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.