Monday, May 9, 2011

Uchujin X.17 & Norm Saunders

Here's alien menagerie x.17~

While I was working on it, I realized this might be a good opportunity to acknowledge the influence of Norm Saunders on my art.

Norm Saunders was the artist who painted the Mars Attacks trading card series, and that was the work I associated with his name. It wasn't until recently that I learned he was also the principle illustrator of some art, a series of stickers, that had a profound influence on my young, impressionable mind. They were crazy, imaginative monsters with prosaic Mike, Steve, Don and Bruce. To me, these were over the top cool. I may have drawn from them, I don't know, but I stuck them all over the headboard of my bed, probably a few other places too. The images remained stuck deep inside my head I'm certain

I remember buying them at a little convenience store in the neighborhood I lived in through 2nd grade. When our family moved out into suburbia in 1970, I never saw them in a store again. Over time I lost whatever I'd collected, and also completely forgot whatever they were called. It wasn't until Daniel Zimmer of The Illustrated Press published a book of Norman Saunders art that I rediscovered them. I was looking at the book for the art from Mars Attacks. I had no idea I was about to reacquaint myself with the awesomeness known as UGLY STICKERS! I recognized nearly every one of them. At one time, I must have had a lot! Suddenly I realized some of the joy I get from alien menagerie is in part a recreation of these outlandish cards.

I'd love to get them all, but the only card I've bought on eBay is this one, "Julie". It's one I clearly remember, and one of my favorites from the series.

It's number 17.