Mountain King

Mountain King for ATARI 2600 Poster

I’m proud to announce my contribution to the NEStalgia art show at the Dart Gallery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The show’s theme is old school video games, so I went all-in on a wicked game from way back in the early 80′s: Mountain King.

Here’s some back story:

Mountain King for ATARI Box

In 1983, my parents picked up ‘Mountain King’ for our ATARI 2600. It immediately made it’s way into my normal rotation of game play, mainly for the cool, creepy music.

Music in a video game was a big deal back then.

Mountain King for ATARI Ad : 1983

In a strange turn of events, my mother became completely obsessed with the game. She played it until the wee hours of the morning night after night…after night. I can recall laying awake in the darkness, unable to sleep, and paralyzed in bed with fear. My imagination conjured up evil imagery as the game’s sinister music continuously crawled up the stairs during my mom’s relentless quest to defeat it. The sleepless nights added up, and I never played ‘Mountain King’ again.

Thanks, mom.

Alright, alright…enough picking on my mom, haha.

The reason I chose such a seemingly obscure game for my poster is two-fold. First off, it needed to be relevant to my childhood, something from my memory that held some special meaning to me. As you know, from my story above, ‘Mountain King’ fits the bill in that department. Check.

Secondly, my desire was to avoid the usual suspects like Mario, Zelda, MegaMan, and the lot. Not that there’s anything wrong with choosing any of those games, of course; I just wanted my poster to be something a little “left of center”. Something I could be relatively certain that no one else would’ve also chosen for their piece.

Outside a few contributions, I have absolutely no idea who did what for the show, but I’d be positively shocked if anyone else showed up with any ‘Mountain King’ themed artwork. Double check.

Mountain King Poster Screen Print Detail

Mountain King Poster Signature Detail

‘Mountain King’ was constructed entirely in Adobe Illustrator and is screen printed on 110lb French Smartwhite paper. Thick, sturdy stuff. Bright colors. I’m super-pumped at how these turned out.

The posters measure 16″ x 24″ and are a limited edition of 20, all hand numbered and signed by me. They will be available at the show from opening day on Friday, March 21st until it closes on March 30th. Once the show officially wraps up, I’ll be selling the remaining stock through the shop. Posters will be $25 apiece at the gallery.

For more info on the show, head on over the NEStalgia Facebook Page.

‘Collect ‘em All’ Furiously Rolling Along

Collect 'em All Tumblr

Hi-Fi gif

Visionaries Print Ad

Garbage Pail Kids Trading Card: V.C. Arnie

Bravestarr Poster

G.I. Joe Cobra Water Moccasin Box Art

WWF Trading Card: Mr. Perfect

Dead Image

Chevrolet Z-24

BMX Bandits Film Title

April O'Neil gif from TMNT Arcade Game

Back in 2011, I launched the Collect ‘em All Tumblr feed. The general idea was to collect a truckload of inspirational imagery from my childhood all in one convenient place. That way, I could sneak a peek at them anytime, anywhere.

Collect ‘em All got off to a decent start, but after a few weeks, I stopped updating it. The time I was spending locating images to resize or scan was too cumbersome, I just didn’t have the time for it. What I didn’t realize, until only recently, was that hadn’t been taking advantage of Tumblr’s sharing capabilities…at all. What a dummy.

I finally began following other blogs with similar interests, like James White’s UziCopter. Now, I no longer have to do all the heavy lifting myself. I can easily collect images from other Tumblr blogs, while adding my own whenever I have the time to do so. Perfect.

I’ve been rolling along at a furious pace ever since, creating an ever-expanding internet mood board for myself. 

If you dig wicked 80′s style imagery as much as I do, give it a look see right here. Rock on.

Fantasia Lobby Cards

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Fantasia Lobby Card

Let’s get back to a little Lobby Card business, shall we? This time I’m coming at you with another heavy dose of good ‘ol Disney nostalgia. One of my personal favorites, Fantasia.

In a push to reclaim some mojo for a languishing Mickey Mouse, Disney animators were slaving away on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was originally destined to be another one of their Silly Symphonies series of shorts, but when production costs ran too high, they packaged it with seven other shorts and released it as their third animated feature film.

Due in part to World War II and the high cost of making it, Fantasia failed to make a profit with its first run. Of course, Disney has released Fantasia in theaters several times in the decades since its first run, and has made a hefty profit in the long haul.

This particular set of lobby cards is from the 1982 re-release. Coincidentally, that was also the year that Don Bluth (who had left Disney with several of its top animators) unleashed The Secret of Nimh. Now, even though I really dig Fantasia, I’ll put my money on Bluth’s pinnacle effort every single time. Hands down.

Here’s why.

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Mid-Century Christmas Ads

Even though I’m a child of the 1980′s, my furious appreciation for my grandparents era runs deep. The subtle power of mid-century design was fueled by fundamental design principles and deliberate restraint. Inherent limitations in print technology helped steer creatives and executives away from senseless excess, which today, runs amok throughout all forms of media; kicking good taste right in the teeth.

These mid-century Christmas ads are perfect examples of the print design that was kicking around newsstands when my grandparents were in their holiday-gift-giving prime.

Emphasis on simple storytelling. Painted imagery. Hand lettered type. Craftmanship. In the modern era of computer design, tutorials, and the constant pursuit of shortcuts, it’s hard to accurately imagine just how much elbow grease went into creating each and every ad you see here.

But, I’m gonna try anyway.

1968 Matchbox Collector’s Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

Matchbox 1968 Collector's Catalogue

1968 Collector's Catalogue

1968 Collector's Catalogue

As far as I can recall, my toy collecting problem started way back with Matchbox cars. I had a whole fleet of late 70′s and early 80′s vehicles that I’d  roll out into sandboxes all over the neighborhood. Sure they didn’t transform or shoot missiles, but the miniature detail in these little vehicles was cool as all get-out. Still find a few survivors lurking around in the bottom of my storage boxes from time to time. Die-cast metal, it doesn’t get much tougher than that.

This catalogue predates my miniature car glory days, but that just makes it even more bad ass. The fact that every last image inside this booklet was hand-painted is a testament to a time when craftmanship and care were integral parts of a project’s DNA. These things weren’t just churned out on a computer, there was an entire process behind its creation involving many people. I love imagining all the men and women who got their hands dirty making these things.

You can see larger sized scans and the rest of pages from the catalogue over here.