Moebius (Jean Giraud): 1938 – 2012

This morning my pal Dave told me the sad news, the mighty Moebius (Jean Giraud) has passed away at the age of 73. Relative to his sprawling career, I’m a fairly new fan of his work after my buddy Cal gave me his book Made in L.A. That book has been a constant source of inspiration and Moebius’ work was never far from my radar after that.

Instead of putting together a big post with a ton of his art, instead I scanned in my favorite piece from the book, created by Moebius in 1986. I don’t know what it’s called or what it was produced for, but to me this piece captures perfectly the calmness and other-worldly nature often present in Moebius’ work. It tells a story with a simple illustration and has trademark linework only he could produce. Just love it. Please pardon the scan quality, my scanner doesn’t treat halftones very well.

Moebius and his work will be remembered forever as it continues to inspire illustrators everywhere.

Ralph McQuarrie: 1929 – 2012

Really sad to hear of the passing of one of the best conceptual artists to have ever lived, the great and imaginative Ralph McQuarrie.

Like so many people of my generation, we grew up in the world of STAR WARS. Back in the early 80s STAR WARS was as important to boy of 5 as food and shelter. Me and my friends lived and breathed those movies and they were wonderfully inescapable. I remember waiting in line at the local Canex in Kingston, Ontario with my dad as he paid for something and watching the Electronics department as every television set showed Luke blowing up the Death Star.

Where there was STAR WARS, there was Ralph McQuarrie. Way back when George Lucas was developing the treatment for STAR WARS, McQuarrie was the first person he hired to create conceptual paintings of what the movie might look like onscreen. He created the tone and design that would be saturated throughout those first 3 films. His influence was huge, and STAR WARS would never have been STAR WARS without Ralph McQuarrie. I know he did a lot more than just STAR WARS, but this is the stuff that means the most to me.

Ralph’s ability to conjure up characters, vehicles and worlds out of thin air is absolutely awe-inspiring. Every painting tells a story all its own. A master.

Anyway, wanted to post a little thing to pay him tribute. He will be really missed, but his work and influence will live on forever. RIP Ralph.

Thanks to Dave Howlett for the heads up on that EMPIRE trailer.

35 and still screamin’

35 years ago today my parents welcomed a new member into their little posse, and his name was … me!

CASEY JONES poster by Eric Miller

A proud day for Dartmouth! Check out this fake movie poster for CASEY JONES by my good pal Eric Miller of the Dartmouth Clothing Co. Eric is known around these parts has being the creative force behind is clothing company, but this time he stepped outside of his comfort zone to learn some new skills and create his first movie poster featuring that badass from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Being a tight-knit pack, most of the credits on this poster are Dartmouth-based. Just imagine if our pal Jason Eisener (HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN) directed this thing. I’d start camping outside the theatre right now.

I’ve been hanging out with Eric more and more these days, always super pumped to hear what he has on the go. He runs the Dartmouth Clothing Co. in much the same way I run Signalnoise … just do what you love, man. He showed up at my door 2 days ago with a 24×36 of this beast, melted my face clean off. Apparently he gave one to Jason himself last night and he “freaked the f*ck out”. He has a great write-up on his blog along with some reference shots and other goodies, so go have a look.

Real proud of Eric for this one. He’ll be coming with me to FITC Toronto in a couple of months if you want to shake the guy’s hand. Give him a follow on Twitter and be sure to check out the Dartmouth Clothing Co.

The Dartmouth Takeover continues…

Signalnoise on Pinterest: Movie poster gallery

Last week I decided to give this Pinterest thing a go because I’m seeing plenty of trusted friends and sources talking about it. I’m not one to sign up for every community-based service out there (quite frankly, there are too many) but if I see something that might work nicely in a very specific way, I’ll give it a whirl.

Pinterest caught my eye as a great way to build a movie poster archive, so that’s what I did. Check out the Movie Poster board. I’m always being asked what my favorite posters are, what are some good links and all that. So here’s a way for me to bring all that cool stuff together in one place. Drew Struzan, Bob Peak, Bob Gold, Richard Amsel … they’re all in there with more to come. Call it inspiration, design research, or merely a way to productively waste a few minutes looking at stuff that makes you happy.

