Friday, June 26, 2009

SCREW #1339: At His Satanic Majesty's Request

For those of you who may have been wondering, "when's Hellman gonna post one of his own covers?," here's one of mine. While I don't want this blog to degenerate into my own personal egomaniacal thrill ride, I will occasionally weaken and post my own work, especially when requested to do so by a reader. In this instance, that reader is none other than former SCREW editor, the notorious David Aaron Clark.

I spent innumerable hours up at SCREW's office during the'90s shooting the shit with Dave Clark, gassing about movies, comics, and just plain gossiping. I did more than a few freebie drawings for Clark's numerous extracurricular projects, including posters for his band False Virgins.

I'll never forget the sight of Clark and his colleague, SCREW editor John Walsh rolling around on the office floor, wrestling. I'm not sure what inspired the impromptu bout, (most likely a disagreement over punctuation) but the moment was charged with the same blistering sensuality that made Ken Russell's film "Women In Love" a classic in the annals of erotic cinema.

I also fondly remember a bit of graffiti scrawled on the wall in SCREW's tiny elevator vestibule that read "Dave Clark eats turds." Shortly after the graffiti appeared, the clever SCREW editor deftly altered it to read, "Dave Clark Five beats The Byrds." Surely that took some kind of genius...?

Mr. Clark has long since moved far away to the West Coast to toil in the adult film industry, but a small piece of Dave still remains in my heart, leaving me with just one question: can anyone out there recommend a good cardiac surgeon?

SCREW #1339's cover features a drawing of Brazilian horror filmmaker & star José Mojica Marins, aka "Coffin Joe." I'm ashamed to admit that I have yet to make it all the way through any of Marins' films, but Clark is a Coffin Joe fan, hence his request to see this cover posted.

I can't say whether or not this drawing captures the vibe of Marins' films. I will say that, as Danny Hellman SCREW covers go, it's one of middling quality. Not a half-assed hack job, (of which there were many), but not one of my personal favorites, either. My attitude towards devil worship is one of sneering disdain, and I think the drawing's goofy depiction of Satanists reflects that. The color separation is adequate but not spectacular, and the registration on the red plate is clearly off. Possibly a treat for Coffin Joe fans, but not my proudest achievement by a long shot. Enjoy, Dave.

Cover Art for SCREW #1412, featuring cover artist Natpink (?)

Earlier this week, I received an email from a reader of this blog, asking if I could help him track down an issue of SCREW that featured a Li'l Abner parody, (as listed in some Denis Kitchen publication). I immediately remembered the issue, mainly because the Li'l Abner cover and accompanying interior strip had been so well drawn. However, I couldn't recall the artist's name, nor did I believe that I had the issue in my archives.

After a quick rummage through my stack, I was pleased to discover that I do indeed have the cover, (although tragically, I failed to save the strip). I now post that cover in the hope that it will at least partially satisfy the reader's quest. Not only don't I have the accompanying strip, but I can't issue a firm ruling on whether or not the signature "Natpink" indicates a pseudonym, (which I suspect is the case) or the talented artist's real name. What I can say for sure is that the issue dates from March 25th, 1996.

While Issue #1412's cover is fairly tame in the titillation department, it more than makes up for this shortfall with dazzling drawing chops, as well as dead-on stylistic mimicry of well-known syndicated cartoon characters. "Natpink" also makes skillful use of SCREW's classic limited palette, (two colors plus black would be the norm for SCREW until the Fall of 1996, when the paper went full color). Apart from one or two murky spots, (an inevitability when working with newsprint) the colors are varied and well-chosen.

It's a nice one. I just wish I knew who drew it.

(ADDENDUM on 7/16/09: the same reader who initially asked about this cover has done some research, and now tells me that the drawing is most likely the work of cartoonist Pat McKeown. I'm not familiar with Pat McKeown's work, but if he drew this cover, he's damned talented).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cover Art for SCREW #1716, featuring cover artist Hawk Krall

Here's a late issue of SCREW drawn by Philly cartoonist & chef Hawk Krall. At least I assume that the issue dates from the paper's waning months, since Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes is being chastised in the cover lines. It was Hynes who prosecuted the employee harassment case against Goldstein that drove the final stake into the bloated pornographer's black heart.

This is definitely a pre-bankruptcy issue, published while Goldstein was still in charge, (SCREW #1804 being the first issue of SCREW's brief post-bankruptcy, post-Goldstein period, roughly December 2005-November 2006). I'm guessing that this is a Fourth of July cover, seeing as there's a bigass flag waving proudly behind the big asses.

Dating this issue is pretty much impossible for me, since this cover comes, not from my own moldering archives, but from Hawk's personal collection of SCREW covers. Hawk contributed a wonderful strip to my recent book TYPHON Vol.1, (available here). At a recent TYPHON event, Hawk was kind enough to hand me a disc containing scans of several of his own excellent SCREW covers, as well as some choice selections from SCREW's bygone days. And so, SCREW #1716 is just one of several covers I'll be offering from the Hawk Krall collection in the weeks to come. When you're done looking at SCREW #1716, why not check out Hawk Krall's website? I'm sure you'll enjoy the visit.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

SCREW Cover #502, featuring cover artist Paul Kirchner

The name "Paul Kirchner" will be familiar to those of us who read HEAVY METAL during the 1980's, where his surreal, immaculately-drawn strip "The Bus" ran for what seemed like forever. A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that Kirchner also drew a strip for HIGH TIMES titled "Dope Rider," and also that he worked for Wally Wood as an assistant. What Wikipedia fails to mention is that Kirchner, (using the flimsy pseudonym "Kurt Schnurr") drew a shitload of SCREW covers, (quite possibly more SCREW covers than anyone else).

Fortunately for us, his SCREW covers are very good, displaying excellent draftsmanship, masterful use of SCREW's limited color palette, clever concepts, and lovely ladies. I have quite a few Paul Kirchner SCREW covers in my archive, and I hope to post them all in time, but here's a nice one to get us started.