So I check my Facebook and Danny Boy’s hit me up. “You in Melbourne?”
Turns out he and Everlast have a gig in Melbourne tonight for the House of Painreunion tour. This one’s for the bucket list, guys. I’m in.
Danny chopping it up with Frank Liew from Quibic and Lenny from being Futura.
These guys still got it, what can I say? 2 of the best voiceboxes in hip-hop history. They dished it out to a mob of Australian HOP heavyweights. Crowd going berserk, lots of Celtics jerseys in the house bolstering that Irish pride, Everlast doin’ some Whitey Ford, and rounding it off with “Jump Around.”
Tiffany (Fresh Cafe) and Jasper Wong are here from Hong Kong / Hawaii. The two are in Melbourne for CARBON as well.
Turns out there are plenty of Asians here in Australia. Totally blowing my mind, I haven’t seen one Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin character yet. Melbourne is incredibly diverse, with the largest Greek population outside of Athens, and tons of Vietnamese. So we went for Pho. We’ll save the souvlaki for afterhours.
All the New York heads got in this morning. Greg from Mishka, Noah from Complex, and there’s Lenny aka FUTURA in the right corner.
Lenny’s the wanderer, he’s like a kite with no string attached, so we’re constantly playing the “FIND LENNY” game. I always lose.
This is me documenting the artist documenting the art.
17-hour flight. When I tell everyone here in Australia that the flight alone took 17 hours, they all respond the same. “Oh, that’s not so bad then” with a “fuckall” or “heaps” or some other screwy Aussie jargon interlaced. To Australians, a 17-hour flight from L.A. is nothing compared to the 24+ hour flights it takes to get to Europe or New York. They’re off on their own, these guys, and I’m completely fascinated by it.
I’m a day-and-a-half ahead, 2 seasons off, and the toilet keeps flushing the opposite way. I’d say I’m more than jetlagged.
So far, I have great hosts here in Melbourne. Vinnie and Andrew are with Acclaim Magazine, who’s hosting the CARBON event I’ll be speaking at this weekend. They brought us to this street here called Brunswick, which is highly reminiscent of San Francisco. Not just for the architecture, but the arts-based community, the trams running on wires, and FOOD. Just look at my sandwich, that thing almost ate ME.
I’m also here with Mega (3rd from the left), who you’ll probably hear a lot more about from me considering he’s my new best friend. The French artist lives in a home he built himself in Bali and is currently traveling through Oz doing exhibitions. He’s featured at CARBON as well with my buddy Frank Liew here. Frank is responsible for Qubic out in New Zealand, and I’m sure if you’re familiar with the street community, his blog is in your bookmarks.
Right down the street was this awesome store called The Lab, which I give 3 thumbs up. They stock their own in-house label called Mr. Simple. Four thumbs up for that one.
The main graffiti collective down here is EVERFRESH, a unit of designers and artists who got a stamp on the area. Met one of the dudes at a New Balance party last night, he was bummed on REVOK’s situation (FREE REVOK!!!!!!!!!!) and he also brought up Dave Choe’s quest for the dinosaur when I heard about these giant koalas that jump down from trees and I have to find one.
Not too far away were the Sneaker Freaker offices. So cool to actually be here at the magazine’s epicenter, considering I’ve been reading and appreciating this publication for years.
Lefts and rights.
I had no idea where Woody was. Mafia wasn’t around either. So we just kinda wandered around and I documented Woody’s ever-expanding collection of sneakers. This dude definitely mixes business with pleasure.
Here’s the original prototype for the Sneaker Freaker “Skippy,” which I blogged ad nauseum about last year. They were initially going for real kangaroo fur (!) but the turnout was kinda craze. Glad they let the kangaroos keep their clothes on.
Then we ran over to the Acclaim offices. Just realized that there are all these awesome print magazines still going strong for the streetwear community, and they’re all based in Melbourne, Australia (Like T Magazine). Why is that? Frank joked, “Maybe they haven’t found out about the internet yet.”
Right outside the window there is where all the crackheads hide out, shoot up heroin, and do dirty things. They had video of this addict couple having buttnaked sex and I watched a little too long.
So many New Balances going around down here, which I give five thumbs up.
You don’t even want to know what we were talking about. Last night at that NB party, 2 people in a row mistook Frank for me. Just because he’s Asian? With impeccable style? And devilishly handsome?
Almost every day for the past 8 years, I’ve used this blog to not only take you behind the workings of our brand, but also our life experiences. As a lifestyle purveyor, we seek to bring you along with us as we get to realize dreams and opportunities.
