Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sketches of Fishtown # 65

I figure I post so much older stuff here that it's only fair to post new stuff too. That way when this comes out in Wednesday's Spirit Newspaper, folks who follow my blog can say, "I already saw that. Why don't you read his blog?"

Anyways, like it says, this one stemmed from a conversation with fellow Philly Cartoonist Bob Dix. Sorry i stole your joke, Bob, but I don't think he was ever going to use it in a comic. I did this one all in one night. The paper needed it by tomorrow. This is my only color "Sketches of Fishtown" issue. They are doing a color comics page for April Fool's Day. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This was a sample I sent to MAD Magazine back in 2005. I was researching the new MAD and noticed that the magazine seemed to have a vomit quota in each issue. I think I counted at least three vomits per issue. I still plan on submitting a new set of samples when I have time. MAD was one of my favorite things to look at when I was in grade school. This was my favorite of the pack I submitted, probably because I based the cafeteria on the one at the school where I teach.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teddy Scares - Edwin Morose

My buddy Patch works for Applehead Factory, a company that produces a line of toys called "Teddy Scares". A couple years back, I did this pinup sample for one of the books they were putting together. They didn't wind up using it, but I still kind of like it. So I'm posting it here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sketches of Fishtown # 64

These dudes are awesome dudes. I often stop by the Dunkin' Donuts after work or during a late night promenade.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Emperor of the North Pole!

One of my new favorite movies is "The Emperor of the North Pole". I have a sort of hobo fascination (more art to come on that). And this film is like the best hobo movie of all time. Ernest Borgnine plays the tyrannical train conductor whose name is feared far and wide along the rails - the deplorable, the despicable, the hobo killing "SHACK":And Lee Marvin plays the tough-as-nails hobo "A NUMBER ONE":

Just wanted to take the time to post these here. The originals can both be seen at the Atlantis Art show (listed earlier in the month in this blog) until the end of the month.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2009!

I wasn't very productive over the weekend because I went to New York City to see the Pogues with my gal, Laura.
It was nice to stop worrying about work and just relax for a few days. Since I don't have any new art to show, I'm posting a loose pen sketch I did last year of Shane McGowan for the Philly Turkey.
Every week, I do a quick drawing of someone I saw in town. These cartoons tend to be my loosest and most sarcastic. The running strip is called "Meet Your Neighbors". Basically, they are half-hour sketchbook observations.

Big congratulations to Jacob Lambert, by the way. Jake is a fellow Phila. Cartoonist Society member who runs the Philly Turkey. His wife Kirsten just gave birth to their first child. God bless, little man.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


BLACK LANDLORD is a local band I love for many reasons. They're hip hop, funk, and all Philly. They're fun, intelligent, and full of many talented musicians. In college, I was a Goats fan, so I really like what MAXx is doing this go round. He is backed by a full-on funk band (one of them being their mega-talented, multi-instrument playing sax man Ken).

I was supposed to get some sample work to the band well over a year ago, but for one reason or another, I just couldn't decide on what approach to take. I had a cartoon character of MAXx, sinsiter looking, like he'd scare the rent out of you. But Ken said they wanted to project more of a fun vibe. So when I had some down time betwen yesterday and today (about 6.5 hours), I used a concept from an earlier drawing I did, but took a much more fun approach. I drew it in pencil first, then ink, then scanned it and did the colors in Photoshop. I'm not sure if they're going to use the art for anything, but I threw some quick text on here to push their show. You should go if you even remotely like hip hop or funk music. It's always a great time. CLICK HERE for info on the show.

There have been a few quotes on their myspace page with "landlordy" sayings like "Rent is Due" and "Apartment for Rent." So that stuck in my mind. I took the landlord concept and made a really cartoony version of MAXx as a puppeteer, pulling on the strings of Philly houses and projects. I pooled my influences from a few different places: the band itself, Maurice Sendak (as I often do), Miles Davis' "On the Corner" album cover, photos I found online of Philly projects, my own photos of rowhomes, and Max Fliescher type dancing houses from the old-tymie cartoons.

Also, every second I was drawing this, I was listening to music to fuel me. Here is a sort of mix tape of some of the songs I was listening to while doing this:

No War (live in Rittenhouse Square) - Black Landlord
Hard Times - David Fathead Newman
Daylight - Aesop Rock
In Walked Bud - Thelonious Monk
Concrete Jungle - Bob Marley & the Wailers
Confessions of a Pig - Monkey
Today Was a Good Day - Ice Cube
Summertime - Billy Stewart
In the Ghetto - Eric B & Rakim
Compared to What - Les MacCann & Eddie Harris
Dear God - Black Landlord
My Automobile - Parliament

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

5/3 Woodland Flier

My Dad works at the EPA, and he meets a lot of interesting people at his job.  He's been working in HAZMAT for years (he's even going to be given an award next month for decades of environmental service).  

