Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tura Satana - Tattoo Factory Gallery

Marvelous Mitch O'Connell sent me a photo CD from the fabulous fire-eating TURA!TURA!TURA! Hallowe'en shindig. More photos from Rebecca Kaufman and Charlie Athanas. Thanks, everybody!

"Come sit on my lap, little boy!" I gladly comply. © 2008 Mitch O'Connell

Tura signs a print of Bouryoku Wakusei for Alex © 2008 Mitch O'Connell

Deborah and Miss Tura Satana © 2008 Mitch O'Connell

©2008 Charlie Athanas

Dave Dorman, Mitch O'Connell, Deborah Teven and Alex Wald © 2008 Charlie Athanas

Mitch, Deborah and Alex © 2008 Charlie Athanas

The Flaming Dames get their heat on. ©2008 Rebecca Kaufman

Monday, November 10, 2008

MIAO Custom Vinyl Show at Subtext Gallery

Our friends Zakka and Rae Huo have birthed a new breed of the classic Japanese folk figure Maneki Neko (beckoning cat) and sent the first litter of blanks out to 50 lucky artists around the world to customize in their inimitable styles. I just finished mine last week and packed him off for this Friday's debut at Subtext Gallery in San Diego.

"Subtext has teamed up with Zakkamono to bring you an incredible custom vinyl show just in time for the holidays. The format will be the new Miao (Lucky Cat & Mousubi), and we have curated nearly 50 artists from around the globe to do custom versions of this great toy! Miao is the first collectible designer vinyl figure designed by Zakka. It is an updated design of the Japanese Maneki Neko/Lucky Cat (an iconic Japanese figure that brings good luck and good fortune). Miao measures 7-inches tall and comes with his BFF Mousubi, a 3-inch character designed with the elements of a musubi/onigiri (Japanese rice ball wrapped with Nori/seaweed) and a mouse."

"Participating Artists include Simone Legno/Tokidoki, Touma, Phu!, Aaron Martin (Angry Woebots), Brent Nolasco, Brian Flynn (Super7), Julie West, Mar Hernández, Matias Vigliano, Joel Nakamura, Nick Deakin, Kelly Vivanco, Rudy Fig, Slobot, Long Lé, Sandra Equihua, N.C. Winters, Bucky Lastard, Justin White, Reactor-88, Newkon,CKaweekS, Phoneticontrol, Persue, Mark Nagata, Amy Davis, Jasper Wong, Urban Medium, Paul Wee, Serge Seidlitz,Vogue, Katsuhito Ishii, Shunichiro Miki, Satoshi Tomioka, Alex Wald, Rae Huo, Estria, DOLCEQ, Malakias, Hans-Peter Schutt, Zakka, Steve Forde, Shawnimals, Hawk Ostby, Pose 2 & more."

Subtext Gallery 680 West Beech Street, No.1 San Diego, California 92101

Nov. 14th - Dec. 7th, 2008

Opening Reception: Friday, November 14th, 6-10pm

This promises to be an exciting show and event. Here's a preview of my critters, Kuromanko and Kuronezu.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Windy City Comicon

I'm pleased to be a guest this weekend at Windy City Comicon. "Join us for this old-school comic book convention on Saturday Oct. 25th. The only comic convention held within the city of Chicago featuring Heroclix and Magic Tournaments, Comic Book Vendors & Publishers, dozens of Special Guests from the entire world of comics, and more. Don't miss out on Chicago's Best Comic Book Convention!" They spelled my name right, so I have to go! Check here for tickets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Lost Films of Tura Satana

As I've written previously, I've been invited to show in "Tura! Tura! Tura!" a group happening celebrating the legendary screen icon, Tura Satana! Exhibit curated by Mitch O'Connell, Beth Cisco and Casey Sass, the opening is Thursday, October 30th from 7 to 11pm at the Tattoo Factory Gallery, 4443 N. Broadway in Chicago. Just completed are two rare Japanese posters from Tura's lost and, up to now, unknown films from the late 1960s! Tura Satana in Violent Planet

Tura reprises her role as exotic, tassell-twirling Suzette Wong in a sequel to "Irma La Douce" directed by Billy Wilder —— "The World of Suzette Wong." Filmed in Parisian and Far East locations, this time Suzette's penchant for gambling and gamblers brings her afoul of the law and the local Yakuza-gumi in Japan's port city of Kobe. Havoc ensues when the sizzling Suzette catches the eye of the Big Boss (Shin Kishida) in a riotous dice-rolling rumble!

Tura Satana in World of Suzette Wong

While filming on the Daiei Studio sets during "Suzette," Tura was introduced to studio chief Masaichi Nagata. An enterprising connoisseur of international cinema, Mr. Nagata praised Tura on her then-recent US blockbuster, "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kil!" Over many cups of green tea, a plan was made. Teamed with director Kenji Misumi (Zatoichi series, Nemuri Kyoshiro series, DaiMajin series), Tura would power up her dynamic Varla character for a voyage to another world! Shooting under the working title "Varla's Outer Space Adventure" (Varla no Uchuu Dai Boken) began in July of 1968. As work progressed the title was changed to "Violent Planet" and tested Tura's endurance to the summer heat and on-set pyrotechnics. A climactic battle with Varla wielding only a shoto (short sword) against twin Guillon monsters was planned and possibly filmed. Unfortunately no footage has survived and we can only yearn for this lost jewel through the film's poster art. Astromonster Fine Arts is the exclusive publisher of these rare treasures from the mod world of '60s cinema. Write to astromonster(at)sbcglobal(dot)net for details and ordering info.

SUPERDOG/underdog Video!