Late last year I was blessed with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that also happened to be a lifelong dream: To be personally involved in a Beastie Boys video. Adam Yauch (also known as MCA, also known as Nathaniel Hornblower) was looking for a DeLorean to be featured in his latest project, a music video to promote the Beastie Boys’ long-anticipated new album, that was so under-wraps that they couldn’t even tell me how the car would be used throughout the film. I just so happen to own a DMC-12, (the best original DeLorean in the world as a matter of fact. Holler.) So…lemmethinkaboutit..OKYEAH. I gladly obliged.
I can honestly state that The Beastie Boys were the first popular music I was exposed to in my life. My cousin had aLicensed to Ill cassette that we’d play from A to B, raising hell to “Girls,” bouncing off the walls to “Brass Monkey,” the album was a concocted anarchy ideal for a kindergartner. Years later I’d come to appreciate Slayer’s Kerry King on “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” and “Fight for Your Right.” Which brings us up to date.
The video shoot was for “Fight for Your Right (Revisited),” Yauch’s magnum opus, if you will – not just a Beastie Boys music video, but a movie, that would debut at Sundance and shoot for an Oscar. “Fight for Your Right (Revisited)” is a reflection of the Beastie Boys’ entire repertoire of musical masterpieces, from obscure lyrical references to past video homages. And if you’re a Beastie Boys junkie like me, then you know and appreciate the depth of their music video library. Which one’s your favorite, “Sabotage” or “Intergalactic?” “Sure Shot” or “Shake Your Rump?”
Call time was at 5am and I was there bright and early.
This guy was stoked. He had an awesome job, to recreate the Paul’s Boutique sign.
So much attention to detail that was lightly grazed over in the final video cut. Shows how much work goes into these productions. The tags are a nice touch, throw-ups reminiscent of New York City period pieces: a little Futura re-creation, Stay High, Voice of the Ghetto…
I had a few hours to kill while the cast got ready. Stanley Tucci and Susan Sarandon were the first onset in the wee hours, getting hair and makeup done in the trailers on the right. I had a little office space in that first trailer on the left, so answered some e-mail, then got bored and had a one-man eating contest at the craft services table.
They even had a girl baking up all kinds of snacks and treats throughout the day. I had pastries, deli sandwiches, vegetable wraps, warm chocolate chip cookies, and that was all before 7am. Felt fantastic.
Here’s the main street shot. If you’ve seen the video and movie, you can see the police van used in the finale, the limo for Chloe Sevigny, Kirsten Dunst, and Maya Rudolph, and the building to the left is where Elijah Wood, Danny McBride, and Seth Rogen run down the stairs and loot the convenience store. When I shot this, they were filming the scene with Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci. It was hard to stay quiet onset, keeping our laughter muffled while the actors ad-libbed through their lines. And that was really the rule of the day. Most of that dialogue you see throughout the video is totally made-up on the spot, all adlibs.
There were really only about 20-30 people around, but a constant buzz of excitement and anticipation that hummed throughout the day. Everyone involved understood the importance and gravity of the video. Some of the crew told me they’ve been working in the industry for decades and this was the biggest project of their career. No cameras allowed onset, not even cameraphones, no tweeting, no texts, nothing. Super top secret, and I think they did a great job of keeping everything controlled and confidential until the video’s release last week. Aside from the Beasties’ own photographer, I was the only one onset to document the production, so hope you feel as lucky as I did to get this kind of access.
I’m glad that Von Dutch hat to the right didn’t get used.
It’s gotta be pretty cool to say you scuffed up some shell-toes for a Beastie Boys video.
So if you’re a Beasties fan, you know that MCA directs the videos and here he is going through the shots. If you’re a real Beasties fan, you also know that he’s been enduring a hard-fought battle with cancer over the past few years. He’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s not letting it hold him down in any sense – incredibly inspiring to see the icon still creating and trendsetting.
Time for me to get the car.
Aside from the aforementioned names, the video features the following personalities: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Ted Danson, Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, Will Arnett, Jason Schwartzmann, Orlando Bloom, Jack Black, John C. Reilly, Roman Coppola, Steve Buscemi, pretty much all the coolest people in the world besides Ben Hundreds. I also have to add that they all donated their time for free, all on the strength of the Beastie Boys’ name.
Unfortunately, the coolest people in the world don’t have the coolest representation and management in the world, so I was asked not to publish the photographs of anyone except the Beastie Boys. It’s a shame because I have photos of Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly goofing around (all. day. long.). And more importantly, great photos of MCA directing all the players. So for now, use your imagination, and just mix in a lot of radness. And just know it was about 10 times radder than that.
