Spidey logo

Spider-man logo

When we think of superhero logos we never think of Spider-man as having anything profound when compared to Superman, Batman or Green Lantern. Ol’ web-head had a pretty straightforward design, just a regular black spider. And hey, it works.

But the logo seen above, this one I always loved. I had forgotten about it until I happened upon Dan Slott’s Twitter a little while ago and there it was. Rush of memories. I can remember seeing this on t-shirts and stuff when I was a kid, but I mostly remember it from within the comics. They used it here and there, like in Hostess Fruit Pies ads. Great lines. I’m not even sure when this logo first appeared, I’m guessing the 80s?

Of course, they ended up re-designing it a while back with bigger eyes and such. Whatever. Just can’t beat that old one.

Eclipsed

The Signalnoise Mobile HQ is still set up on the parents’ kitchen table as I enjoy some time home over the holidays.

While I was messing around on the web I came across this fine image and had to post it up for all to enjoy. A real beauty, look at those colours. I came across this on some random Tumblr somewhere in the ether. And like the typical Tumblr toilet, I couldn’t locate the source or original creator. C’mon people, maintain those sources for morons like me!

Hope you’re all enjoying some down time and eating some turkey, wherever you may be.

Movie posters by We Buy Your Kids

Like a lot of movie poster designers, I watch a lot of releases online to see what my favorite companies and artists are up to. I love this scene that still really feels like the wild west, where all these rascals are dreaming up new ways to portray their favorite movies in the screen-printed form. And like many, I enjoy watching new and upcoming Mondo releases. I was thrilled to see a full-on art show featuring the work of Australian-based art duo WE BUY YOUR KIDS.

I was captivated by their WRATH OF KHAN poster (seen above) earlier this year and found myself constantly hunting down the image online to “have another look”. So arty and psychedelic and weird. But the biggest reason I enjoy it is because it looks nothing like other Mondo releases. Don’t get me wrong, I love the work of Moss and Taylor and Ansin… but this was such a departure. So strange and amazing.

When images started surfacing from the WE BUY YOUR KIDS art show, I knew a blog post was in order. They dropped a few posters online yesterday and I managed to nab a CONAN which I’m pretty stoked about. Mondo tends to sell out of posters in seconds, but this drop took a little more time. Bit slower than usual. I like that. It’s by no means a sign that this is of lesser quality than other Mondo releases, but rather it’s straight up different and out there. It’s something new, and I love that.

WE BUY YOUR KIDS is one of my favorite new movie poster artists, right up there with that Jay Shaw maniac. While everyone is mimicking the work of already popular artists in hopes of success, it’s really refreshing to have something fly in from left field.

Maybe they’re the design equivalent of “the cool band nobody knows about yet”. I dunno, but I look forward to seeing more WBYK posters in the future.

Hasbro posters by Tom Whalen and Dave Perillo

Some killer posters coming out of Acid Free Gallery in a team-up with Hasbro. Here we have Tom Whalen on Transformers and Dave Perillo on GI Joe. I’m a big fan of people putting a cool modern spin on my childhood favorites while keeping the energy and flavour of the franchise intact. Tom and Dave have done just that. Love these.

These will be available at the New York Comic Con this month.

The Design Evolution of Mario

Growing up I would draw my favorite cartoon characters all the time. I’d re-draw stuff from newspapers, cereal boxes, comic books … I would even record cartoons from television to pause on a certain frame to draw. Most of these characters were part of an established franchise, but one little guy stood out as we all watched him evolve from a blocky little hero to fully rendered 3D. Everyone’s favorite plumber: Mario.

I always cite Mario as one of my favorite character designs. Nintendo took great care in tuning his image from way back in 1981 when he first appeared in Donkey Kong, keeping all of his iconic elements intact. Cap, coveralls and mustache. All basic shapes. I’m sure marketing types came along who wanted to “re-design Mario to capture a new hipper audience”, but Nintendo stayed true to their little hero despite the advancements in technology and gameplay. I sure respect that.

So I put this post together as a point blank documentation of his design evolution. There are zillions of Mario games out there but I wanted to only show the main titles that advanced his design, so don’t get on me for omitting Paper Mario or the RPG, you nerds.

So this one is for you, Mario. Keep slinging those shells and bustin’ up those Goombas. “Letsa go!”

Posters by Laurent Durieux

I’ve been seeing the work of Laurent Durieux popping up quite often over the last while and every time it stops me in my tracks. Not only does he typically design posters based around content that I’m into (Snoopy, big robots, etc), but just look at the technical skill put into these things.

Durieux has an incredible ability to shade his drawings in a way that gives a sense of volume. Gives the illusion of 3-dimensional space even though he’s using a limited palette. No effects or blurs, just hard shading. His cross-hatching and line-shade skill is off the charts, have no idea how he does this stuff with such precision. And he can do type work.

Check out Laurent Durieux’s Flickr for more of his work.

Atari Age Magazine

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 1

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 2

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 4

Atari Age Volume 1 No. 6

Atari Age Volume 2 No. 2

Atari Age Volume 2 No. 4

Atari Age Gear

Atari Age Gear 2

Atari Age Article: Steven Spielberg

Recently, while tooling around the internet in search of Computer Magazine cover art, I was blindsided by this tidal wave of nostalgia: Atari Age Magazine.

Like any self-respecting child of the early 80′s, I was the proud owner of an Atari 2600 (thanks mom & dad). I spent hours playing kick-ass 8-bit games like Pitfall, Chopper Command, Commando Raid, River Raid, Vanguard, and The Empire Strikes Back. Atari was it for a few years and every kid I knew wanted one of those wicked faux-wooden consoles. For the die-hard fans, you could become an exclusive member of the prestigious Atari Club for the outrageous price of $1.

Atari Age debuted in 1982 as a perk given to all Atari Club members. The magazine regularly featured exclusive looks at new products, interviews, technical articles, exclusive offers to Atari Club members, and a truckload of Atari-related swag. Just check out those slick Atari jackets, man what I would give for one of those suckers now.

Atari Age ended its publication run in 1984, after Warner Communications sold the consumer division of Atari to Commodore International founder Jack Tramiel. For more on the magazine itself and everything else Atari, head over to atariage.com.

Fighting Fantasy book covers

Here’s one for the old school super-nerds. When I was in grade 6 back in 1988 my friend Scott brought some adventure books into class one day and the things caught on like wildfire. By “wildfire” I mean within the confines of myself and about three of my other friends. While the girls were reading Sweet Valley High or whatever, this is what the guys were into. Monsters, swords and fire.

Shown here are the covers of 10 Fighting Fantasy books created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Well, these were like the upgraded version where you kept track of stamina, strength and powers as you battled various monsters along the way. Even needed dice to read these things. So much fun. I have fond memories of playing through some of these books, and dissecting the killer artwork on the covers. It was just recently I started thinking back to these, and the art really holds it’s ground. Some nice typography in there too. Look at that Phantoms of Fear title! And I love the colours on the Vault of the Vampire cover.

Hell, Fangs of Fury as a 2-headed fire-breathing snake! How could I not be into this what I was 10?

Sorry about the low image quality, these suckers were hard to track down. Anyone else out there read these when they were kids? If so, you were obviously with the popular crowd.