Check out the latest episode of The Toy Geeks Network’s show Behind The Counter which features some of my artwork and designs (at about 21m:50s) when they review the packaging art for a figure called “Say Utinni” created by bootleg toy designer Buzzard Guts.
The figure and packaging is a bootleg parody of the 80’s movie “Say Anything” with the now infamous “boombox-over-the-head” scene starring John Cusack, but this time done with a Star Wars twist. The hand painted 3.75″ figure cast in resin features a Jawa in that iconoclastic stance by DAM of Buzzard Guts. The front of the card features design and an amazing painting by Neil Devlin from Last Boss Comics! The back was designed by Mux Blank in collaboration with Dain Marx of Buzzard Guts. On the back you may at first notice the awesome logo I created for Buzzard Guts that is stylized after the “Lucas Films” logo. Next check out the thumbnails of the other movie posters, which was our sneak-peek at a couple more Star Wars inspired parodies of well know 80’s movies, some of which have figures already in the works:
The project was first inspired by an alternate universe established by Dain Marx when he proposed the question: “How cool would it be if all movies were like Star Wars?”. Since then Dain has developed a whole line of bootleg figures that fit into that framework. With cool ideas ranging from the punk rock Princess Leia that fronts the band Riot Scum to the Frankenstein with a Boba Fett head, and more…
For some time now Dain and I have been working together and brainstorming ideas, and when I began work on packaging design concepts with him I knew we had something special!
Bootleg toys are their own subculture. Although sometimes created using pieces of existing figures, in Dain’s case mostly Star Wars figures, these new characters or twists on existing characters take on a life (and sometimes a story line) of their own. I’m pretty good at Photoshop if I do say so myself and as I am creating images, logos, and poster art for these figures I like to use the same processes by sampling and collaging pieces of already existing art, which are then combined and recreated into new ideas and new pieces of art that parody copyrighted ideas. Most of the time I hope to even recreate the art to look as close to or better than the originals… In effect creating “bootlegged” art! It’s not easy of course, In fact some pieces require me to cut out small samplings from multiple sources just to create one finished piece that looks right, spending hours or even days zooming in to touch-up a 300 dots per inch image one pixel at a time.
Now after only a few months of collaboration I’ve finished tons of pieces for Buzzard Guts like the front and back packaging for bootleg MOTU figures aka “Smashers Of The Wooniverse“, or the “Phantasm Revision” VHS cover, movie poster, and figure card front and back. I’ve even made a Mattel stylized Buzzard Guts logo too:
All of these figures were of course existing ideas that Dain was already in the process of creating figures for, but as we continued brainstorming within this alternate universe framework more ideas continued to spew forth and I couldn’t help but want to be involved further!
And that’s when the idea of creating a bunch of Star Wars inspired MOVIE POSTERS came about! Dain was rushing to get the “Say Utinni” figure finished last minute so it could be shipped out to the distributor and debuted at this years upcoming New York ComicCon happening Oct 5-8th. He desperately needed artwork for the back of the card and wanted it to look like a catalog page of VHS titles you would find at a video store in the 80’s. Together we came up with a handful of concepts and I got to work creating photoshop’d thumbnails and designing the layout of the card back. As these started to manifest into reality another idea popped in my head… “Hey, maybe I should release a series of full sized MOVIE POSTERS!!!”
And that’s where we are now… Our first set of concept thumbnails came out just like we wanted and was even featured on a premiere toy review show with rave reviews!
This week we began work on the another idea, a concept I created when we were brainstorming over an upcoming gallery show with an “Alien” movie theme. Staying true to Dain’s world I thought: “What if the Death Star was infested with Aliens?”… I’m not going to give away too much of our plans just yet, but that idea sprouted into a whole series of Star Wars/Alien crossover figures! And so, I produced this new movie poster:
This is the first poster I’ve created full size, and I hope to be able to make this and others available soon to anyone who wants a copy… Of course there’s so much more on the way, so stay tuned for more as it becomes available.