Friday, December 21, 2012

Burning Man/ Happy Holidays

This illustration appears in the interior of the current Seattle Weekly. It's about an old case from the 90s, in which Martin Pang plead guilty to, and was convicted of starting a fire in his parents' warehouse in Seattle, in order to collect on the insurance money. His little arson/fraud scheme ended up killing five firefighters in the SFD who showed up to fight the blaze. Although he was already convicted of the crime, his attorney has come forward with new evidence in the case. According to the story, the evidence doesn't do much to help his case.

I wanted to show how this man's fire-starting directly lead to the death of firefighters. I played with a lot of ideas combining images of death and the warehouse building (and other fire-starting paraphernalia, like matches, and lighters), but the trail of gasoline/accelerant forming the chalk outline of the firefighter was easily the right idea. Thanks again, Tom! Here it is by itself:

On another note, I want to wish a happy holiday to anyone and everyone that may come across this post. In the words of the great Krusty the Clown: "... have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwaaazy Kwanzaa, a Tip-Top Tet, and a Solemn, Dignified Ramadan."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Off the chain

I finished this cover for the Dallas Observer last week. The story, "Rise of the Nones," is about atheists in Texas, and references the box that people check on the census listing their religious affiliation (atheists and agnostics checking "none"). It follows several individuals attempting to organize like-minded skeptics into a non-theist movement to rival the groups out there of a more religious persuasion, focusing not only on civics, but charity and other areas more traditionally associated with churches.

Organizing these fellow "nones" can be challenging due to the attitude toward atheists in this country. There are a few examples given in the story of atheists attempting to purchase ad space on billboards and in movie theaters simply announcing their existence, only to be rejected due to hostility from the public. I wanted the image to relate to the title, and also explain how many of these people feel tied down and unable to express themselves in public, due to intolerant views from some of their more religious peers. Breaking free of chains was the perfect metaphor, and wouldn't you know it, some of these religious symbols look a lot like chain links! Thank you, Tracie!