Monday, April 29, 2013

Art and tacos!

Join me this Wednesday for art and tacos at Brave New World Comics!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Door is Always Open

Last night my wife and I attended the opening of Gary Baseman's exhibition, "The Door is Always Open," at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.


I've been following what he's been doing for years, having been first introduced to his work when his was primarily doing commercial illustration for hire, and I've been consistently amazed by what he's done over the years.

This show "explores the influences of Baseman’s Jewish family heritage and American popular culture on his exuberant, boundary-defying art" and centers around his childhood home, which he recreated in the exhibit space by bringing in furniture and furnishings from his parents' home – as well as countless family photos and other items. The result? It's Gary Baseman's upbringing, in three dimensions: we see the dinner table set for Shabbat, featuring his little Magi figurines; we look at photos of his family's Passover seders and his bar mitzvah next to paintings of his "magical gefilte fish" and other contemporary subjects; we sit on his old velvety couch underneath a chandelier he fashioned in the shape of his "happy idiot" snowman.

 So yeah, there's a lot to see – and I highly recommend it to anyone who's able to come.

But what I really wanted to write about was how inspiring it is to see an artist like Gary Baseman embracing his tradition and upbringing, and seeing it come through so strongly in his work. The characters, the imagery, the themes and the stories all have roots in the his family history – and the history of the Jewish people. Girl wearing tefillin? Check.

My work is, of course, heavily influenced by my Judaism, so I am particularly affected when I see someone else drawing from the same well to create work that is so unique, so beautiful, so affecting... so powerful.

The night ended with a dedication of the "house" – complete with a custom mezuzah which he designed. How's that for a pervasive pop culture art happening in La La Land? The most well-attended mezuzah hanging I've ever been to.

 Mazal tov, Gary – and yasher koach.

The secret of "The Golem"

Here's how to spot the "secret" Hebrew letters in my papercut, "The Golem" (if you've come here by QR code, welcome aboard!):

See it live at "You did WHAT to my comics?!?" (details here).
A color catalog of all works on display is available for download as a PDF here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


This is "Inundación," a new papercut I'm premiering this Saturday night at Brave New World Comics, as part of my new show: "You did WHAT to my comics?!?"

The story of the flood pervades many cultures across the globe. "Inundación" draws from Biblical narrative and Mesoamerican iconography, backed almost entirely by cut-up pieces from the 2008 trade edition of Jack Kirby’s mid-70s comic book series "The Eternals." The one exception is a snippet of text from LIFE Nature Library: The Sea published by Time-Life Books in 1972.

For more details about the show, click here.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Join me for opening night on April 27
at Brave New World in Southern California

I'm very excited about this show! The pictures are framed, the catalog is in development, the food and beverages are planned... and it's fewer than ten days away.

Brave New World Comics is such a great venue for me – it's my local comic shop where I buy all my comics, owned and operated by a great friend, and right here in my hometown. It's a small, intimate space, and I'm looking forward to having it filled up with friends for a night of art and pop culture kibitzing. See you there!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


This is a photo of "Smallville" — a papercut premiering at my next show, at Brave New World Comics in Newhall (Santa Clarita), California.

Please join me at the opening on Saturday night, April 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. Details here.

"Smallville" is 18" x 24" and backed with cut-up Superman comics primarily featuring Smallville, the town where Kal-El was raised; as well, the piece includes bits and pieces of Superman's Fortress of Solitude, and a little Metropolis as well.

The papercut explores the immigrant experience in America – the Statue of Liberty being the entrypoint for many a new American, while Smallville is Kal-El's Statue of Liberty; it's where he becomes an American (an Earthman, really) and where he learns what it is to be human. It's where he learns to be a part of our civilization... but of course he also has his special place to be alone, his Fortress of Solitude – where he can truly be himself, amongst Kryptonian architecture and artifacts. This papercut is an exploration of the dichotomy between staying true to one's origins and assimilating into the larger culture.

The papercut includes pieces from:
  • Action Comics 839 (Jul 2006), 903 (Sep 2011), and 15 (Feb 2013) — Geoff Johns, Kurt Busiek, Renato Guedes 
  • Superboy 8 (Aug 2011), 10 (Oct 2011), 15 (Feb 2013), 16 (Mar 2013) and Annual #1 (Mar 2013) — Tom DeFalco, RB Silva, Rob Lean
  • Superman 3 (Jan 2012), 15 (Feb 2013) — Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort 
  • All-Star Superman 5 (Sep 2006), 11 (Jul 2007) — Grant Morisson and Frank Quitely 
  • Adventure Comics  455 (Jan-Feb 1978) — Juan Ortiz and Vince Colletta 
  • Teen Titans 7 (Mar 2004) — Geoff Johns and Tom Grummett 
  • Supergirl 15 (Feb 2013) — Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar 
  • Superman: Peace on Earth (Jan 19990 — Alex Ross and Paul Dini 
  • Shatter (1988) — Peter Gillis and Mike Saenz
  • Etc. Book One (1989) — Tim Conrad and Michael Davis

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Workshops at Temple Beth Am

Today was day one (of two) of the papercutting workshops I'm leading at the The Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles.

Great school, from what I can tell – they bring in about a dozen artists during the year leading various workshops, including lettering/calligraphy and stencil art (and papercutting, of course).

Good kids and no injuries – what else could I ask for? Here are a few shots of us at work.