Intimidated by Space

Strang Publications

These were a couple illustration assignments I had for Strang Communications in the month of May. Both were a bit larger in scope than I was comfortable with, and issues like ‘how to fill backgrounds’ are still problems that I’m trying to work my way through. The style of the ‘hospital bill’ illustration above was rather strange, looking like little else I’ve done before or since (except for the overabundance of crosshatching that I employed in the ‘suit’). The scratchboard color illustration below was a bit more successful in that regard, as I’m starting to figure out that scratchboard seems to pop better against a white background. This was a bit larger scratchboard piece than I was used to doing, as this one stretched across a page and half (the pagebreak probably coming between the two characters on the left).

Mystery Assignment

Strang Publications

This is another of those illustrations that I’ve found in my flat files that I have no idea who I did it for. Judging from the material, style and presentation, I’m guessing that it was from sometime in ’90 or ’91. It has a vaguely ‘evangelical’ feel to it, which isn’t surprising, as my early years were mired in that sort of work. This was at a time when I was still working on black coated scratchboard stock (which means, that every bit of white has to be scratched away from a black starting point). Later on, I went to white coated stock, and then added black ink on top of it, which cut down on a lot of time and effort, and also made planning a lot easier.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine




Another early issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine has been recovered thanks to Bruce Harris from New Jersey. Still apparently working the kinks out of the scratchboard style at this late date, but the girl in the distance is kind of fun in a stylized kind of way. I find it fascinating looking at these old illustrations that I haven’t laid eyes on in almost thirty years, the style is still so undeveloped, yet I can see hints of techniques that I would eventually refine.

May of 1991 would have been the publication date, but I likely drew this sometime in February, with their typical 3 month lead time.