The Chicago Tribune website has an interview with me, Tony Akins, Gene Ha and Jeff Zwirek, that lovable cast of rogues otherwise known as The SUPERDOGunderdog Show. Go to Comics as Art for the video!

Kaiju Bromides from Max Toy Company

The Kaiju Boom (roughly 1966—1975) penetrated every level of popular media in Japan; film and TV were ground zero but the shockwaves spread to include sofubi, games, puzzles, records, clothing and more. The demand for pure images was nowhere better expressed than in the multitude of collectable cards known in Japan as "bromides." An emulsion of silver bromide makes possible the printing of photographic images. In Japan, the loan word "bromide" (ブロマイド) had come to signify a vast array of pictorial reproductions, regardless of whether bromide paper was used. Since the early 1900s bromides were distributed to idolize celebrities— geisha and sports stars, singers, actors and actresses. In the latter half of the 20th century, the kaiju became the new celebrity of the post-Atomic Age. It was Yo Miyamoto who suggested to Kaiju and Ultraman super-collector Mark Nagata "an awesome idea" —— to put together a set of Kaiju Bromide cards to be included with a release of a MaxToy Battle Pack sofubi set for WonderFest 2008 in Japan. The concept would have Mark's Captain Maxx, Eyezon and Alien Xam mix it up with Target Earth's kaiju Gumos and Gameldon. Mark put out the call for entries to a select cadre of kaiju creators: Bob Conge, Ralph Cosentino, Steve Forde, Nawoki Karasawa, Naritada Shintani and myself. I'm honored to be a part of this crew. There are 15 cards, 11 originals and 4 doubles. Mark's own contributions include spot on, period-authentic "zukan" (cutaway anatomies) of the Target Earth kaiju. Courtesy of Target Earth's Miyamoto-san, here's what little we know about these new and terrifying kaiju: GUMOS — Capture animals and humans with his six arms and eat them from the heads. Tear up irons easily with his claws. Spit out green poison fluid. GAMELDON — Eat humans. Very brutal. Has very small brain. My entry, "Golden Gate Splashdown," is set in Mark's home base of San Francisco and shows Captain Maxx putting the hurt on Alien Xam while big Eyezon wades in for a stare fest. And damn--why didn't I do another card with the Target Earth kaiju as well? Well, time was of the essence to get this one in by the deadline. Maybe I'll get a chance to work with these characters again. But don't expect me to give them all up here! I urge you to mouse over to the Max Toy Company's store and order your set now!

Kaiju Invade Miami

Miami braces for all-out Kaiju Attack this December! Astromonster Alex Wald joins the battle! Harold Golen, founder of Miami’s Harold Golen Gallery will host "Kaiju Monster Invasion," a special December exhibition during Art Basel 2008. Mr. Golen’s gallery focuses on Lowbrow/ Pop-Surrealist Art and has been featured in the New York Times and Architectural Digest. Kaiju Creator Alex Wald awoke from a millennial slumber to note with dismay that his name did not appear on the roster of teratological talent in the show's ad. Taking matters into hand, Alex contacted Mr. Golen and threatened him with gastric emulsification if he were not extended an invitation to show with the other assembled mutants. Amazingly, the ploy worked! What is a Kaiju? The meaning of the Japanese word is “Strange Beast,” or simply --- “Monster.” During the 1960s in Japan, toy vinyl figures of popular Japanese characters like Godzilla and Gamera became popular collectables. Over the next four decades Kaiju spread throughout the world of popular culture, their influence seen in the emerging “art toy” movement, modern couture and in the artworks of lowbrow artists from around the world. The concept of the Kaiju show at the art center will be to bring the most exciting and subversive artists from Japan and the United States in a single exhibition that will showcase the various interpretations of the Kaiju in both Eastern and Western cultures. This exciting exhibition aims to break new ground in the Kaiju art form while at the same time honoring the rich Kaiju history.

December 3rd, 2008 Through Jan 2009 Kaiju Monster Invasion at South Florida Art Center Featured Artists Ron English Coop Glenn Barr Mark Nagata Carlos Enriquez Gonzalez (Venezuela) Gargamel (Japan; Koji Harmon and Kiyoka Ikeda) Mitch O'Connell Jim Woodring Anthony Ausgang Niagara ...and many more!

Estrus Rules, OK?

Dave Crider, head head-hunter at Estrus Records is having a big blowout sale on select 7 inch titles. These are 45 rpm vinyl records, folks, the kind they don’t hardly make no more. The illustration and packaging for Estrus releases are always a treat for the eye. Many are by the often imitated, never duplicated Mr. Art Chantry, his signature look essentially defining the Estrus Esthetique. There are however, a select few that were designed and executed by yours truly—absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had on any assignment, anywhere, anytime. Stock up on now on the last remaining copies of Flaming Sideburns “Jaguar Girls,” Galaxy Trio, both “Cocktails with Gravity Girl” and “Sheriff Boy-Ar-Dee,” Sugar Shack’s “Don’t Mean Shit to Me,” Supersnazz “Gotta Go Now” with cool 8 page comic insert, The Mants “I Smell Woman,” Switch Trout’s “Psychodestruct,” and the piece de resistance, Southern Culture on the Skids’ “Santo Swings,” a super-deluxe double 7” with full color insert cards of the band, luchadores El Santo, Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras, and six sinister Mexican Movie Monsters. I’ve seen these go for $35 to $50 on eBay! Order now from Estrus at a much better price.

I've loaded a portfolio of my Estrus work here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Illustration Portfolio

All the illustration work will be up here somewhere. Look for the tags to locate more titles that are related by subject.

New Blog This Morning

I'm pretty frustrated with my old website. This blog will eventually supersede my old dotcom site. If you're looking for art by Alex Wald, this is the place.