I've told this story before (on Gweek), and I'm going to tell it here again. I'm a great admirer of artist Mitch O'Connell. I'm envious of his work, which pays homage to exactly the kind of garish mid-century populuxe ephemera that triggers a kind of lowbrow Stendhal syndrome in me. In the early days of bOING bOING (the zine), Mitch and I struck up a postcard correspondence, which evolved into email when Mitch discovered computers in 2005 or so.
Mitch eventually started a blog, and one day I read a post where he said he went to Boulder High School, which is where I went. I emailed him and asked him when he went to Boulder High. EXACTLY THE SAME YEARS I WENT. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I knew Mitch in high school! In fact, we took an art class together and I was envious back then of his uncanny ability to draw Bernie Wrightson-esque Swamp Things and Mike Ploog-esque barbarians. I've been jealous of him for over 30 years!
Poring over the pages of his massive new art book, Mitch O'Connell the World's Best Artist by Mitch O'Connell, I am again stunned by how remarkably talented he is. This book shows his early work (he published a great zine when we were in high school), his attempts to enter mainstream comics ("Interesting, but no cigar" -- Jim Shooter), his commercial art, band posters, gallery paintings, tattoo flash, and more. I hope you enjoy the sample pages below.
Mitch O'Connell the World's Best Artist by Mitch O'Connell
Last night, my wife and I stumbled on the Red Truck Gallery on the edge of New Orleans’ French Quarter, and today we’re going back to buy some art, and admire the pieces we can’t afford for a while longer.
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