Alien by Gary Pullin


Grey Matter Art is excited to announce it’s next release! In partnership with Acme Archives and Dark Ink, under license from 20th Century Fox, GMA will be revealing a new screen print for the film, “Alien” by the very talented artist, Gary Pullin. We have always been huge fans of the Alien franchise, director, Ridley Scott, and H.R. Giger, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how this print came out.

Alien by Gary Pullin

Alien by Gary Pullin


This poster will be released this Thursday, February 1st on Grey Matter’s website shop page at 1:00 PM EST.

Acme Archives Limited

Acme Archives Limited

Dark Ink

Dark Ink

A Conversation With Gary Pullin.

Goblin by Gary Pullin

Goblin by Gary Pullin

 

Ghoulish Gary Pullin. The name is synonymous with creatures, monsters, and all things creepy. Gary Pullin is the go-to guy when looking to create illustrations featuring such characters as The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, or Jason Vorhees! As the former Art Director for widely read Rue Morgue Magazine, Gary was tasked with overseeing the total look of the Magazine, and he now serves as the Art Columnist for The Fright Gallery. Gary also spends time dabbling in the Film Poster Scene, producing illustrations for such classics as “The Descent”, “Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter”, and “Near Dark”. We’re very fortunate to have Gary as our guest today, where we discuss horror, illustration, and the current state of the Film Poster Scene. So, without further ado, here is A Conversation With Gary Pullin…

 

Frankenstein's Monster by Gary Pullin

Frankenstein’s Monster by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: Gary, we like to start off each conversation with the subject of the interview explaining how he chose a career in Illustration. Can you give our readers some background info, and how you chose your career path?

Gary Pullin: Sure, my Grandfather was an amateur painter so it’s pretty safe to say that’s where my artistic side comes from. He passed before I was borne, but my Dad had a lot of his paintings, mostly landscapes, around the house and I would try to copy them with pencils or charcoal. We were never very religious, but we did go to church when I was young and I can remember our family priest came by with a box of paper and markers. Well, I immediately started sketching a monster, I don’t think he knew just what he had started. I would draw pictures of Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Darth Vader, Jaws. Other than baseball, I wasn’t really into sports. I was much happier drawing, listening to music or watching any horror film I could rent at our local video stores. I grew up in London, Ontario on movies, music, horror magazines and comics. I would walk miles to get the latest issue of Mad Magazine, Fangoria, GoreZone or Deep Red. My love of horror-inspired art really kicked into high gear when I discovered Basil Gogos‘ painted monster portraits on the covers of Famous Monsters. His ghastly colour pallet hooked me in right away. I’m very lucky that my parents and teachers (most of them) were cool and encouraged my fascination with all of this stuff. They wouldn’t let me watch anything harmful, but I was watching some pretty terrifying stuff at a very young age and reading it too. My mom was a big Stephen King fan, so I would pick up her books when she was finished. All of this was fuel for my fiendish imagination. I did okay in art through high school and went to a specialized art course at H.B. Beal for two years. After that, I enrolled in a three year graphic design and advertising program at Conestoga College in Kitchener. It can only be described as design boot camp but it’s what I needed and it really opened my eyes to the many avenues one could pursue in art. I graduated, moved to Toronto and landed a junior design position with a pretty swank commercial design firm. While I was there, I met the folks behind Rue Morgue Magazine when Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival came through Toronto and basically demanded I become their art guy. The rest they say, is horror history.

 

Tiger Army by Gary Pullin

Tiger Army by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: You’ve produced a lot of Gig Posters for various bands, my personal favorite being the poster you created for Goblin’s 2013 US Tour. Can you talk a little about breaking into the Gig Poster Scene, and what challenges you face when designing for a band?

Gary Pullin: I think my first real gig poster were two posters for Electric Frankenstein, and they published them in an art book. Those got noticed and I was asked to do posters for The Gutter Demons, The Creepshow, Ghoultown and Tiger Army. Gig posters are a lot of fun to create. Unless there’s a specific direction given from the band, there’s really no parameters. You just need to create a compelling image that perhaps evokes the type of band you are creating artwork for. I guess the biggest challenge for myself as a younger designer was actually getting paid for the work or acquiring copies of the printed posters from the bands or promoters. Not so much anymore though. Although I’ve been focusing on film-inspired artwork lately, I’m just as passionate about music as I am movies. If the opportunity were to present itself, I would love to work on a gig poster again.

