In the early 1980s, I started doing black and white illustrations for The Rocket, a music and counter-culture newspaper in Seattle. I often did an illustration for Jim Emerson’s film column, but I also did feature illustrations to accompany cultural articles on music events and social issues. I was fortunate to cross paths with many talented designers, artists and writers who worked at The Rocket. During those years I also did some illustration work for the Seattle Weekly, Seattle Times and other print publications in the region. (Pre-internet, the designer would “Bucky” the article to me via bicycle messenger, then I would take the bus downtown with my finished ink drawing.) My visual strategy was to jam every inch of the image with some mark-making or repetitive trope. I loved the place where comedy and tragedy meet. The work was influenced by outsider art and cartoon language and other artists who were sporting the zig-zagged, polka-dotted vocabulary of the time. Sometimes I worked on scratchboard, but eventually I learned to ask someone on the design staff to invert the black and white ink drawing for me on their impressively large stat camera.
Other work from the punk era includes this mashup of Picasso’s Guernica and American football, a record cover for The Beakers: Football Season is in Full Swing.