Category Archives: art

Pen & Pixel Album Cover Art (mainly the 90’s)

Pen & Pixel is a Houston, Texas-based graphics design firm that specializes in musical album covers, especially for gangsta hip hop artists in the Southern US. For a long time it was the house design firm for the famous No Limit Records label.Pen & Pixel is famous for its identifiable design vernacular of gaudy 3D- and effects-laden text like album titles and rapper stage names which are often “studded” with diamonds or made to look like marble through heavily layered PhotoShop-filtered graphics. These typically overlay a scene depicting the album artist ostentatiously surrounded by women, liquor, gold- and diamond-coated material effects, and other signifiers of a gangster lifestyle.

 The company’s CD cover art usually includes paraphernalia associated with wealth like luxury cars, helicopters, candlesticks, dollar bills, and women. Such displays often contrast said wealth against the woes of poverty amin New Orleans and the American south. Beyond materialism, common themes discussed in the company’s oeuvre include: death, violence, criminal guilt, manhood, persecution (especially by police), and urban paranoia.

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Great Marvel playing card art from the 70’s

Maybe its because it connects with my childhood, but there is a power to Marvel Bronze Age art that I do not find in any other era. I think these playing cards, with their bold and simple designs, summarise best all that was good about the art of that era. It was, simply, exciting;

You can see the full set of Marvel playing cards here;

Polish Movie posters – they are awesome.

I tell no lie. This is a selection of brain-frying visual wonderment. Eschewing the formulaic Hollywood movie poster tropes, the Poles went for a WTF approach, and produced some truly WTF moments of cinema advertising. Jesus – take a look;

Wargames (1983)

Enter The Dragon (1973)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Rosemarys Baby (1969)

The Getaway (1971)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Fly (1987)

The Exorcist (1973)

Duel (1974)

Critters (1987)

Christine (1983)

Aliens (1987)

Alien (1979)

The Shining (1979)

God never spoke – Charlie Adlards work on Walking Dead 48

“He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.”
— taken from page 5 of the book ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy (ISBN: 0330447548)

I keep thinking about that quote from Cormac McCarthy and how it seems to inform this amazing piece of comic art from ‘The Walking Dead’. This single page, comprising four panels of art, is the most heartbreaking, haunting piece of comic book I have ever seen. Seriously. Its the Father and Son bond and a Fathers worst nightmare in 4 illustrations. It gives me goosebumps whenever I look at it. There is only one word in the whole movement, but that one word is the ultimate way expression of realisation and denial. It is lettered simply and its impact is not lessened by its size in comparison to the whole page.

The whole of that issue is infused with sadness, and Adlard is at his best throughout. He also manages to convey the brutality and chaos of war, the terrible violence that can be done to the human body. A truly gifted man.

It does contain spoilers, so if you havent read The Walking Dead #48, don’t click the link;

The Walking Dead #48 page