Process: Green Day album cover for Demolicious

I recently had the opportunity to work with Green Day for an album cover that will be released this Saturday for Record Store Day. It was such a fun, quick, back-and-forth collaboration that I thought I’d write a quick process blog about how it came to be. Neely_GD_cover_web3

So, I got a call from Mike Dirnt on a Wednesday morning while I was driving to the comic shop. We were talking about comics and stuff (he’s a fan of Henry & Glenn!), and then he mentioned that they have a record coming out for Record Store Day and “We don’t have a cover yet. Do you wanna do it?”

“Uh… HELL YEAH!”

“Okay, cool… I’ll get you more info tomorrow.”

Thursday Mike calls back and we start chatting about ideas for the artwork and then he mentions: “…and we need it by Monday. Is that possible?”

“Uhhhh… suuuurrrrre?” 3 days… YIKES…  ”I mean – YES!”

Side-note: I apologize for the low quality of the pictures below – they were all taken from my phone to send to Mike via text…

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So, I quickly dashed off three EXTREMELY rough thumb-nail sketches and texted them to Mike. The first was based on Mike’s original idea of a skeleton chomping on a record going with the title “Demolicious.” The second variation is a skeletal version of the band chomping on records. The third option, I took a different take on “Demolicious” thinking of how it sounds like “Demolish Us” and did a quick sketch of a mess of bones, guitars, records, garbage… like a Green Day hoarder house exploded. I knew that would be the most complicated one to draw, but it might also be the most fun… but with 3 days, I hoped they’d pick the easiest: option #1.

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They picked the most complicated one. Time to buy some coffee and go into the drawing cave…

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I started with just a skull and a pile of guitars and records, but I immediately made it more complicated for myself by getting more elaborate and soon spread the cover to the back cover in one giant junkyard scene… Mike and the GD crew, who were still in the studio assembling their part of the record release, gave their approvals via texting back and forth with me.

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At this point, I asked Mike if there were any specific things that I could throw into the pile of junk. He mentioned maybe a reference to E.B.P.M. and a “fucked up teddy bear…” but otherwise just “keep doin’ what you’re doin’!” So, I mined the lyrics for other things to add and added more details…

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Pencils complete. Time for my favorite part – INK!

For art-geeks: People often ask me what brushes I use. I used to be precious about that and I really liked Isabey series 6228 #3 and 4 watercolor brushes. But these days I tend to find different tools for different projects. The majority of this drawing was done with these fairly cheap Royal “Soft Grip” liner and watercolor brushes. I like the rubber grip. And the bristles get kinda crappy after a while and that’s when I really start to like the lines they produce. And if ink nerds are reading, I use Dr. Ph. Martin’s Black Star Matte india ink. And This is on Strathmore 300 series cold press watercolor paper. And that’s coffee to keep me going for the next 2 days…

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So, sometime around Saturday afternoon, with the deadline on Monday, I start inking…

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All the while texting back and forth with Mike for approvals… “Awesome… Keep going…!”

Phone rings… record scratch… “Um… So, Billie was wondering if it’s too late to change the guitar you drew on the cover. Is that possible?”

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Whoops! Google fail! I did google Billie-Joe’s guitar, but I guess I didn’t find the right one. Mike sent over some pics of the correct guitars. Pro-tip – Don’t rely on google for your references, kids! It’s always better to work from life.

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Thanks to trusty old liquid paper (actually I used some white gouache) I fixed the guitar and Billie-Joe approved!

ONWARD- It’s Saturday at 2:48 pm and you’ve got to finish inking and coloring and laying out the package design…

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On Sunday at 5:21 pm I am DONE with the inking!

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I scanned it into my computer and began blocking in the rough colors until my eyes were too blurry to keep going. Kristina Collantes, whom I have been collaborating with on many projects lately, volunteered to help me so I could get some sleep. She finished the preliminary color schemes while I took a nap.

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By Monday morning, with the help of the band’s feedback, we decided on this final color scheme and the all that was left was the layout of the track list and credits:

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The whole process was a race, but it was a great challenge. The back-and-forth collaboration with Mike over the phone was a fun experience. And knowing that they were also in the studio rushing to finish the mastering for the record fueled me along the way. They are great guys and I hope to work with them again. I’m extremely proud of this record cover.

So, please head out to your local record store for Record Store Day and pick up Green Day : Demolicious! I’ll likely be hanging out at my neighborhood shop Vacation Vinyl and they might have a few copies signed by me.

And while you’re at it, you should also pick up another record I did the cover for that coincidentally was released this week: The Groovie Ghoulies “Flying Saucer Rock-n-Roll!”

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Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever

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I’m proud to finally release the cover for the final collected TPB of Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever!  The cult-hit mini-series is now being collected as a 200+ page paperback graphic novel with over 60 pages of new comics and artwork by a huge list of awesome artists!

In honor of the completion of the mini-series, I am now offering three new Henry & Glenn Bundle package deals in my webstore:

HG_bundle_1bHenry & Glenn Forever & Ever Bundle #1 – You get all 4 issues with the regular covers by Tom Neely. Signed by Tom Neely

HG_bundle_2bHenry & Glenn Forever & Ever Bundle #2 – You get all 4 Variant covers by Jim Rugg, Levon Jihanian, Shaky Kane and Kristina Collantes.

HG_bundle_3Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever Bundle #3 – You get all 8 covers including all the Neely covers and all the Variant covers. With Neely covers signed by Tom Neely.

Order them now while supplies last! And get ready for the big final book this Fall from Microcosm Publishing!

 

October Monster Commissions

neely_monster_commissions_1For the month of October I will be taking Monster art commissions. Monster portraits; Portraits of you as a monster; A scene from a favorite horror movie or horror story… Whatever you want – a custom original drawing of your favorite monster!

Prices start at $50 and scale up based on size and complexity of the drawing. Please e-mail me at tom@iwilldestroyyou.com if you  would like to commission a monster from me.

 

House of Usher original art for sale in shop.

My artwork for the Scout Books edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher is now available for sale in my webstore. Neely_Poe_Usher_1

Illustration #1 – 11×15″ ink on watercolor paper. $200

 

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Illustration #2 – 11×15″ ink on watercolor paper. $200

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 Illustration #3 – 11×15″ ink on watercolor paper. $200

Each purchase will include a signed copy of the book.

Please consider purchasing these horrific images to adorn your walls.

SPX this weekend

I will be exhibiting at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland, this Saturday and Sunday. I will be at table J1 and will have a selection of new and old Sparkplug Books with me – debuting Elijah Brubaker’s new issue of Reich #10.

I will be debuting Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever #3! As well as issue #1 and #2 and the original book. HG4everever_3_promo3

I will have both volumes of my porn sketchbook EXXXS as well as all of my other books: The Blot, The Wolf, Your Disease Spread Quick, Brilliantly Ham-fisted and more…

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I will also have a selection of original art and comic pages for sale, prints, and other things.

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Please come out and buy something and support indie comics!

See you there!