 

igotbirds: What drew you to begin illustrating film posters? Do you have a favorite illustration you have created based on a film?

Gary Pullin: I think it was just a natural progression from creating film-inspired artwork at Rue Morgue for all those years. My first very first screen-print was “Street Trash” for Mondo and I was hooked ever since. Some of my favourite recent posters are the “Teen Wolf” prints I did for Skuzzles, my “Vertigo”, “White Zombie” posters and the Tales From The Crypt 7″ vinyls I did with Mondo for their EC Comics art show. I really enjoy creating art for soundtrack re-issues, like the Re-Animator artwork I did for WaxWork Records and They Live for Death Waltz. I just finished the soundtrack artwork for Creepshow with Waxwork Records and I’m very excited for people to see it.

 

Vertigo by Gary Pullin

Vertigo by Gary Pullin

 

Near Dark by Gary Pullin

Near Dark by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: You’ve done some work for Mondo. How did you go about hooking up with Mondo to produce some Poster Art for them?

Gary Pullin: Mitch Putnam from Mondo reached out in 2009 to do the “Street Trash” poster. It was an experiment for me because it was my first screen print ever and I guess my first officially licensed film poster. Well, it didn’t sell out, so I was a bit disheartened by that and I didn’t hear from them for a while. I was holding down the art director gig at Rue Morgue at the time which left me with very little spare time, but I was committed to working with them again. I felt I had grown a bit since we last worked together and I showed them some recent work. Opening up a dialogue with Rob Jones and Justin Ishmael helped too, and before I knew it I was getting invites to their gallery shows and getting more poster gigs with them. They’re all great guys over there and have pushed me to up my game. I’m always very excited to work with them. I’ve got some cool things lined up with them and can’t wait to share.

 

The Descent by Gary Pullin

The Descent by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: I’d like to touch on two Posters in particular that I really enjoy as a viewer. So, let’s start off with the Poster you created for “The Descent”. To me, this Poster really encapsulates the totality of the film. I love that the center image forms an almost coffin-like shape. Just a really powerful piece of art. Could you talk a bit about your process in creating this image?

Gary Pullin: “The Descent” is an exceptional modern horror film, and I’m a big fan. I worked with Fright Fest Originals in the UK on it and I had this idea that the caves are like a claustrophobic tomb for the spelunkers, so that’s where the coffin motif comes from. I had a lot of fun hiding stuff in the rocks too.

 

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter by Gary Pullin

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: Another Poster of yours I really enjoy is the “Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter” piece you did for Mondo. I absolutely love the colors in this print. I also like that the composition is one in which Jason is taking up the entire field of view! Very powerful and dynamic. What led you to the composition you chose for the Poster? Was it something you had in mind from the beginning or was it worked and re-worked until it was close to what you envisioned?

Gary Pullin: I am an unapologetic “Friday the 13th” fan, Part IV being a favourite, so I practically begged Rob at Mondo to do one for the Final Chapter. I came up with about eight different concepts. One featured Tommy behind a broken Jason mask, a really violent version that featured Voorhees’ death-slide down the machete, one with a nod to Crispin Glover’s infamous awkward dance, but I couldn’t use Corey Feldman and Glover’s likeness, or even place in a credit deck. But I’m really happy with the bold result of Jason coming through Tommy’s door. On my concepts I presented to Mondo, I called it “Heeeeeere’s Jason!” which is a not-so-subtle nod to “The Shining“.

 

The Big Lebowski by Gary Pullin

The Big Lebowski by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: Your great poster for “The Big Lebowski” is quite a departure from your “ghoulish” work that most fans are familiar with. Was it a nice change of pace for you to show you can illustrate more than monsters and creatures from the depths of Hades?

Gary Pullin: Thanks man, I’m really glad you mentioned that because yes, it was a nice change and although horror is where my heart is, I’d like collectors and clients to see that I am capable of creating artwork for non-genre properties too. I was glad The Poster Collective had me in mind for “The Big Lebowski”. I love all types of films and I enjoy tapping into that diversity when given the chance. I’m working towards it, but I would love more opportunities to do key art for non-genre stuff. Also, I would jump at the chance to do an officially licensed John Hughes “Weird Science” or “The Breakfast Club” poster or something from just about any Tarantino flick.

 

An American Werewolf in London by Gary Pullin

An American Werewolf in London by Gary Pullin

 

igotbirds: Looking at your Website, it’s a given that you love illustrating Monsters. Your “An American Werewolf in London” piece is just awesome, and once again I love the color palette you’re working with in this piece. I get a sense that you really respect the history of the Monster, and wish to translate that respect to the viewer through your work. Can you talk about those Monsters which are near and dear to you, and is there a Monster that you’re dreaming of illustrating in the future?

