Monday, May 31, 2010

Tour Bus Tour Continues!

And finally, what do a Mitch O'Connell and Walgreens have in common?
Oh, come on! The joke was right in front of me! I couldn't control myself!
Feel free to show your appreciation to the tour driver in the form of a gratuity on your way out!

Tour Bus Tour Continues!

To your left!
Kind of had a loose rule that I wouldn't be adding "funny on purpose" places, but what the hey!

Tour Bus Tour Continues!

Now if you'll look to your right!
Now that I've seen it, I'm slapping my forehead that it hasn't been done before! ALL cute animal mascots should be shown burning alive. It's just common sense!

Tour Bus Tour Continues!

Early morning tour bus! All aboard!
Around 3000 west Lawrence I got cluster of a few off kilter Chicago landmarks in my viewfinder sights. First off, this is where I'll now do all my shopping for mixed messages.

Big Eyed Wuv!

Another example of genius flows from my paintbrush. I'm hopin' that sez "Give Peace a Chance" in spanish. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Rock 'n Roll Over!

Poster for pal and musical genius Joe Black!

Hot Off The Press!

"My, look at this!"
A WHOLE page!!"
"HELLO!! Is anyone listening?!"
(simmering while sound of crickets is heard)

Apparently Mitch needs attention every blessed second!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Mitch Chicago Tour Bus Stop #4!

Way on the north side of Clark Ave I often admire this vulture(?) vs snake showdown as we zip to Leo's weekly drum lessons. Right before this mural is the Touche Bar where we take bets if the guy who's always outside will have his shirt on or off (don't worry, I'll get a pic). Roadside cribbage, city style!

The Mitch Chicago Tour Bus Stop #3!

On Lawrence, and throughout Chicago, prances the sly devious Crafty Beaver mascot. I find the CB fascinating and plan to have him reoccur in a series of painting symbolizing... oh... that would be telling!

The Mitch Chicago Tour Bus Stop #2!

A little north of Wilson on Broadway are the sacred resting grounds of "Majestic For Men". I envision that within it's walls was the ensemble that would finally break me free of my levi's/black t-shirt funk. High stylin' treasures such as platform shoes, bolero style cuffed plaid bell bottom slacks, forward fashion polyester shirts all topped off with a sportin' feather accented wide brimmed felt hat. Alas it is no more (and my last black t is dirty)!

The Mitch Chicago Tour Bus Stop #1!

Apache Motel, where guests of Mr. O'Connell always stay while visiting the windy city. Beside being a heartfelt and stirring tribute to our American Indian friends (can we now call it even on that, "This land is your land, this land in my land" merry mixup?), it also has a little thing we in the big city like to call "COLOR TV"!
The future is NOW!

Tiki Decorating!

Lesley Lawson has made my dreams of a tiki themed backyard a reality! Thanks for the gift (you don't think they overwhelm do you?)!

Speed Demon!

Got a call from the Chicago Tribune at 8 last night to see if I could do a color illustration of Mr. T knocking out Sylvester Stallone based on the famous Ali pose by 10pm. I said what I always say when offered money.
Look for it on your doorstep this morning. The drawing is a hot mess, but it was done on time!

Friday, May 28, 2010


Sneak Peek! Read all about it at-

Chicago Sights #3

Chicago Supermercado Sights #3
On your way out, be warned by the Polaroid wall of shame to stay on the path of rightnesses!

Chicago Sights #2

Chicago Supermercado Sights #2
I'd make fun of this confusing warning, but I can barely speaks one language fluently (in fact, spellcheck kicked in when I misspelled "fluently").

Chicago Sights #1

I continue chronicling thangs of interest with-Chicago Supermercado Sights #1
What makes Mexican Supermercado's so much more magical than those common gringo supermarkets? Inside, the sky is filled with colorful paper mache beasts of wonder that frolic overhead. They silently plead, tempting you with their eye catching plumage to be taken home to gorge on candy treats. Lawrence Avenue has multiple shelters for pinatas. Won't you adopt one in time for your child's next birthday party?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Save Our School Part 5

The highlight of the day? Making the world a better place for our children? Participating in the process that makes America great? Getting to take a bus ride?
NO! It was meeting my new fashion guru, JF, the head of building security. First stop, getting myself a pair of those boss bad ass baby blue shoes! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Save Our School Part 4

Another young person seems to have an additional wish besides keeping his teacher, that one day, out of the whole first grade class, he will have the biggest, thickest mustache EVER!

Save Our School Part 3

This youth is also worried about overcrowding, but, judging by the illustration, he seems to be mostly worried about those bearded hillbilly tots taking all the crayons.

