Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday trifle: Prehistory edition

My swim buddy Doug Bogle celebrated with his fellow Coast Guard aviators, old and new, over the weekend in an annual convention of the Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl ("Flying Since the World was Flat").
A detail of the shirt. Big, beefy half-tone dots!

The Ptero Roost, as it's called, landed in Sacramento this time around, so Doug as one of the organizers (and a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot) asked me to help with the graphics for the T-shirt and glasses. I was only too happy. Here's the result.

Doug wanted a menacing pterodactyl dragging aloft an unperturbed Yosemite Sam character, a kind of "Coastie" everyman. He wanted the wings to stretch across the T-shirt wearers' chests, and got a vendor who would accommodate him.

I had to knock out some of the original colors to keep the project within budget (making the shirt stand in for the yellows), but kept in a lot of color blends, trying to capture the translucence of the pterodactyl's wings. The illustration shows the ink color swatches for the original work.

Budget constrictions turned this from
coffee mug art to a bug for the
Ancient Order's website …
To some extent, I was able to work with the screen printer to save some of the blends. The screen printer solved the challenge with some beefy half-tone screens, and since this is comic-book inspired, the result makes the shirt look better, nice and pulpy and raw.

Yosemite Sam defies my earlier misgiving about using copyrighted characters (like the time Lucasfilm said I couldn't use Yoda as the symbol of our Boy Scout Troop's adult patrol). I'm not going to begrudge the Coasties' longtime use of a cherished symbol, though, especially since they see in him a kindred spirit, not an object of scorn that would put the character in a bad light.

Ol' Sam was doing what ol' Sam would be expected to do.

Doug reports the shirts sold out and returned a little to the kitty for the next Ptero Roost. And that's not bad by half.

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