Gary Pullin: Nobody paints monsters better than Basil Gogos, so every time I sat down to create a Rue Morgue cover, it was always a deliberate tribute to him and what his art brought to the grandaddy of all horror magazines, Famous Monsters of Filmland. When I got the gig at Rue Morgue, I wanted it to stand out visually, so I would push myself to create something I thought monster fans would appreciate and also, grab that kids’ attention when they are standing there deciding what mag to buy. The art behind mainstream horror magazines pretty much dried up somewhere in the ’90s and one thing I felt strongly about was bringing some that back to genre publications. Hopefully readers felt as though they were holding onto something with a bit more passion behind the pages than the competitors and it would be something to keep and collect. “The American Werewolf” cover you mentioned is a personal favourite for a few reasons, mainly because it features David Naughton and not the wolf. I also really enjoyed doing the “Hobo With A Shotgun” cover, the Lucio Fulci “Zombie” issue, the “Psycho” issue and issue #100 which was black on black with a varnish overlay. You have to understand that once the cover story was settled, when it came time to design or illustrate the covers, we didn’t have a lot of time under the ever-present pendulum of a monthly deadline so I’m really proud of the quality of work that we were able to accomplish there.

 

igotbirds: Let’s talk the state of the Film Poster Scene. With documentaries coming out and Mondo prints selling out in seconds, where do you see the future of the scene? In your opinion, how big could it get?

Gary Pullin: We’re seeing more and more illustrated work seeping into the marketing of films and more illustrated posters in the multiplexes. I’d be happy to see it become the norm again. I hope it gets bigger. It’s great for the artists of course but also for film fans. Even casual movie fans can appreciate an effective poster. I’m beyond thrilled to see more and more doors swinging open for this type of art. A lot of the work that’s being produced lately is truly incredible and I hope the trend becomes the norm.

 

igotbirds: Finally Gary, can you tell people where to find you online? Website, Facebook, Twitter, etc…?

Gary Pullin: Sure! You can find me at:

 

Once again, we would like to give a big thanks to Gary Pullin for taking the time away from his busy schedule to participate in our interview. Please be sure to click on the links included in this conversation, and check out more of Gary’s work at www.ghoulishgary.com!

A Conversation With Kevin Burke.

Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six

Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six

 

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke

 

Very recently (as of yesterday, in fact) we had the opportunity to conduct an interview via email with none other than the Director of “Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six“, Kevin Burke. Kevin was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule in Toronto, Canada to answer the questions of self-proclaimed “Poster Art Fanboys”.

For those of you who are not regular visitors to the Blog, “Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six” is an upcoming film produced by Post No Joes Productions documenting the revival and increasing popularity of the illustrated poster art scene. Kevin, as the Director of the film, has had numerous interactions with Designers and Illustrators all over the world, and sat down to speak with us regarding the origins of the project and his love of illustrated film posters. Without further ado, I present to you A Conversation with Kevin Burke!

 

igotbirds: Kevin, tell us a little about yourself and your early life. Where you grew up, what kinds of things were you into as a youth?

Kevin Burke: I grew up in a medium-sized Canadian city right across the border from Detroit – Windsor, Ontario. I was into movies as far back as I can remember – not just the stories and the escapism, but the general movie-going experience. Which, back then, was very different than it is today. Movie theatres and video stores used to celebrate the movies, celebrate nostalgia for the art. There were murals in our local theatre of famous scenes from old westerns and paired portraits of golden age stars all over the walls. The local video stores were very much the same. My first job was in a locally owned video store and I loved it – no uniforms, no 2 for 1 candy upselling, no bullshit – just a bunch of people who loved the movies and wanted to be around them 24/7. Then that video store, and all the others in town were muscled out by Blockbuster and Rogers, and now video stores are all but dead entirely. The same culture shift happened with the cinemas though – they were all bought out or out-sold by multiplexes with 24 screens, coffee bars and arcades and synergistic, cross-promotional visa cards with movie points. It used to be about the movies, man. Talking about it now I feel kind of sad for kids who will never be able to experience that – because now it seems like it’s all about screaming commerce into everyone’s face, as loudly as possible, as soon as they open the multiplex doors. Alternatives are starting to pop up though. In Toronto we have The Royal Cinema, Underground Cinema and others. I’m happy that indie cinemas are making a comeback, at least in bigger cities. I hope it spreads.