Save Our School Part 2

Visions of throwing the first rock to start the riot, having fire hoses turned on us, covering my face to avoid the teargas fumes or getting all hippie putting flowers in the barrels of policemen's rifles were much more glamorous than the reality of sitting and waiting hours for our turn at the podium. "Public Participation Day" is when regular folk get up and vent. Most on the printed agenda succinctly describe their topic, such as "School Budget" or "School Testing" while other, more excitable folks write, "I need copies of the emails I sent. I will seek legal consul because principal did not not want to discuss my child's grades (it went on for 3 more sentences)" or "Exacting the nature of CPS's budget problems is lies, damn lies!" I was glad to have a front row seat!
While waiting we went through the letters the students made for the decision makers to help the cause and, of course, whatever kid's do is always worth a look. A student continues on the second page with the plea, "I don't want our school to be filled up with kids!"

Save Our School Part 1

When walking to school with Kieran, fellow parent Lori Biskup asked me if I were going to join the group going downtown to attend the monthly school board meeting. You see, we're in danger of Peterson School's budget being cut (best school EVER!), so her husband John was going to address the board members (he's against cutting school funding in case you were wondering where our interests lie) and they needed as big a posse around him to make it look like we got it goin' on. I gave a non answer of, "What time are you leaving?" and Lori said the bus left at 9am. I was dressed for a jog and had been really looking forward to doing battle with my belly of jelly. I started the run but then that damnable "do the right thing" started to kick in. I went home, showered (you're welcome) and joined my fellow protesters.
Don't think you've won love handles, this is just a brief reprieve!

The Panelists Gallery Show!

KRK Ryden asked me to be part of a group show, "The Panelists" a couple years back. The idea was that each artist gets a huge comic panel (mine is 3 feet wide) to illustrate. When they're all hung up and fit together you get a complete story to enjoy! I said yes, but then started going through a very unpleasant divorce (yes, I'll bellyache 'till the end of time) and found myself unable to work for a few months. KRK replaced me after I apologized profusely. Luckily the show is now on tour and KRK needed me to replace someone else who's piece wasn't available. I was happy to get a chance to make up for not following through the first time. It opens this Friday (details below) and my section is drying as I type. I know KRK is sweating profusely putting this together, so now he can relax that mine is finally done!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chicago Sights #6

Truth in advertising! I love sign and food display painting and these have that something extra. They aren't the perfect pert ice cream come on's, this is just what your droopy purchase is going to look like one second after being out in the sizzling 90 degree blazing sun weather.

Chicago Sights #5

On Lincoln and Irving Park is this still in business dollar store. They're open every single day but apparently never pay attention to their store display window. It's hard to imagine that the manager, when opening up each and every morning can't see that all the items have turned brown and melted while sitting in the sun for 20 years.
These are the things that catch my eye.

Chicago Sights #4

Always enjoyed this sign on Western Avenue.
I imagine the gentleman thinking, "I have this nagging feeling I'm being followed by a giant Taco. Naw, it couldn't be!"
Well I find it amusing!

Chicago Sights #3

Also down the street is the famous "Face House". I was MUCH cooler before they went crazy (but who am I to make judgements on tasteful decorating). At one point it was a stone facade. The "eye" windows would light up red at night and the only decorative items were the two little devil horns. You would do a double take passing it, I loved it! Then they painted it white, added a sun face, added a balcony with 2 right gold hands, etc, etc, etc. Those are all decisions you make for your basement, not the front of your house.
I think I need to have a heart to heart with the owners.

Chicago Sights #2

Just down Drake Avenue I came across this Hasidic version of Pimp My Ride-

Chicago Sights #!

Now these aren't always breathtaking or failblog worthy, just 'lil "that's interesting" things I run across in my travels ("travels" sound much more exotic than "going to the supermarket").
First up-
While at Home Depot I was taken by this bloody warning. They should have added "Danger- now you'll have to seek employment operating carnival rides!"

Backyard Battleground!

No, it's not a photo from a recent african safari, although a yack or three could definitely be hiding in the yard high growths. This is my back yard.
I don't know what those plants are, but they frighten me. I expect them to start walking anyday now and poke me awake in the night. The unearthly leaves brushing against my face, the roots wrapping around my throat, tightening... tightening.... AAAAIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE! They already grab and clutch at you when trying to traverse the inch left of the walkway.
Is there a "Backyard Makeover" TV show that anyone knows of? An aspiring gardener that would love the prestigious feather in their cap working on a celebrities property? Wha...?! Pay you?! Ah, how naively sweet! Do you know what an artist makes? Just the cost of berets and smocks is staggering! Wouldn't mind an 18 foot high Easter Island statue with a waterfall falling from his mouth into a pond of koi fish, but leave plenty of room for the go-cart racetrack (for starters).
Or I just blow it up.

Flea Market Finds #11!

Flea Market Trip #11
Finally, my prize purchase! Someone who understands me, will always go to the flea market with me, will... What's that honey? Oh, you are so bad! Uh-huh... You naughty girl you! You don't want another spanking do you?! You DO?! Gotta go!

