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An Illustrator Walks Into A Bard…

March 24, 2015

I’m not a big Shakespeare fan, but I like his plays the same way I like poetry. I may not understand it all, but I love the sound of the words. They stir the emotions, cast a spell.

Movies have famous lines (There’s no place like home, I coulda been a contender, Make my day), and so do Shakespeare’s plays. Here’s a semi-famous one from Macbeth being parodied by yours truly:

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Guy ordering his dog out of the house, out damned spot, parody of Lady Macbeth line in Shakespeare play Macbeth

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In the play, it’s Lady Macbeth talking. She’s goaded her husband into committing murder, and now she thinks she can see blood on her hands.

This got me thinking about how we all conjure up spots. A lot of them are things that keep us stuck in place. I decided to write a LinkedIn post on the subject, which you can read here. I used the illustration for the post header.

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Header image for LinkedIn post about ways we sabotage chances for success showing guy ordering his dog out of the house, out damned spot, parody of Lady Macbeth line in Shakespeare play Macbeth

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One of the most famous lines in Macbeth is spoken by one of the witches:

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.

No, she wasn’t referring to an illustrator, she was talking about bad ol’ Macbeth himself, who by this time is a murderer many times over. I decided to place the line in a more humorous context:

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anthropomorphic fire hydrant with itchy thumbs looking with disgust at approaching dog, parody of witch's line Something wicked this way comes in Shakespeare's play Macbeth

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According to an old superstition, if your thumbs itched, something unpleasant was about to happen.

I decided to use this idea as a stepping off point for another LinkedIn post. The premise: trust your gut feeling that something’s amiss with a client relationship, and
take steps to correct it.

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Header image for LinkedIn post about client situations where need to trust your gut showing anthropomorphic fire hydrant with itchy thumbs looking with disgust at approaching dog, parody of witch's line Something wicked this way comes in Shakespeare's play Macbeth

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At this point, of course, you’re asking yourself: Why’s he gone off on this Shakespeare kick?? There must be a story behind it.

There is. A case of one idea sparking another, which is always the case in illustration.

A local theater company is staging a parody of Macbeth, and they said: “Yea, forsooth! You’re a dear sweet chap, we’d like to give you an ad in our program.”

After researching famous lines in Macbeth, I saw where I could take two of them, and create a 2-panel cartoon. Here’s the B&W ad:

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ad for community theater program parody of Shakespeare play Macbeth Out damned spot and Something wicked this way comes

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Are you a fan of The Bard? Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play?

Ever felt a pricking in your thumbs? Maybe when you were playing with your pet porcupine?

Why are so many dogs named Spot??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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I, The Illustrator: Happy Birthday, Mickey Spillane

March 16, 2015

It’s been awhile since I did a birthday tribute. I decided to do one for Mickey Spillane, best remembered for his hardboiled detective novels featuring private eye Mike Hammer.
I managed to post the illustration to my Facebook page on his birthday, but am late posting it here.

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Birthday tribute caricature of author Mickey Spillane famous for his hardboiled detective novels featuring private eye Mike Hammer with rebus of book titles I The Jury and Kiss Me Deadly

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Tough guys. Seductive women. Sex, violence, murder, mayhem. The sort of thing that knocks a young idiot’s socks off, especially if the idiot (yours truly) grew up reading Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Agatha Christie.

You (the sensible, mature reader) are no doubt saying: Phooey! Sounds like a lot of tired old cliches. True enough, but Spillane sensationalized the tough private eye genre, and made it seem fresh. The books are dated now. Not surprising, since his first came out in 1947. Here’s a detail image:

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detail image Birthday tribute caricature of author Mickey Spillane famous for his hardboiled detective novels featuring private eye Mike Hammer with rebus of book titles I The Jury and Kiss Me Deadly

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A rebus is a puzzle where pictures are used to represent the sound of words or syllables. Typically, a rebus also includes letters and symbols. You put them together to “sound out” the answer.

The Spillane illustration contains rebuses which represent the titles of two of his books. Can you decipher them? Answers below.

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detail image Birthday tribute caricature of author Mickey Spillane famous for his hardboiled detective novels featuring private eye Mike Hammer with rebus of book titles I The Jury and Kiss Me Deadly

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How good is the caricature? Here are some photos of Spillane, who certainly looked the part of a tough guy. Interesting bit of trivia: Spillane played his own character, detective Mike Hammer, in the movie version of his novel, The Girl Hunters (1963). It co-starred Shirley Eaton who played the “gold paint girl” in the James Bond movie, Goldfinger.

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photos of author Mickey Spillane famous for his hardboiled detective novels featuring private eye Mike Hammer with rebus of book titles I The Jury and Kiss Me Deadly

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Rebus answers: I, The Jury, his first and most famous novel (1947), and Kiss Me, Deadly (1952). Here’s the final again:

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Birthday tribute caricature of author Mickey Spillane famous for his hardboiled detective novels featuring private eye Mike Hammer with rebus of book titles I The Jury and Kiss Me Deadly

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Do you read thrillers and detective fiction? Who’s your favorite author?

Do you like puzzles and word games? What’s your favorite kind?

Do you sing the Goldfinger theme song when you’re in the shower??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

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If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

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I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

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If you’d like to buy prints or greeting cards, click on any of the large preview images in the sidebar below the Get Updates button.

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