The movie’s finale, as it was originally shot, closes with Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock pulling up as cops, throwing the funnyguys into the paddy wagon, squeezing into my 2-seater car and careening around the corner.
Hey, Martin Starr was the fourth cop.
He’s the A-D-R-OOO-C-K. In the place with the bass he’s going all the way.
This weekend, I will have the pleasure of being a keynote speaker at CARBON, a 3-day event celebrating contemporary style, design and culture, in Melbourne, Australia. I’m really flattered to be asked to speak at such an important occasion, couched with live art installations, parties, and exhibitions. But perhaps most of all for headlining next to Futura, who is one of my few standing heroes.
I will be speaking Saturday on “Beyond the Brand.” I can’t wait to hear what I have to say.
It’s that time again. When I have to make room on my phone for voicemail that I never check by dumping all my photos from the past few months.
Sent from my iPhone:
Scenery from the Warhol x InCase event in New York:
Cruisin’ like Tom.
The only types of people who ride limos are a-holes and kids going to prom. Tony and Ben are not going to prom:
The Alamo’s where all the girls are:
The scene at SXSW. Kids these days:
Kids’ shoes these days:
Kids Choice Awards these days:
Backstage at Kanye West x Jay-Z in Austin. Ye’s bus.
As you burn alive in your hotel room, swirling smoke blinding you, ashes choking your airway, no one can hear your screams, and your life flashes before your eyes.. just read that last line over and over.
Even though we don’t make women’s apparel, this blog gets plenty of female readers. And whenever I feel their waning interest, I throw out some gratuitous Hanni coverage.
V-Nasty & Kreayshawn surprise performance at the THSF 3rd anniversary party.
The Strokes got cut short at the T-Mobile party. They’re famous for popular rock songs and Shia LeBeouf’s t-shirt in Transformers.
I went down to The Hundreds Santa Monica to meet up with Sid and Matt who are in from Austin, Texas. Matt runs a very popular website called Nice Kicks, which is pretty much the hub of all cult sneaker news. He’s darting around the country interviewing figures from the sneaker/street world, gaining insight into different perspectives of the culture.
We largely talked about The Hundreds Footware and the effect of the web on sneaker culture, both its importance and harm. I really couldn’t say much bad about the internet. I’ve never really viewed it negatively; after all, without the web, we wouldn’t be where we’re at today. And that goes the same for someone like Matt.
One of the greatest positives of the Internet is that people like Matt, and myself, had the opportunities to pursue and achieve our dreams in a method that may have not existed before its existence. Matt started his site while in Victoria, B.C., and then Modesto, California. 20 years ago, how could someone so geographically challenged be stamping such an influence on a global phenomenon?
And what about Ben and I. Something I’ve never discussed before, but the Internet has also been remarkable in leveling the playing field for people of all backgrounds: ethnic, socioeconomic, gender… I’m Asian-American, Ben is Persian, and decades ago I’m not sure how keen most of the market would have been on a young American streetwear company run by the likes of us. To this day, I get customers who meet me and are shocked that I’m Korean. “I thought you were White!” or “I thought you were Black!” It’s not a racial issue, but it’s one to consider. When you look around and all the apparel giants are predominantly white males, you can see how awesome the Internet has been in granting dreams a faceless, race-less, platform.
Headed over to Hollywood to meet up with an old friend for lunch. She works for an Internet giant called Buzz Media, which controls every website from Just Jared to What Would Tyler Durden Do? to my favorite, The Superficial. Buzz Media also runs all the Kardashians’ sites, as well as Nicole Richie’s and Britney Spears’. Basically, this room is the cornerstone of Hollywood’s internet presence. The offices were interesting, everyone at their desks blogcasting entertainment gossip to the world..
I’d take a lot of coffee breaks if I worked here.
My old friend? That’d be none other than Yasi.
You remember Yasi, right? From the now-defunct The Hundreds blog, Ask Yasi (RIP).
Well, don’t feel sorry for her because she’s moved onto bigger and better things.. she’s got her own Huffington Post blog as well as her Buzznet blog and she’s still doing her own line, Cultist. In fact, this comes from her new Spring ’11 collection, which can be perused HERE.
We ate lunch at 101, which is the retro Hollywood diner featured throughout Swingers. Can you believe that movie’s 15 years old? Our baby’s all grown up.
