Sunday, June 29, 2008

Graphic Novelists - Day 22

I did a re-shoot with Simon Fraser on Friday. Simon is best know as the co-creator of Nikolai Dante for the British Weekly Anthology, 2000AD.
Simon grew up in Scotland watching slide shows of his father's trip to the 1964 NYC World's Fair. From looking at Simon's work, I think those images seeped into his consciousness and helped to shape his aesthetic. So, it only made sense to shoot at the World's Fair grounds in Queens.
Check out Simon's wonderful online comic, Lilly Mackenzie and the Mines of Charybdis, at ACT-I-VATE.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Great Day in Brooklyn

I was recently asked to be a part of a very special event. Community arts organization, Dope Swan organized to have a group photo taken by legendary photographer, Jamel Shabazz, of the people who make up what they're calling the "Brooklyn Renaissance era." It was called "A Great Day in Brooklyn," paying homage to Art Kane's iconic image of jazz aficionados, "A Great Day in Harlem." In addition to the photograph, the Brooklyn, Stand Up! project will consist of monthly arts programming in and around Brooklyn, an online archive of interviews of Brooklyn's self-made leaders, and a scholarship fund for Brooklyn students.

I was honored to be included with such Brooklyn luminaries as Mos Def, Michael K. Williams from HBO's "The Wire", Black Girls Rock! founder DJ Beverly Bond, Councilman Charles Barron and Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam artist Suheir Hammad.

Check out the image below. Please note, this is a snapshot taken over the photographer's shoulder, so it's not the final image. You can find me in the third row from the top, image right of center. I'm the guy in the blue shirt, standing next to my buddy, Anthony LaSala, who's looking up, for no apparent reason.

Photo: The Jamel Shabazz Photography Group

Monday, June 16, 2008

Format Mag article

One of my favorite sites, Format Mag, did and interview with me recently, and posted it this morning. I usually don't like how I come off in interviews, but all that Brooklynites press last year must have made me better, because I think I actually sound coherent and intelligent here.
Thanks to Carmel Hagen for asking good questions and writing a great piece, and to Leah Satlin, Daniel Eckler and everyone at Format for thinking of me.
See the article here.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Graphic Novelists - Day 20

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Upper East Side home of comics legend Irwin Hasen. Mr. Hasen, now 90 years old, started out at DC Comics in the 1940's drawing the Justice Society of America, among other titles. In the mid 50's he accomplished his dream of working on a daily syndicated newspaper comic strip when he co-created Dondi, which he continued to work on until the late 1980's. I had a wonderful time with Mr. Hasen as he shared his stories of the golden age of the comic book industry with me.
About the photo below - When I started this project, I swore to myself to not do any "artist at the drafting table" shots, but it just seemed to fit with Mr. Hasen.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Graphic Novelists - Day 19

Late last night, I pushed through the tourists and theater crowds of Times Square to meet Howard Chaykin. The concept was to shoot Howard in the middle of all the chaos and LCD and neon, to give the impression of the futuristic elements seen in much of Howard's work. Coincidentally, Howard had theater tickets for his last night in town, so it worked out perfectly.
Howard's been incredibly prolific lately, doing art on runs of Wolverine, Punisher War Journal, War is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle, and he's about to start writing Squadron Supreme. Most exciting though - Howard's seminal American Flagg is finally being collected by Image Comics! Volume 1 will be released in hardcover on 7/30.

Thanks to my wife, Terra, for staying out late on a school night to help out and take snapshots.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Jena Malone

I had a very interesting shoot with actress Jena Malone a few days ago. You may know Jena from her films Donnie Darko, Into the Wild and The Ruins.
Jena was a wonderful subject for me. I gave her almost no direction, aside from where to stand. She gave me what can best be described as a performance, with the cobblestone streets of D.U.M.B.O. as her stage. She danced, sang, climbed, jumped, and contorted her body in ways that every frame I shot was completely unique.
The photos will run in the fall fashion issue of YRB Magazine. Preview below-