Recently, he asked me to design a flier for his buddy's Doo-Wop group, "5/3 Woodland".  I've heard these guy's sing live at last year's 2nd Annual Lacy Day (a memorial scholarship benefit named after my cousin Lacey Gallagher).  These fellas were very gracious and donated their time and entertainment.  They are really great too.  You can read more about them and purchase their most recent CD by CLICKING HERE.

Fishtown Social Club T-Shirts (and other T-Shirts)

My friends Ed Booth and Tommy Mullen and I have recently started making T-Shirts for Ed's trademarked company "Fishtown Social Club".  I have known Eddie and Tommy for many many years, and I am very happy to be a part of this new venture.  We sold the first shirt at the "Sketches of Fishtown" book release party in January.  They sold really well, and now I see folks wearing them all over the neighborhood.  I believe some are still available.  If you are interested, e-mail me: Here is the initial black and white design: 
 Here is the final with color:
Years ago, I designed these Fishtown Dirtball shirts.  It was kind of a joke, because "Dirtball" was the worst possible insult you could say to someone in my neighborhood when I was a kid.  The Dirtball shirts sold out pretty fast. Here is the men's:
 And here is the smaller girlie fit:
Also, here is a Fishtown shirt I designed years back based on a tattoo design:
These older shirts are no longer available.  But I have been thinking about printing up more.  I love my neighborhood.

Here is a shirt design I did for my buddy's son's bachelor party (no, that was NOT MY bachelor party):

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thanks for coming out to the show...

As hoped, the crowd from the Philly Brewing Company's 1st Anniversary Party spilled over into Atlantis last Saturday afternoon. The place was packed. The weather was great. Everyone seemed to have a swell time. Roger reported that First Friday was very successful in drawing a crowd and selling art. And seeing all these friendly faces come out Saturday made me feel pretty swell myself.

I just wanted to take a moment to thanks to all mt friends, neighbors, and colleagues who made it out. Here are some pictures of the afternoon:

Needless to say, with long nightwork the evening before, I was tuckered out early. Thanks to my gal Laura for taking this embarrassing photo of me holding my Muppet as I slept:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hanging the "Nostaljerks" show with Roger Petersen

We hung the "Nostaljerks" show today at Atlantis, the Lost Bar (2442 Frankford Avenue, 19125). I was floored by both the quality and quantity of  Roger Petersen's work.  I would have never done a show so soon to the book release I just had.  But hanging work next to Roger's was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up.  He's one of my best friends and favorite artists, so I had to take this opportunity.  I must say that I felt dwarfed next to him on the wall.  In one month, he made 27 portraits of old-tymie baseball players, every one of them immaculate.

I also found out today that this is Atlantis' first ever art show, so I am also very proud to be part of that.  I really like this bar.  With all of the gentrification going on in and around my neighborhood in recent years, a lot of the bars are very divided between new residents and lifelong neighbors.  But everyone seems to get along at Atlantis.  There aren't many places like that around here, only a scattered few.

If you'd like to check out more images of the hanging with a sneak preview of some of the pieces, CLICK HERE.

Rog will be there tonight for First Friday.  I'll be there tomorrow from 4 PM on (after the Philadelphia Brewing Company's First Anniversary Party across the street).  If you can't get out this weekend to see the show, you should try to get there before the end of the month.   

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness

For years, (along with other members of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society), I've been affiliated with the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness (PCEH). It's an amazing organization of great, hard-working people aimed at measurable and sustainable results in ending homelessness in Philly. With the economy in its current state, we can be sure thier job is harder than ever.

Given how hard these people work, the least I could do is contribute to their annual charity art auction. I haven't received word about it recently, and I am not sure if they still have it. But below are some of my past contributions:

In 2004, the PCEH gave all of their artists the guts of a clock to use as a palette. There was a theme to the show, something like "Time is running out on homelessness." I was invited in on really short notice. Lucky for me, I had my cousin Sean, a street artist, to help me with the project. You can't really see Sean's work in this photo, but he did an awesome job of making the frame of the clock look like graffitied subway walls to depict urban decay.

The face of the clock was drawn and painted by me, using ink and Dr. Martin's watercolor inks on bristol. The words came from something I might have to tell myself to get up every day and move forward if I were in the position of being homeless. It astounds me, the strength that some people have, to move forward through life while having so very little. It also makes me realize how spoiled so many of us are (myself included).

I was really proud of this one, not only because I got to work with Sean on it. There is a street team of young volunteers who work with PCEH. At the auction, they started a collection from all the folks at the event, and raised enough money to win the bid on this piece. Our clock now hangs in the PCEH offices. I was touched that these kids thought enough of our work to want to keep it on display.

