In lieu of a song cartoon, or a trip down musical history, due to a whole ton of things going on, including twists, turns, and unforeseen interruptions, sometimes called LIFE, I decided to share a piece of mine that I'm returning to and am excited to finish. Some of you may remember this as a germ of a sketch here and slightly fleshed there on various social media avenues, but a while ago I decided to develop it into a finished print to sell on my website. It came to a brief halt, but I'm forcing myself to finish it. This is THE GIN SOAKED BAR ROOM QUEEN MEETS THE LONG COOL WOMAN IN A BLACK DRESS. Perhaps the title will change in the future as well... it is a mouthful.
If you haven't figured it out by now, ( maybe you're not a fan of Classic Rock.... maybe ), this is inspired by two classic rock songs, The Rolling Stones immortal Honky Tonk Woman, and The Hollies mega hit, Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress. As any good piece of writing should, the lyrics to these two songs are loaded with vivid imagery. I'm pretty sure Long Cool Woman is one of, if not the first, rock song to really paint a picture in my mind, the first time I heard it. It was the one pivotal moment that you always read about when someone hears something that makes them stop and think "Whoa ! .... WHAT IS THIS ?!!! I remember it pretty vividly... May 1970, lunch break outside, Wappingers Jr. High School, a little black transistor radio... MAGIC.
In my mind, the central character in each of these songs, couldn't be more different from each other.. one, sultry, exotic, mysterious, dangerous, addictive... the other, loose, erotic, fun loving, care free. Both songs are set in a bar, and I thought.. what if it was the same bar ? What if these characters had a chance to interact... what if The Stones and The Hollies were singing about the same night in the same bar ? ...Cartoon Fun Time, that's what.
The songs are loaded with so much imagery, I couldn't resist throwing in some Easter eggs. When the print is finally finished, and up for sale... the million plus buyers from around the world will have to hunt for and discover them for themselves...let the urban legends begin, but because I love you guys AND you subscribe to my blog / newsletter.. I'll clue you in to as many as I remember and then they can be our little secret.
1) Check out the sign in the top center of the design... just before the staircase. This references both songs... "I met a gin soaked barroom queen in MEMPHIS. She tried to take me UPSTAIRS for a RIDE" - Honky Tonk Woman // "SATURDAY NIGHT I was down town...." - Long Cool Woman. If you're a real rock aficionado, you also caught the semi nod to super group, The Rides of Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepard fame.
2) The Bartender's thought balloon... "When Charlie said "I hope that you're able Boy" - Long Cool Woman
3) If you can, take a look at the label on the table to the right of Long Cool Woman. It's called BadMan Nest Whiskey. - "Sitting in a nest of bad men, Whiskey bottles piling high" - Long Cool Woman
4) This one may be tricky... see the character sitting at the table, eyeballing' the Long Cool Woman ? "Saw her heading to the table, Well a tall walking big black cat"... yeah, I took some liberties.
5) Some more liberties taken, and some paraphrasing as well... the big black cat's thought balloon... "She blew my nose and then she blew my mind" - Honky Tonk Woman
So... since this work is a work in progress, or us as AR-TEESTS like to say a WIP, give it to me straight... what do you like, what do you NOT like ? I'm thinking of ditching the blue wall behind the bartender... too ritzy for the "vibe" I'm trying to create here. I think the back wall needs to show more wear and tear.... bullet holes, torn sheet rock... maybe get rid of the door altogether and move the OPEN sign to a window behind the bartender... just thinking out loud. Please feel free to do the same.. make some noise and let me know what you think.
We've lost another one. I came home from an extended weekend away, to hear of the passing of Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker. To be honest, I was never the biggest of Steely Dan fans, I enjoyed their music when I heard it. As a serious fan of music, I made sure I had at least one of their greatest hits collections in my music library and that was good enough for me.
That said, I was saddened to hear of his passing. He was one of rock and roll's guitarists with a signature sound. When you hear a Steely Dan song on the radio, you don't mistake it for another band's song, and a lot of that is because of the craftsmanship of Walter Becker. He brought a jazz influenced touch to the band's songs. While Becker won't be mistaken for Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny or George Benson, he gave Steely Dan a distinctive enough sound at their peak and record buyers took notice.
So as the Labor Day 2017 weekend becomes history, and we rapidly march into Autumn, it seems only fitting to end a "tribute" to Walter Becker with lyrics from one of his bands many radio classics... "...Your everlasting summer, You can see it fading fast. So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last..." Rest in peace Walter Becker.
The Martytoon Newsletter
The Thoughts, Designs & Process of Marty Qatani aka MartyToons.
Hi and welcome to the first blog post / newsletter of the all new revamped MartyToons website. Where to start ? I suppose a quick intro is in order for those of you who may be unfamiliar with me and what I do. I'm a cartoonist / character designer/ humorous illustrator. That sounds like a lengthy title, but none of those by themselves seems appropriate enough by themselves to describe what I do.
If I call myself a cartoonist, people tend to think I create a comic strip.... not true. If I call myself just a character designer, it seems a little limiting to me. I like to think I do a little bit more... make people think... wake people up, help someone remember a happy thought.... maybe even put a smile on people's faces.... hopefully. Calling myself just a humorous illustrator, just doesn't seem to have any "punch", "pizzazz", "sparkle"... you get the picture. I do like the sound of "Creator of Visual Enhancements for Artistically Challenged and Cartooning Impaired." It has a pretty cool ring to me, but it's a little hard to fit on a business card and still look cool.
What can you expect here ? How's a little doodle sound ? A little peek into what goes on in my working process and maybe even in my thought process ? That's my plan... I hope you enjoy. So let me dig into my archive, maybe shed a little light on happened and then invite you to comment. Sounds good ? Good... then lets get to it.
This is an early sketch of one of my favorite designs I'm working on. It's inspired by one of my favorite music artists, Cat Stevens, who know goes by the name of Yusuf Islam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens . Check him out if you get the chance and are a fan of 70's "Soft" Rock, and especially if you're a fan of songs about being positive, hopefullness, and becoming a little wiser.
Music is playing more and more a part in my designs. I love many styles of music and I always have it playing in my studio while I'm creating. Alot of times I let the music direct what I'm going to sketch when I intentionally sit down to sketch, sometimes I'm not planning on sketching at all, but I hear a song and an image will just pop into my head, and I have to get it down on paper. I believe that's what happened here, but to be honest, I came up with this sketch several years ago, and I can't remember the exact circumstances that gave birth to this.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it. Got any questions ? Feel free to comment below.