Saturday, September 16, 2006

Freaky fun....

Me and a couple of cronies at American Greetings had scheduled an art show in the company gallery. The theme of the show was to be "The Freak Show", and was to run in conjunction with the show that is in the gallery now with our Grumpy Bear custom vinyls. I thought it would be fun to create a fictional "lost film" and do a number of concept drawings for the main characters and perhaps a few settings as well. I also asked a couple of my talented co-workers (Jorge Laceraand Carlos Villagra) if they wanted to participate in the fun. Jorge crafted this way-cool logo, and Carlos provided the awesome 3 torsoed freak that appears in my mock teaser poster. I am hoping to see the other pieces they created on their blogs soon....

History of a lost film...

History of a Lost Film

At the close of the year 1966, Italian Director: Sergio Leone and American Actor Clint Eastwood had just completed a string of highly successful films now referred to as their "Spaghetti Westerns". This series began in 1964 with "A Fistful of Dollars", continued on with 1965’s "For a Few Dollars More", and concluded with "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" in 1966.
Leone had long been nurturing a big-budget, science fiction film script he had written many years before, and convinced a reluctant Eastwood to star in his epic as a last favor before returning to the states. The script was entitled "War of the Colossal Freaks of Frankenstein’s Planet" and was pure, red-blooded, action adventure that harkened back to the days when Leone directed his first few gladiator "Sword and Sandal" films at the beginning of his career.
With Clint now on board, Leone was able to gather financing for his film, and even sign an impressive list of actors to play a few of the supporting roles.
Legendary actor and director Orson Welles came on the production to play the evil villain of Frankenstein’s Planet: Lord Razoraxx (many believe he merely took the job so that he could in turn use his considerable earnings to help finance his friend Philippe Lasalle’s production of "Oedipus the King" in England that next year.)
Also Sergio added character actor Ted Cassidy, best known for his portrayal of "Lurch" the family butler on the T.V. show "The Addams Family". The 7 foot plus actor was set to play Gargus Agg, an immense four-armed monstrosity who first battles Eastwood’s hero: Artemus Axel, only to become the lone human’s most trusted ally.
Leone was lucky enough to recruit veteran make-up artist John Chambers for the huge task of creating Frankenstein Planet’s varying array of freakish gladiators. Chambers would later win a much-deserved Oscar for his work on the make-ups for 1968’s "Planet of the Apes". Special effects master Ray Harryhausen worked briefly on a number of intense and dynamic stop motion animation sequences before moving on to start pre-production on his own film: 1969’s "The Valley of Gwangi".
"War of the Colossal Freaks of Frankenstein’s Planet" began principal photography in Malta and parts of Tunisia in 1966, and wrapped at the beginning of the following year. Clint Eastwood returned to Hollywood while Sergio began postproduction and editing, with long-time collaborator Ennio Morricone composing the musical score for the film. What happened next is still not entirely clear, and the true secrets of what occurred the finished production may have died with the great Sergio Leone in 1998.
Clint Eastwood had come back to the United States a full-fledged movie star, the films he had done in Italy with Leone had made millions for the studios that had produced them on both sides of the ocean. Eastwood feared that he would be typecast as a science fiction film actor if he and Leone’s newest extravaganza was to be released on a world that now saw him as a bonafide, bankable leading man.
The actor used his now considerable finances and Hollywood clout to buy up and bury the film. Most film historians believe that all prints of the motion picture have since been destroyed, and it has become the Holey Grail for film archivists everywhere who still harbor some hope a print will someday be found. To this day Clint Eastwood himself continues to deny any knowledge of the films existence.
Remarkably, a number of production drawings and character concept art pieces from the movie have surfaced in the United States in recent months, as well as copies of a pre-release teaser poster.
It also just so happens that a few of the talented designers who worked on the motion picture were relatives of a number of illustrators now employed at the American Greetings Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. These amazing and provocative artifacts have thankfully been relinquished into their possession, so that for the first time in almost 39 years we can all behold the horrors and wonders of:


Clint Eastwood as Artemus Axel

Here is our hero, Artemus Axel. All that exists from his earlier life before arriving on Frankenstein's Planet are the torn remains of his space suit that are barely substantial enough to cover his loins.

Gladiator Freak #1

This happy guy is Argus Agg. He was a champion in the gladiatorial arenas of Frankenstein's Planet until he was defeated by Artemus Axel in the human's first official battle. Now the giant mutant is Axel's most trusted friend and ally.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Beauty and the Bear...

Everybody's gotta go check out the crazy stuff at Grumpy Bear Freak Show.
We passed out a blank white vinyl care bear toy to over 60 artists at American Greetings co. and let them go to town. This is mine...(any of you actually surprised its King Kong?) Check out the rest and let everyone know what you think of their work. In 3 weeks the bears will be auctioned off and all proceeds donated to Harvest for Hunger.

New Madball Painting

Here is my second full on acrylic Madball painting. This time it's Bashbrain, (original size: 16'' by 16''). This one took about 5-6 hours.
Do I have a third one in me? Any suggestions on which Madball character I should do?

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