This is the second title I’ve done for hard-boiled crime author Fingers Murphy. Murphy always gives me some pretty detailed ideas to work from, all of which tend to involved some sort of violent, over-the-top imagery…some of my favorite kinds. I tend to work with stills from action films for research, so the tricky part was finding scenes in films that matched up with what we were going for which was loosely based on those exploitation posters from flicks from the 70s. I ended up creating several illustrations I then scanned, colored and composed in Photoshop which took what seemed like forever. Fun project, I loved working on it.

This is the second title I’ve done for hard-boiled crime author
Fingers Murphy. Murphy always gives me some pretty detailed ideas
to work from, all of which tend to involved some sort of violent,
over-the-top imagery…some of my favorite kinds. I tend to work with
stills from action films for research, so the tricky part was finding
scenes in films that matched up with what we were going for which
was loosely based on those exploitation posters from flicks from the 70s.
I ended up creating several illustrations I then scanned, colored and
composed in Photoshop which took what seemed like forever.
Fun project, I loved working on it.


So I had this cover all finished and ready to go when my hard drive failed this summer, and being the idiot I can be at times lost all the files. I then tried out something I’d never done before which was to take an old pdf version of this file I’d emailed the publisher of Sunnyoutside and opened it in Illustrator. I then went through each layer and painstakingly pulled the vectors out, copied and then pasted them into a new InDesign file, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t work and print just fine. No links on the preflight file either. Gotta love vectors.

So I had this cover all finished and ready to go when my hard drive
failed this summer, and being the idiot I can be at times lost all
the files. I then tried out something I’d never done before which
was to take an old pdf version of this file I’d emailed the publisher
of Sunnyoutside and opened it in Illustrator. I then went through
each layer and painstakingly pulled the vectors out, copied and
then pasted them into a new InDesign file, and I’ll be damned if
it didn’t work and print just fine. No links on the preflight file either.
Gotta love vectors.


Recent final cover (right) and a rather disturbing comp for No Happy Cows, John Robbins’ new book for Red Wheel Weiser. I previously did the redesign for Robbins’ other title The Food Revolution seen on this blog.


Early versions of this cover using some of my original line art, and some found photos I had in this big stack of pictures I’ve collected from antique stores and flea markets, though the shot of the group of men was given to me by Cara Kleid. Thank you Cara.


Rejected comps for a new book for Jason O’Mahony, my author/client in Ireland, following along the same font and simple illustration style of the last book I did for him The Ministry of Love. The Gemini Agenda according to Jason is “…basically about a group of Western politicians who initiate a plan to take over the world by uniting the United States and Europe into a single union. The book contains the Titanic (who sunk it, and why), the JFK assassination (again, who and why), a cruise missile attack on the UN building, an orbiting weapons platform, a stolen nuclear submarine, and a terrorist attack on the White House.” Reduction seemed the best solution here, though I realized much later I unconsciously and rightly ripped-off Stephen King.


On my website I go into detail about working on and illustrating the cover for SLAB, Slippery Rock University’s quarterly literary journal. When asked to create a submission poster for the next issue, I decided the sensible thing was to promote the current issue and continue in the illustrative vein. I’ll post some photos of the finished poster when I get them back from the printer.

On my website I go into detail about working on and illustrating the
cover for SLAB, Slippery Rock University’s quarterly literary journal.
When asked to create a submission poster for the next issue, I decided
the sensible thing was to promote the current issue and continue in
the illustrative vein. I’ll post some photos of the finished poster when
I get them back from the printer.


Recent poster for Seattle-based playwright Curtis Taylor. The photo is all his, I just helped with the type and layout, but I have to say it’s mighty nice to work with an abstract image like this. Pittsburgh needs a playwright and performer like Curtis.

Recent poster for Seattle-based playwright Curtis Taylor. The photo
is all his, I just helped with the type and layout, but I have to say it’s
mighty nice to work with an abstract image like this. Pittsburgh needs
a playwright and performer like Curtis.


The author came to me with this photo of an alligator foot for this book about an alien that crash lands somewhere in Maryland. I was skeptical of the image at the time, but the truth is an alligator footis just plain weird looking.

The author came to me with this photo of an alligator foot for this
book about an alien that crash lands somewhere in Maryland. I was
skeptical of the image at the time, but the truth is an alligator foot
is just plain weird looking.


Sometimes I throw something into the first round of comps just for my own amusement, but in this case I probably dated myself with Crying Indian riff that I don’t think anyone got. I dig what this book is talking about though. Always nice to connect with your subject matter.


This is a large format coffee table book redesign for Sterling Publishing I also did the interior for. Client wanted a Taschen look with an aim at something you’d see on the book pile at Urban Outfitters. I had an eye on a fifth color, with a possible metallic ink or foil stamp, but we ended up with a florescent Pantone. I’m waiting for the final version of this 370+ page monster to come back from the printer before I post it on my website.


Red Wheel Weiser title where I worked with a supplied photo and did a little Photoshop work like removing “North Face” from the tents.

Red Wheel Weiser title where I worked with a supplied photo and
did a little Photoshop work like removing “North Face” from the tents.


One of the main reasons I live in Pittsburgh is the overwhelming presence of history and the beauty of decay. About 20 minutes from where I live is this abandoned piece of property that must have been at some time a country club or resort. My friend Jon first spotted it while were were out for a ride, and we did a little recon that day then came back with some others a few weeks later. It was around dusk as we explored the couple of acres with its abandoned pool and locker rooms, a pet cemetery dating back to the 30s, a garage with a Mercedes covered in dust, several small structures collapsing into the ground, a shooting range hidden in waist-hi grass and a shed filled with a stack of old clay pigeons, and a greenhouse littered with broken windows among other things. I’ve researched the property and can’t find anything about the place, not even a claim on the property in the county records. It’s a mystery.


Experimental treatments for State of the Union for Wave Books. I talked a bit about this title on my main website in reference to the final cover; trying to reach a solution to visualize the current political landscape (which has actually become much much worse since the publishing of this book a couple of years back) as more of a piece of artwork that has a deeply personal level to it rather than the usual considerations for broad-based demographics laid out by a marketing department. With Wave Books, the goal never had a mass appeal in mind, it was for a very select group of people who read poetry, and would most likely understand the need for a visual solution to read with as much subjective nature as the prose contained in the book.


Museum of Accidents for Wave Books. I could never leave this project alone when I was working on it, and got a little carried away with the amount of comps I did. At least one of these ideas was recycled on another project buried in this blog. For more information on the final cover see my website.


On this title for Harvard Business Press that dealt with today’s unstable financial market, I was drawn to the idea of inflation as an abstract concept and dangerous idea with terrible consequences, which for some reason might have been inspired from watching Enduring Love at some point in the process.



Powered by Tumblr.