Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gross, man!

Such a sponge for the illustrators of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, I was bound to leak my influences here and there.

The sketches for this project didn't hint at where I was going, but once I ran this through the computer and started fitting the pieces, my fascination for Robert Grossman spilled out. Take a look and call me a hack thief. Or a well-meaning zealot. Whatever.

Grossman worked his wizardry with airbrush; I paid homage with ones and zeroes and B├ęzier curves.

Maybe it looks like I'm playing to the worst stereotypes here — and I am! — but the images come from the book of baseball quotations and anecdotes, for which this is the cover art.

Typecast are, left to right, Lou Piniella, Yankee's slugger turned paunchy volcanic manager; Tommy Lasorda, longtime Dodgers manager with more controlled capacity for eruption, whom Giants fans still revile; Yankees catcher and manager Yogi Berra, he of legendary sayings; Reds outfielder/former manager/Major League pariah Pete Rose, who redefined intensity; and Yankees Manager Casey Stengel, Berra's wise predecessor who as a player once won over a jeering rival crowd by tipping his cap at the plate and releasing a sparrow he had somehow tucked inside.

Play ball! By the way, last I checked the Giants — with a big assist from umpires — still suck.

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