Lots of bowl themes recurring throughout my Monday. First off, Benjie took up bowling this weekend. Secondly, we were down by the MOCA in J-Town to eat some amazing ramen out of a bowl. Third, I forgot my camera so Vito shot all these images. And we all know how much Vito loves bowls. Finally we stopped byBOWLS, one of our proud The Hundreds accounts here in Los Angeles.
Aside from The Hundreds, BOWLS is unique because it stocks Ruckus motorcycle parts, man clothes like Red Wing boots and Brixton hats.
This is Ryan. Hi Ryan.
I’d always heard about BOWLS but had never dropped in, so shame on me. Store was awesome and unique, which goes a long way these days.
Lots of good live music going down this weekend here in Southern California. Janet Jackson show, Prince kicking off his 21 live concerts, Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart at the Bowl.. and some festival going on in Indio?
So much of my cultural upbringing was established through live shows, as is now evidenced by some of the shoebox photographs being posted to my Tumblr. So when Dave from the world’s best ever blog – so aptly titled World’s Best Ever -asked me to contribute to his popular Sound Advice compilations, I didn’t have to look further than my adolescent years. Instead of just piecing together a hodgepodge of current hipster-pleasers, I selected the ultimate fantasy concert I could’ve attended as a 15-year-old hardcore kid in the mid-1990s. Back then, lots of the local hardcore shows were opened up by emo, indie, and pop-punk bands. The compilation is organized in the same fashion, from gradual and churning, transitioning to melodic and friendly, and closing with the heavy and dark. All bands and artists from the period, all from the same collective circuit.
What’s that over on the sidebar? We’ve made some room for our newest blog, BRICK, dedicated to the life and times of Brick Stowell, The Hundreds Santa Monica manager and film photographer extraordinaire.
Speaking of brick, that’s pretty much what my iPhone turned into yesterday after crashing on me and deleting everything. Totally unrelated.
The opening night reception for MOCA’s Art in the Streets was a name-drop-o-rama. Adrian Grenier, Jena Malone, Cheech Marin, Justin Timberlake, Rick Rubin, Debi Mazar, Seth Rogen, Spike Jonze, Drew Barrymore, Dave Choe banned from the MOCA, the first graffiti writer ever Taki 183 was in attendance although no one knew what he looked like, our Korean beard papa friend KB getting asked by a mom and her kids if he was Shepard Fairey, Haze with Rosie Perez, Neckface in character as a hobo in his own exhibit, Fab 5 Freddy being too cool for a photo, REVOK sneaking into his own show to evade the cops, and I don’t have photographs of any of this.
But Natalia has some shots on MEOW, and supporting footage of the show that I didn’t get. Thank God for Brutalia.
Just got back from the preview for ART IN THE STREETS, the first major U.S. museum exhibition on graffiti/street art. The show opens this weekend to the public at the MOCA here in Los Angeles under the auspices of bigtime art-guy Jeffrey Deitch and associate curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose.
Basically, this show has it all. Okay I’ll admit there were a few absent figures from the roster, but everyone’s gonna complain about the inclusion and/or exclusion of somebody. You can’t have a street art show with 50 of the world’s most prominent names and not rub some people the wrong way — kinda comes with the territory, it’s all politics.
That being said, some of the well-reputed street/graffiti artists asked to participate include Futura, Barry McGee, Swoon, OS Gemeos, Chaz Bojorquez, and the Seventh Letter heads REVOK, RISK, SABER, and RETNA. Some awesome retrospective stuff with Keith Haring, Dash Snow, Basquiat, and Margaret Kilgallen, a few photographers like Larry Clark, Terry Richardson, and Estevan Oriol. And yup, they even got Banksy in there.
Jeffrey Deitch opens the exhibition with some laudatory remarks about street art and its presence in the hierarchy of art history. Standing in front of RISK’s gigantic MTA bus piece:
Afterwards, Roger Gastman, Aaron Rose, and even Fab 5 Freddy had some time to speak to the media.
One of OS Gemeos’ installations. It was important for the show to include artwork outside of the gallery space, where authentic street art lives.
Had great conversation with Erik Brunetti and Lenny aka FUTURA. Talk about authenticity, Erik’s one of the only dudes left in streetwear and street culture that keeps it legitimate. It’s nice to hear from people who still have an opinion and aren’t scared to express it. And Fut, still one of mybiggest inspirations, if not THE.
Natalia Brutalia and Fut’s daughter that is our sister here at The Hundreds, Tabatha.
