Brent Amacker's

Brent Amacker's
A Slightly Different Perspective

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Evolution of a Poster

 This year, I was commissioned by the legendary Rev. Wayne Dean to create a Mardi Gras poster specifically for the Marshalls of The Order of Polka Dots, a women's Mystic society in Mobile. Rev. Dean, a retired minister, is better known as the portrayer of "Chief Slacabamarinico", the alter-ego persona of Joe Cain, in numerous Mobile Mardi Gras functions for decades!
 The OOP theme was "See You In The Funny Papers", with various historical Comics characters on the floats. The Reverend wanted something in Comics form, with certain elements representing specific icons or memories of the Krewe. I suggested a full-page 'Comic', with individual panels.
 Below is the original 'rough draft', mainly to show placement and contents for approval:
 Initially, I intended to render the entire thing digitally, but thought that it would look more authentic if I drew it by hand. Clean-up & color were then administered after I scanned it into Photoshop.
In the first panel, I wanted to pay homage to the legendary Will Eisner ("The SPIRIT"), and did so by making the title actually a PART of the drawing, incorporating it both into the building AND the beads: 

The other requested elements (specific dates, items) were peppered throughout, and I referred to one of my float drawings for the actual 'float panel':

Here is the 'inked' version, and the poster is almost finished:
 The completed version, with color, captions, and added elements:
There are only a few Marshalls for The Order of Polka Dots, so very few copies were made. Just thought you'd like to get a glimpse into my 'process'.
Les le Bon Tempes Roule! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two Krewes...ONE Theme, and Political Correctness

 Every year, I design 9 or 10 individual Mardi Gras parades for two of the locally-based builders in Mobile, AL-- Carnival Artists and Mirthco, Inc. And, every year, there is usually some 'over-lap', as some of the Krewes (Mardi Gras organizations) will have identical or very similiar themes with one another, or one from a previous year.
 The challenge for me is to keep the designs original, while maintaining accuracy and balance, WITHOUT duplicating an existing or simultaneously-constructed float. At times this becomes difficult, as the season's particular float chairman for the parade (usually in one of the women's organizations) has been waiting and wanting this theme for years. This year was no exception, as both The Mobile Mystics and the Maids of Jubilee both had a "James Bond"-related parade (and ball) subject matter.
 Of course, "Live & Let Die" was included in both parades. In the MOJ's, we used a female figure- the Jane Seymour character- as a front figure, with voodoo theme completing the design, shown below.
 For the Mystics, I initially presented the voodoo chief, with other iconic images from the film.

 Due to the black front figure, this was deemed as possibly being considered 'racist' -even though he was a prominent and recognizeable character in the film. Below is the re-designed float,
with the airborne boat moved to the front, and the center ride made into swamp background. I thought it lost a little, but I am merely the draftsman. All of the designs can be seen over HERE on the Mardi Gras pages.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How Did I Miss "Big Bang Theory"...?

 While drawing/working on projects out in my little music-room-turned-office/studio a few weeks ago, I had the television on as 'background noise'. Usually, I'm listening-to and/or watching Guy's Big Bite; Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, or else Simpsons & Family Guy re-runs. Typically, Family Guy was the lead-in to CONAN (Conan O'Brien) on TBS.
 This particular evening, I happened to catch a two-hour, four-episode block of a show called "The Big Bang Theory". I was pleasantly surprised, and THOROUGHLY entertained.

  The premise revolves around a group of upper-level intelligent (MENSA-type) twenty/thirty-somethings who are all comic/sci-fi enthusiasts ( what some would call 'geeks'). In their down-time, they hang out at the local comic book store. The show is FILLED with comic, cartoon, sci-fi, and cultural references that flash me back to a time and group of people that I used to know.

 The show is VERY entertaining, and I was compelled to e-mail several friends from my past to see if they had discovered it, as well. They laughed at me and said they had them on dvd, referring to episodes that were reminiscent of people we all knew and specific events that we either witnessed or were (usually willing) participants.
How in the world did I MISS this...? I will definitely be catching up on the re-runs, and I highly recommend it.

Speaking of being surprised, I forgot how much I enjoyed the "STAR TREK" movie re-boot from a couple of years ago. FX played it last night while I was working, and I was compelled to watch it again.
...And I enjoyed it again. Live long & prosper!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

R.I.P. John Severin, Comics Legend

 The great John Severin passed away Sunday at age 90. He was one of my favorite cartoon artists EVER! I was first made aware of Severin from the "CRACKED" magazines my older brother Kevin would buy up at the corner store when we would make our monthly 'comics run' in the early 70's.

 His caricatures and style were inspiring to an impressionable young doodler like me. I was in awe of his line work and ability to get a likeness, yet maintain his definitive style. Below is a marriage of two of my favorite things from my youth: Cracked Severin art and Planet of the Apes:

I used to wonder: 'Man! This guy is GREAT! Why isn't he drawing REAL comics...?' Of course, this was before I was aware that he was a prolific member of MARVEL's "Bullpen" in the 60's & early 70's.
Read an article about him HERE .
Thanks, John, for your contributions to the comics industry!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mardi Gras Floats A'Rolling...!!

The 2012 Mardi Gras parades that I designed for both Mirthco, Inc. and Carnival Artists are beginning to hit the streets of Mobile, Daphne and Fairhope!
 The Order of Polka Dots rolled Thursday night, The Order of Inca rolled Friday night, and The Mobile Mystics rolled this afternoon!
Here's a couple of pics of the Polka Dots' "Archie" float, along with the original design drawing:

Built by Steve Mussell's MIRTHCO, Inc. the float  sculpture stays pretty true to the drawing! 
Special thanks to Thomas Scoggins for the photographs!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Mobile's OFFICIAL Mardi Gras celebration kicked off with the Conde Cavaliers Parade Friday night. Many more parades to follow, many balls, parties, and events.
Once again I designed a few of the parades to the builders' specifications as a representation to the Krewes and as a guide for the sculptors and painters, and, once again, was mainly uncredited in the little insert in the local fishwrapper/newspaper.
 For clarity, for Steve Mussell's MIRTHCO, Inc., I design/render the floats for The Mystic Stripers and for The Order of Polka Dots.
For Craig Stephens and Carnival Artists, I design/render the floats for The Order of Inca, The Mobile Mystics, Neptune's Daughters, Maids of Jubilee, Order of LaShe's, Knights of Ecor Rouge, The MCA Children's Floral, and various 'specials' and 'once-offs' like the new title floats for The Shadow Barons and The Conde Explorers.
 Several of the floats, and some ENTIRE parades, are rented by OTHER organizations and are seen rolling more than once. The design drawings will appear on my website, , a day or so AFTER they roll for the first time. Past parades also are featured prominently on the site.
Les Le Bon Temps Roule!!


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