Archive for Charlotte

Like a Bacillus, Sealed in a Train Car…

Posted in Illustration, Shows, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2011 by Paul Swartz

Last fall I submitted a drawing for the Charlotte Arts Catalyst’s monster-themed coloring book and sold a couple of related pieces in their accompanying show. I had a great time doing it and I’m excited to submit again this year. The theme for the spring book is history, which is about as perfect for me as monsters was. Anyway, here’s a drawing that I’m thinking about sending in:

I’ve always loved this quote by Churchill. More specifically, I’ve always loved a pithier, more poster-ready paraphrase of it (“The Germans sent Lenin into Russia like a bacillus, sealed in a train car”). The real quote is a little longer and was harder to fit artfully into this design. A note to fellow cartoonists/illustrators: never save double checking that quote for last! I hope the multicolored text livened up the big block of words. It might have made it too busy, though. I tried to give it kind of a word-cloud feel, with the words’ coloring reflecting their significance.

Anyway, back to the quote. I just think it’s a really great metaphor and have thought about it on and off over the years. A man bottled up like a biological weapon — that’s so evocative! And it’s so visual. It seemed like a go-to illustration for me, especially since I’m so into the USSR. I’m not sure I did it justice, but I really couldn’t afford to spend more than a couple of days on it. I’m sure I’ll revisit the concept sometime soon.

The part of the picture that I’m proudest of is actually Churchill, who was a lot easier to draw than I would have expected. I kind of wish I’d featured him more prominently. He’s got a pretty easily-caricatured face, so it’s no great boast to do a passable Churchill. Drawing him is probably equivalent to impersonating Christopher Walken or William Shatner or somebody like that. You get huge, can’t miss ’em quirks to build your imitation around. With Churchill, you don’t have room for a lot of likeness once the hat, jowls, and cigar are in place. Still, I’m no caricaturist, so I’m proud.

Surprisingly, I could be prouder of the Russian text. Lenin’s font is particularly lackluster/inappropriate. I wanted something that could have come off a Bolshevik leaflet, but it was really, really hard to find free Cyrillic fonts. The two I used don’t feature all the Cyrillic characters so I had to make my Яs, Юs, and Ьs from scratch. I’m also not sure that my Russian is correct, but here was what I meant to say. Lenin is saying (hopefully) “Revolution!” and the sign in the bottom right reads “Welcome to Russia” (God willing). I can’t believe that I was majoring in this language just a few year ago.

My biggest regret of all is that I can’t find some way to reuse this in my monster book. I guess “B” could still be for Bolshevik, but, if I didn’t use my dad’s suggestion of “Y is for Young Republican,” than I’m certainly not going to do that.


Big, Big Day at the J

Posted in Jewish, Other Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Paul Swartz

Not since Tobias Israel Swartz beat the Baltimore pavement peddling rags has a Swartz schlepped his pack of wares to a Jewish market. Well, tomorrow I will be selling my art (by proxy) at the Charlotte Jewish Community Center’s Levine JCC Marketplace. The event, I guess, is like a Hanukkah bazaar, with people selling arts, crafts, Judaica and so on.  It’s all part of a larger event called the Big, Big Day at the J.

Unfortunately, I won’t be there personally to man the table (I’ll still be up in Vermont), but my parents have kindly stepped in to do the selling. Still, you should come out and buy some prints/posters/stickers etc. And who doesn’t want to come say “Hello” to the Swartzes? I know they’d love to see you!

So, come out to the J on Sunday, December 5th, between 10 and 3 to buy some art and meet the folks!

Come to My Show(s)!

Posted in Conventions, Shows with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2010 by Paul Swartz

Well, I’m happy to announce that the page I submitted to the Charlotte Arts Catalyst coloring book is going to run in the finished publication. For anyone who might be interested, there’s going to be a release party for the book on Saturday, October 16th (tomorrow) at Pura Vida Worldly Arts (old 1521 Central Ave. location) fro 6 to 10. There will be music, food, and books and art to browse and buy. So, if you’re in the Charlotte area, come and see my work on the page and on the wall!

Also, if you happen to be in Pittsburgh this weekend, come by my table at PIX (the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo)! I’m here with three awesome fellow CCSers: Lena H. Chandhok, Max Mose, and Carl Antonowicz. Be sure to look them up too! I’ll be sharing a table with Lena, and Max and Carl shouldn’t be too far away. PIX is an exciting new indie con and I’m thrilled to be around for it’s premier year. This is a big year for these new -IX cons. I just tabled at the inaugural MIX (Minneapolis Indie Expo) in August.

OK, I’m off to get some sleep. Wish me luck this weekend!