Kudos to Estevan Oriol for being one of the real West Coast photographers asked to represent street art in this show.
He recently took over the Houston & Bowery mural in New York, and he welcomes you into the space at the MOCA: Kenny Scharf.
One of street art’s greatest hits: by Keith Haring.
A gigantic teepee/tent dedicated to Swoon’s work”
My favorite quadrant – dedicated to a rebirth of the throwback Street Market show by Todd James (REAS), Barry McGee, and Steve Powers (ESPO). Since I didn’t get to see the first go-around, it was cool to witness this. Imagine lots of moving parts, animatronics, detailed installations… from what the artists themselves were saying, better than the first Street Market show.
Todd James explaining some of the work to Lee Quinones:
Aaron Rose and ESPO:
IRAK in the house:
Take it back to L.A.: Mr. Cartoon:
The Seventh Letter goes in!!!! One of the most impressive feats of the exhibition.
Of course, Brunetti’s gotta be the anti- in the anti-art show. The mission statement says it all, graffiti is all about ego – but what is pure street art without hubris? It’s found in the missing dogs and cats postings, which he collected along his years of doing graffiti in the streets. Art in crisis:
Kinda random, but totally not? The all-Black biker gang from South Central, Chosen Few, have a wall at Art in the Streets:
My personal highlight reel is made up entirely of the Margaret Kilgallen room:
A close second goes to the Brazilian twins, OS Gemeos:
A little skate demo by Nike SB (Lance Mountain, Danny Supa, Gino, etc.) on Geoff McFetridge art:
So we spent a good couple hours in the space and still didn’t get to see everything. The show is that comprehensive and elaborate, and I think beyond anyone’s expectations. Some of the best commotion coming from the show has nothing to do with the exhibition at all. Like I was saying earlier, street art lives in the streets, so if you’re trying to contain it in a space, it’s gonna spill out into the world. Even all the extra security and precautions around this art show couldn’t stop KATSU from getting his.
But what’d you expect? Again, it comes with the territory.
And it’s all about territory.
I tried to sit here and explain this, but I figured that if you don’t get it by now, I can’t draw it out for you. And if you already know, then what more do I need to say? You either love him or hate him, and if it’s neither, you’ve never heard of him. We back Lil B because he’s a true artist, broken away from the pack, the black sheep, making music on his own terms by his own rules and finally offering rap something unique. Lil B understands the next generation of music listeners, he’s got ‘em by a headlock through Tumblr and Twitter, he preaches soulful positivity, his beats are unparalleled. His art can be both lowbrow and conscious, ridiculous and grave. You’re either with him or against him, but while you’re figuring it out, he’s already moved onto the next one. When was the last time you heard of somebody cookin’ up this kind of controversy? Oh yeah, that’s right: Us. Fitting, isn’t it?
Rapper, positive hip-hopster, and visionary Lil B partnered with us to make his first official merch. 3 t-shirt styles in an array of colors. The “THANK YOU BASED GOD” tee is available in black and white at Coachella this weekend. The entire collection (those and the 3 other colorways, along with the “Spatula” and “Won Ton Soup” t-shirts) will be for sale in our stores (THLA, THSF, THNY, THSM) this Saturday morning at 11am. In our Online Shop on Monday.
For the most part, I don’t really understand Tumblr. Actually, that’s not true. I do understand Tumblr, I just don’t think highly of it. You know what, I take that back. Maybe I just don’t appreciate how most people use their Tumblr.
Tumblr, if you’re unaware, is a blogging platform through which you can easily re-blog, comment, and essentially steal and repeat other people’s entries. By virtue, everyone’s Tumblr blog ends up looking the same, with the same content. It’s a congregation of lazy bloggers who are looking to be perpetually visually stimulated, droning through their days with a barrage of eye candy: arthouse nudie pics, exotic architecture, nature shots, motivational quotes.
I do get the appeal. You can shape your entire identity by curating your taste through other people’s work. It’s like an old-school Myspace page where you rattle off your interests: favorite books, movies, TV shows.. except you actually show them. Who wants to read what someone’s about when you can scroll through animated gifs of it?
My issue is that Tumblr is top-heavy on the curation and weak on the creation. Instead of just re-hashing and cloning what someone else is doing, why not make something yourself? What is the point of all this inspiration if you’re not doing anything with it? At that point, it’s just porn and you’re just playing with yourself.