 

igotbirds: How did you get interested/involved in the movie poster art scene?

Kevin Burke: When I was a kid I collected one-sheets. I used to get put on a waiting list at the cinema and video stores and they would call me when a poster came down out of a marquee. Then I’d beg my parents to drive me there, or I’d bike, to go and pick it up. My walls were covered with posters as a kid. I kind of drifted away from movie posters around the same time that posters started to stray away from illustration in favour of the cheaper, easier to market, photoshopped alternative. I’d love to say that I had the foresight to see that posters were becoming bland and that’s the reason I stopped collecting, but the truth is that I became a teenager, and like most teenagers I decided that I was way too cool for anything and everything. It was just good timing. Fast forward to 2010 when my fiancee buys me an Olly Moss “There Will be Blood” print from Mondo and I’m hooked again and led to question what happened to posters over those couple of decades.

There Will Be Blood - Olly Moss

There Will Be Blood – Olly Moss

 

igotbirds: What made you want to create a film about movie poster artists?

Kevin Burke: Being a collector, a filmmaker, and noticing that there’s this glaring hole where a movie about poster art should be. I had mulled around the idea for a little while and had settled on doing it after completing another project. Then one day, my fiancee (and co-producer) Andrea gets a call from this really awesome horror lecture series in Toronto called The Black Museum (Seriously, look them up. They’re incredible) and they ask her to do an academic lecture on the history of horror movie posters. Perfect, right? So, in talking about the evolution of the art she decides to talk a little about modern screenprints in the lecture – we get in touch with Gary Pullin, who everyone will tell you is one of the friendliest horror maniacs in the world, and ask to shoot an interview with him to include in the lecture. He says “Sure thing.”, we say “Rad!” and we shoot this great interview with one of our favourite artists. And that pretty much sealed the deal on moving forward with the film for me. I figured – if all of these people creating the art that I love are as cool and fun as Pullin then I’d be stupid not to move on this. And so far the poster art community has welcomed the film with open arms and been amazing to work with. I’ve made a lot of great friends.

Friday The 13th by Gary Pullin

Friday The 13th by Gary Pullin

igotbirds: Being a filmmaker, what aspects of the filmmaking process are most important to you in conveying the individual stories of the poster artists you have encountered during the making of “Twenty-Four by Thirty-Six”?

Kevin Burke: The most important thing, to me, is creating an insightful film about movie posters and how they’ve evolved. I also intend to try and answer the question of whether or not illustrated screenprints fill a void for fans left behind by studio key art straying away from illustration. A key component of this is, of course, the artists who create them. We intend to use interview footage with the artists, and insights from them, to tell the story. Now obviously we won’t be able to focus on everyone’s life story as much as we’d like (but if you can get me an audience with A&E to pitch a mini-series…ha), but we do want to explore what it’s like to live as an artist working in this industry. We want fans and viewers to have a human element to relate to, because no one wants to just see heads talking at them for 90 minutes. So we’re going to be placing a special focus on a select few artists, each at a different place in their career and personal life, and giving some insight into what it’s like to live as a poster artist. We’re also going to be doing some really rad compositing in order to bring some of these great illustrations to life with unique animation. We’re bringing our “A Game” to this flick.

 

igotbirds: On average, how much time do you get to spend interviewing the various artists for this film? What artists have been your favorite to interview so far and why?

Kevin Burke: Everyone is different, depending on the situation. I live in Toronto and I’ll likely have the opportunity to interview Phantom City Creative 2 or 3 times before the film is complete, so we may spend a great deal of time together. But during my first trip to Austin, one day we knocked out 5 interviews, back to back, over a span of 2 hours. I’ll be in Austin again next weekend to speak with Laurent Durieux – I plan to sit with him for an hour or so and just have a chat, whereas if we were shooting the interview at his home in Brussels we would be able to tour his collection, workspace, etc… like we have been able to with other artists. So, it’s always dependent on what we’re able to make work within everyone’s schedule and location. It’s a hugely ambitious project and we’re speaking with a ton of artists. We look to make the best out of every interview scenario. As far as favourites go – everyone has been really pleasant to interview. I’ve made a lot of really cool friends in putting this together. I just interviewed Matt Ryan Tobin and Paul Ainsworth this weekend and had a lot of fun. They’re both really funny dudes. I plan on drinking many beers with them before our Canadian soil thaws in the spring.