These three pieces were done for the 2007 auction. The theme was "Every child deserves a home." I believe that is the campaign that PCEH is still running. I used colored Micron pens for all three of these pieces.
This one has a lyric from the Tom Waits song "House Where Nobody Lives":

I gave some more work in 2005 and 2006, but I can't seem to find photos or scans of them at the moment.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sketches of Fishtown # 63

I thought this old-tymie one of Rev. Woolston made a good followup to the high tech Pastor Dan Roth I had in issue # 62.

Meathaus SOS Comics

I love comics, all kinds of comics. I don't think I'm that good at making them, but I want to get better at it. It's tough drawing characters and places over and over again. In most of my illustrations, I am very detail-oriented. But with comics, I believe you need to let go of some of that for reasons of consistency, economy, page flow, and just being able to finish a story in a decent amount of time. When drawing comics, I force myself to do a lot more brush work, so I don't get bogged down in the details with small pen lines.

I love the language of comics, how the reader engages their imagination to fill in the gaps of what happens between the panels. It's a unique art form in that way. You drive your reader - panel to panel, page to page.

The piece below is a six page story I did in 2007 for a comics collective I belong to called Meathaus. Meathaus is an amazing brotherhood/sisterhood of indy cartoonists and comics makers. I've gotten a lot of my freelance work just from being affiliated with this group. It has shown me that there is safety in numbers. Publishing as a group gives you so many advantages. You have a collective of people to give you constructive criticism. You can pool your financial resources for printing costs. You can work on smaller projects that don't make you feel like you have a boulder on your back. I'me very thankful for the "Haus".

I had the idea for this strip for years. It's loosely based on an old story I heard from one of my relatives. I waited until Meathaus published our first full color book, Meathaus 9, S.O.S. It was our second anthology published by another company. This go-round, the folks at NERDCORE published our book. So we didn't have to put up any of the printing costs at all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jazz Musicians

I hung out with another cartoonist the other night at Ortlieb's Jazzhaus (3rd & Poplar). We did a little drawing and lightly celebrated Mardi Gras while listening to the Haus Band. Ortlieb's is a great place to hear jazz and draw musicians. I've been going there for longer than I care to admit.

Music more than visual art is an inflence on my drawing. The reason is that while drawing, I can absorb music. You can't look down at your drawing table and observe someone else's visual art at the same time. But you can draw and listen to music. Music has an effect on the rhythm of my hand and consequently, my line.

Tuesday night gave me the itch to dig up some of my jazz musician drawings. I have a whole bunch more tucked away in sketchbooks. But these are some of the more polished examples. I'm sure I'll post more as time goes by.

Thelonious Monk plays how I feel. He is probably the biggest artistic influence I have. And when I want to just sit and draw like I draw, I put on a 2 CD set called "Monk Alone" filled with amazing solo piano work. Here are two variations on Monk. One is a bit more realistic with paint, ink, colored pencil, and spray paint:

The other is done with ink, marker, and colored ink. I really tried to accentuate the dichotomy of his music in this piece, showing how both hands are working differently. I used the thin blue crazy lines in the background to try to bring out all his schizophrenic passion. I wound up selling this piece to a fella named Challie, who recently moved to my neighborhood. He's the only other Monk fan I know around here.

P. Jaybon Mason was also known as Mr. Delicious to some folks who'd venture up to the Hollywood Palace at 52nd & Walnut. Jaybon catered a Philadelphia Cartoonist Society party years ago. Some of his sweet potatoes and crab legs spilled in by back seat. Some days I still swear I smell his cooking when I'm driving. Jaybon passed away, but I'll never for get him or his cooking or all of his trumpets. He used to love to play the tune "Hard Times".

Cliff Lamar was a friend of mine who passed in 2006. He played with Nate Wiley & the Crowd Pleasers at Bob & Barbara's for over ten years. When he passed, Nate eulogized him at the funeral by saying, "He was the best part of my band." Cliff was the picture of the word "gentleman". He used to do some drawing himself. I have some of his original sketches. He was also master of the polyrhythms on the drums.
Here are two variations of Billie Holiday I did - pen & ink with Photoshop color. Her voice is so strong and brittle at the same time. Her phrasing is immaculate. She's so subtle and sweet and sad. I like that in the good recordings, you can actually hear her lips pulling apart as she sings.

Nate Wiley was one of the best friends I ever had. He was my hero, and a gigantic influence on me as far as work ethic and family go. I miss him terribly, but I am grateful I got to know him as closely as I did. I did this one for one of his birthdays:
This was a memorial I did after he passed. We made silkscreen prints of it and sold them to benefit his widow, Henrietta. Nate always called me "Pat" even though he knew my name and read it in print. Guess it was just easier for him. He would get ornery sometimes and criticize that I drew him too fat. He'd say, "You sure do make a big man outta me, Pat." And I'd just reply with a smile, "That's because you're larger than life to me, Nate."