Now, all that being said, we have finally launched our own official Tumblr for The Hundreds, which is now listed at: thehundreds.tumblr.com. It is an archive of current and past original work under The Hundreds, whether it’s graphics from t-shirts, marketing materials, photo shoots, blog images, and any other visual artifacts that make up The Hundreds’ history as a brand and lifestyle. A lot of that stuff, also, has never been publicly posted before, so enjoy.
I’ve also re-ignited my own personal Tumblr page at bobbyhundreds.tumblr.com, which is distinct from The Hundreds’ Tumblr because it’s a showcase of my past and present work that is outside the brand. Like musings, notebook sketches, paintings, old photographs from the past decades, etc. Everything you see, unless otherwise noted, is made by my hand, including the handwriting (a lost art, and everyone’s oft-overlooked personal trademark).
Ben also has his personal Tumblr page as well at benhundreds.tumblr.com, which he’s been surprisingly good at updating. You’d think it’d just be phone pics of half-eaten sandwiches, but there’s some good stuff in there for the The Hundreds heads who wonder what life’s like through the eyes of the furry rounder one.
So, there you go. The Hundreds on Tumblr. Reblog that.
When the store first opened, I pointed out the secret spot in the wall mirror, where the “ghosts” of upcoming pieces are embedded. Got a ton of email and messages from readers who couldn’t see it… so here’s another shot.
Can you see it? Stop by THNY to see for yourself. It’s the only place in the world where we physically sneak-leak future projects:
That’s Andrew on the left. He’s 18, our intern at The Hundreds New York, and an aspiring filmmaker. Chun is on the right. He was one of our early interns and eventual designers at The Hundreds. These days, he’s a motion graphics guy based in New York.
Basically, Chun is Andrew from the future.
Believe it or not, Future Andrew, Chun, has a girlfriend. And quite believably, she’s cooler than him. She even has her own cool jewelry line called Armor.
And per usual, photographs of New York City and all its life:
The DC offices.. this is the Superman floor. There’s also a Batman floor. It’s 3 miles underground and in a cave with bats flying around everywhere.
The New York pasttime.
Photographers are spoiled in this city. It’s a rotating sea of canvases out here, everywhere you turn another work of art coming together:
MAD Magazine. Do I really need to explain this? Alfred E. Neumann, Spy vs. Spy, Al Jaffee backpage fold-ins, Sergio Aragones comics… Do I need to diagram how influential the comic magazine’s parody wit has been to The Hundreds’ history of graphics? They are the kings, the progenitors of pop culture commentary through parody, and that genre of graphic work is the foundation for streetwear t-shirts.
MAD Magazine is still alive, still strong, at 6 fresh issues a year. Much has changed over the decades, obviously the internet is a serious contender. But they are still committed to the best, the legacy of longstanding artists, and still the sharp humor. Here in the hallway are some classic MAD pieces:
So back in the day, MAD wanted to make a series of movies in the vein of National Lampoon flicks. The first one, Up the Academy, was so bad however, that they removed the name from the movie. Still, there are MAD references throughout the film like this Alfred statue which now stands tall in the MAD offices. “MAD presents…” has also been manipulated to say “MAD resents…”
We actually brought along my buddy Jessica whose last name happens to be Prohias. As in granddaughter of Antonio Prohias, creator of Spy vs. Spy, one of MAD Magazine’s most notable comic properties. Of course, most of the MAD staff, artists, and writers are still the old school crew, and were excited to meet the descendent of their old friend. Senior Editor Joe Raiola for example:
Art Director Sam Viviano in his office, displaying original MAD art by Hermann Mejia.
Associate Editor Dave Croatto is handing me some blank Spy vs. Spy toys… you’ll see what comes of these soon.
My man Ryan Flanders, Assistant Art Director:
That’s Ryan with Production Artist Doug Thomson.
And Jessica with big boss man, Editor John Ficarra. “Always take the photo with the pretty girl.”
A few mementos for Jessica and us:
And some original pieces used in recent issues are tucked away in the drawers here. Really incredible stuff, art masterpieces,.. so under-appreciated.
Al Jaffee still does the backpage fold-ins at the age of 90, and after all these decades, the staff says they’re getting better. Here’s the painting for the recent one:
Richard Williams puts in work:
The one and only Sergio Aragones:
and a beauty by Jack Davis. Ryan spent 10 minutes explaining the process by which this drawing was done, the chemicals used to gain the effects, the intense amounts of cross-hatching, the layers of work, all for a single page of art in a MAD magazine issue. Even better, he wasn’t satisfied with the final work so he ditched it and did another one.
Once in a while I’ll admit it, this experience was a big one for me.