Kevin Burke with Paige Reynolds & Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative

Kevin Burke with Paige Reynolds & Justin Erickson of Phantom City Creative

 

Kevin Burke with Matt Ryan Tobin

Kevin Burke with Matt Ryan Tobin

 

igotbirds: Who are your favorite poster artists to collect?

Kevin Burke: Yikes! There are so many. I love Ken Taylor’s stuff. I just scored one of his “Where the Wild Things Are” prints off of a Mondo drop, so I guess fate was on my side that day. I really love Tracie Ching’s stuff too, and I dig what she’s doing in Kickstarting print projects. I think that’s a really great way to get art projects off the ground. I snagged one of her “War of the Worlds” prints by supporting her campaign and I can’t wait for it to come in. Pullin, Phantom City and Jason Edmiston of course. The aforementioned Paul Ainsworth and Matt Ryan Tobin – what can I say? I’m not going to profess to be any kind of art critic, but I see both of these guys doing huge things over the next couple of years. I finally saw Paul’s “Back to the Future” print in person, for instance, and holy shit – no pic on the internet can do that thing justice. There really are too many favourites to name.

War of The Worlds by Tracie Ching

War of The Worlds by Tracie Ching

 

Halloween by Phantom City Creative

Halloween by Phantom City Creative

 

Die Hard by Matt Ryan Tobin

Die Hard by Matt Ryan Tobin

 

Paul Ainsworth "Back to The Future"

Paul Ainsworth “Back to The Future”

igotbirds: Can you give us a rundown of the equipment you’re using to produce this film? Camera equipment, mics, editing equipment, digital storage, etc…

Kevin Burke: Sure. I’m shooting on a Blackmagic Cinema Camera which gives me a ton of colour control in post, and the image quality is stunning. We use a couple of DSLRs and a Panasonic HMC-40 as back-ups. We run a Sennheiser ME66 shotgun mic into a Tascam DR-60 audio recorder for interviews, and mic the artists up with Sennheiser lavs when they’re giving us tours of their homes, workspaces, etc. I edit and do motion graphic compositing through Adobe Creative Suite on a 2013 iMac i7 and store footage on 12Tb of LaCie Thunderbolt drive(s). We’ve been shooting with steadicam gimbals, vests, dolly track, sliders, you name it. My favourite part of every shooting day is looking over the dailies. I’m very excited to really sit down to work on post in the summer/fall.

A Nightmare On Elm Street III:  Dream Warriors poster by Jason Edmiston

A Nightmare On Elm Street III: Dream Warriors poster by Jason Edmiston

igotbirds: Can you talk a little bit about Post No Joes Productions? Your role in the company, what you’re looking forward to produce next, etc…

Kevin Burke: Post No Joes actually began as a little comedy sketch video troupe that me and my friends Richard Chan and Vance Gillis put together after college. We would get together and have meetings about conceptualizing shorts, run writing exercises, shoot some ad libbed stuff. Anything that we could do to keep working on film related projects to get practice and stay current. Post No Joes ended up creating commercial ads, music videos and gigs of that sort for clients and last year we co-produced our first documentary feature which ended up being picked up by The Documentary Channel here in Canada. Richard is co-producing Twenty-Four by Thirty-Six and working as Assistant Director. He’s a very active member of Post No Joes and we work on everything together. Vance is now living in Montreal knocking people dead on the improv and sketch comedy circuit – and I’m going to keep hassling him to write a narrative comedy for Post No Joes to produce until one of us dies/kills of frustration. We have a lot of ideas in the pipe to follow Twenty-Four by Thirty-Six, but as it stands it is our primary and daily focus. I’d love to produce a doc about the elderly Japanese citizens who volunteered to clean up the wreckage after the Fukushima disaster knowing they would die. They volunteered their lives to save younger citizens. Those sorts of stories are always really touching to me. We’re also working on a short subject doc about “Le Nain Rouge”, the historical Detroit urban legend of the little red demon that has been sighted at disasters in the motor city. And yeah – narrative comedy and horror. One day.

Kevin Burke outdoors

Kevin Burke outdoors

 

Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six by Paul Ainsworth

Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six by Paul Ainsworth

 

We here at igotbirds.com would like to thank Kevin Burke for taking time to speak with us. You can follow Kevin on Twitter, as well as Post No Joes. Be sure to visit the links featured in our interview and be on the lookout for “Twenty-Four By Thirty-Six” in the Fall of 2014!