So swing on by the Signalnoise Pinterest page, … curated with brutal love.

Thoughts on the new DC Comics logo

Last night I saw the new DC Comics and DC Entertainment logos via Bleeding Cool, shown above. I spent the next hour or so scrutinizing this revised mark from top to bottom trying to formulate some kind of response, or just trying to make sense of it in my head. Instead, I just put out a tweet to see what my followers might have to say on the topic.

I was asked quite a bit last night what my thoughts were on this revision, so I decided to form it into a blog post because it seems the conversation is pretty heated, and ultimately 1-sided. The typical knee-jerk reaction to a big logo redesign is almost always negative, especially on the internet. Everyone thinks their opinion/idea is better than the one executed, so it quickly becomes a pissing match to see who can hate it the most using the most profanity. While at the same time, accomplishing nothing. I refer you to the Bleeding Cool comments.

My first reaction was confusion as I didn’t feel DC really needed to pursue an identity redesign considering they launched their previous logo only in 2005. It was met with mixed reviews, I dished out a few myself, but ultimately the logo did a great job of capturing youthful excitement (we ARE talking comic books here) and the animated version in their movie intro credits looked great. I was completely blindsided by yesterday’s launch, and woke up today with the same confused feeling. In short, why the redesign and the departure from their established legacy? Here’s the DC Comics logo history:

The new logo is quite nice. Combination of the D unveiling the C is pretty clever. The page-turn looks a little bit like a sticker being peeled away, but I can see what they were going for and an animated version for their movies might look pretty good. I would love to see a process piece written to show how they arrived at this conclusion, and what designs may have went unused.

I was recently having a cold one with my pal Dave Howlett who works at Strange Adventures, and he knows more about (and loves) comics more than anyone I know. He brought up that DC was looking to add more adult material to their comics because their audience had gotten older, ie. our generation of 30-somethings. But there are two problems here: 1) they would be completely disregarding the youth market who had supported them for decades, plus 2) they are turning off the longtime fans with all these sweeping changes to their beloved and familiar characters. This idea echoes in the new logo … the kids aren’t going to notice it, and the old-school fans might feel abandoned.

It’s a confusing move that has left me scratching my head. What do you think?

Addition: DC hasn’t made it clear exactly where this logo will be used. Of all my reading today, details have been a bit scarce. If anyone has any info, feel free to post.

DRIVE poster on the Heidelberg press

• Getting ready to fire up the press.

• The Heidelberg tried to literally define "hot pink" with this small mishap.

Here is a little video I cut together after visiting Bounty Print this morning to sign-off on my DRIVE poster. They fired up the Heidelberg press when I was there so I shot a bit of footage. Amazing to see this beast of a press firing off my poster. The thing is bigger than my house.

The DRIVE poster launches on January 19, one week from today. Details here.

“Nightcall” by Kavinsky from the DRIVE soundtrack.

DRIVE poster details and availability

I’m being hit from all sides this past week regarding information on my DRIVE poster. Most of the emails, tweets and Facebook notes are asking the same questions so an official update on the blog is in order to get the information out there on all fronts. So, here’s how things will be going down.

The DRIVE posters are currently being set up over at Bounty Print in Halifax on their giant 6-colour Heidleberg press. They will be printed at 22″ x 28″ on Starbrite Velvet 80lb cover. Additionally, There will be a very small run of 24″ x 36″ oversized DRIVE posters available on semi-gloss poster stock. If you are looking at getting one of these ones on launch day I urge you to act fast as the numbers will be very low.

Here are the summarized details:

DRIVE poster launch: January 19, 2012. 1pm EST in the Signalnoise Store.
22″ x 28″ posters, edition of 300: $50.00 + shipping
24″ x 36″ posters, edition of 30: $90.00 + shipping

The Signalnoise Store will be activated on launch day to purchase the DRIVE posters. The absolute best way to get a head start is to follow my Twitter, as I will be posting the news as soon as they are available. To dispel any rumours, there is no lottery and the DRIVE posters will be available first come, first served. Mark your calendars.

If you have any questions, I urge you to ask via the comments on this post and I will update with any details needed. A huge thanks for all the interest in this design, everyone. This is the largest Signalnoise poster launch to date and the response so far has been amazing.