how to approach this beast. Did I bite off more then I could chew? Absolutely, but my stubbornness reigned supreme as I wasn’t about to throw in the towel.

What I was aiming for was a weird mix of digital and analog. I didn’t want this poster to look like a “Photoshop painting” with obvious digital brush stokes and smooth edges. It needed to look like I beat the hell out of a canvas yet included computer effects and photographic elements. “Digital, yet not digital. But . . . digital!”. I’m my own worst enemy. My PSD file reached 230 layers at close to 5 gigs as I kept all of my digital paints separate for fear of messing up. Many hours and Photoshop layers later, the final poster emerged. Here’s a detail shot of the digital paints.

Stay tuned as I will be posting some behind-the-scenes images documenting my progress as I worked on this beast.


  1. Wow this is the best film poster I’ve seen in well forever. I like the old school feel to it, but then elements of your futuristic pipes and shards. There are so many people doing ‘minimalist’ movie posters right now but your poster shows that when you put effort into the detail the work really shines.

    Well done James this is fantastic!

  2. Killer piece! Well worth the wait. It looks absolutely fantastic. Awesome that they got Rutger Hauer to play the lead role. Very curious to the other behind-the-scenes stuff and your talk about this at OFFF man.

  3. Love it!
    Feel so suspenseful/action packed!

    I really like the texture you gave it and that double lined border! Very cool!

    Thanks for sharing James!
    -Reilly Newman
    Zangaroo Designs

  4. I gotta say: So great detail!

  5. Love the brush work. It really makes the poster.

    Will this poster be available in your shop or at a store near me?

  6. Rachael

    This is just awesome!

  7. This is nothing less than awesome!

  8. Poster looks great, has a real old-school feel to it.

  9. Well James, I must admit this one came out already as a Classic.

    A lot o f time working on it could not get different than epic.

    Congrats :)

  10. WON-DER-FUL. Just saying.

  11. Blake Becker

    So glad to see you mentioned Bill Sienkiewicz – first thing that came to mind when I saw your poster – in a totally great way!

  12. man this is super awesome style and detail it makes me feel good

  13. This has got to be up there with one of my favourite pieces of your work!! Love the detail! It could so easily have been over-crowded but you’ve managed to show all the elements perfectly! Great stuff!

  14. John

    Sweet work on the Hobo poster. And The Plague title is a homage to The Thing movie title. Cool.

  15. Great execution, Nice to see a different style from you every now and then :)

  16. Dude, that’s fucking sick!! In my opinion the best thing you’ve done. It has an awesome style that steps out of your comfort zone but still feels a lot like you at the same time. Great job man.

  17. Definitely your best work, James. Different from your usual style. It’s got a mix of retro and digital feel to it, which is perfect.

    I love it! Can’t wait to see the making of :)

  18. cobra from germany

    wow stunning!
    best element are the stripes and the sunglasses. awesome!
    greets from germany

  19. Jim K.

    Great work…Instead of a single bullet hole, I would have peppered the text with a few smaller holes (shotgun style). As it is, a single bullet hole represents a rifle or pistol, not a shotgun. Looking forward to your breakdown of this work…..

  20. Oli Riches

    Back to the 80s! love the style and i think you pull the whole digital but not digital effect off awesomely! really look forward to seeing some of your progress shots…

  21. Absolutely awesome! Can’t wait to see some of the Behind the Scenes stuff.

  22. Amazing work. Really top notch.

  23. DethSupport

    Amazing work, when will the poster be made available for purchase if at all?

  24. Anna

    Sooo where can I purchase this poster?

  25. Ben

    hhahha, just found out Rutger Hauer is a pretty famous Dutch actor, I, as someone from The Netherlands, didn’t know that :S

    Pretty cool movieposter! :D

  26. Bill

    Please make this poster available to us to purchase. It’s completely badass.

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