Flea Market Finds #10!

Flea Market Trip #10
What are they good for?
If only we could read the female mind. If only!
Actually, I'd rather not know, thank-you. I'm much too sensitive!

Flea Market Finds #9!

Flea Market Trip #9
Seahorses are the craziest thing ever!
I recently spent about an hour staring them down at them at the Shed Aquarium. They look like imaginary Dr. Suess characters come to life. I still don't get 'em. Anyway, these'll go in the bathroom (no matter how much the kids complain). Hey, I'll put some nude velvet paintings in there instead if ya don't shut yer yaps!

Flea Market Finds #8!

Flea Market Trip #8
This a very cool handmade two sided throw pillow.
Hey! I can't make fun of everything!

Flea Market Finds #7!

Flea Market Trip #7
A 'lil "Lesson Learned" notebook.
The lesson is to mix up drugs in a beaker and drink 'em, right?

Flea Market Finds #6!

Flea Market Trip #6
"OK Mitch", you say, "That's what you didn't buy, so what DID you get?"
Well, first I picked up a pair of big eyed elfin sparkly statues!
"Why?!" you sputter.
What part of "big eyed elfin sparkly statues" didn't you hear?!

Flea Market Finds #5!

Flea Market Trip #5
What the HELL!
Two signed photos of muscle men in bikini briefs? $5 EACH?! Ha! I got the pair for $8!
I mean I bet I COULD have gotten 'em both for $8 IF I wanted.
But of course I DON'T er… DIDN'T! That would be CRAZY!
Umm... can we go to the next picture please?

Flea Market Finds #4!

Flea Market Trip #4
On a purely artistic level, who put that damn chair there?!
I think you know what I'm talkin' about (wink)!
High five!
That's right, I said it!

Flea Market Finds #3!

Flea Market Trip #3
In Ye Good 'Ol Days I would spend hours trying to peek at Where The Hell were my opponents battleships and also clandestinely move mine if they happened to luck into scoring a hit. Ah, memories! Back when the woman folk would do the dishes and the men folk were left alone to engage in a destructive bloody war.
America, where have we gone wrong since then?
"Thank you" Democrats!

Flea Market Finds #2!

Flea Market Trip #2
Double take. Triple take! Sweet Baby Yams!! (That's my new catchphrase that'll soon be sweeping the nation. You heard it here first!)
This painting a real jeweled head piece, a real fabric dress and, even though you don't get the full effect from the photos, those bad boys are popping out all over! Hello!! I mean, Sweet Baby Yams!!!
If it weren't about 8 feet tall it would be another addition to my children's inheritance. Sorry Leo and Kieran! Daddy has let you down yet again

Flea Market Finds #1!

Flea Market Trip #1
Mitch is BACK baby!
Hit the first Wolf's Flea Market at the Allstate Arena parking lot Sunday morning (by my(sniff)self)!
Oh, I asked my "friends" if they'd like to go, but responses ranged from, "Mitch, we attend a little sumpthin' called "CHURCH" on Sunday mornings. Maybe you've heard of it?!" to "Gee, I'd like to, but that would me spending all morning with YOU! Snap!"
I didn't want them to go anyhow!
Now they can seethe in sizzling jealousy as I share my day with my only REAL friends, my FACEBOOK friends!
First prize seen- if the wall above my fireplace weren't already occupied with a Robert Goulet portrait, what would be a better painting to hang than this tribute to Kenny Rogers (pre-facelift when he was still able to close his eyes)!

Happy Birthday!

Went to a surprise birthday birthday party for pal Fred Dech thrown by his lovely wife Nan Freeman (I guess "Dech" isn't good enough for some people)! Nan commissioned a huge 4 tier cake to be decorated with my tattoo designs. Something got lost in translation and Nan was a 'lil disappointed that the bakery seemed to have misplaced 3 tiers - but it was quite delicious, so all were happy!
Amazingly Fred turned 50! Why is it that all my friends are getting so old while I remain so young, hip 'n happenin'?
'tis a mystery for the ages!

Flea Market Finds!

Picked up this poster (at Terror in the Aisles 4) of my newest favorite cinematic masterpiece (that I'll probably never see)!
DEAD + NAKED + BARN = Movie Magic!

A Classic Blog from Way Back When!

Gone Hillbilly!

Went with handsome son and decorating consultant Leo on a freezing winter day to pick out a new bed at Ikea.
Getting divorced (not fun) redoing the house any damn way you please (more fun).
I brought 2 100" ropes with me and we strapped the queen size mattress to the roof of the '98 Passat Wagon as tight as possible (the frame fit snugly inside). Starting out the parking lot you could see the front of the mattress overhanging the windshield, so far, so good. The windy city was quite the blustery windy city that day and once we hit 60 on the highway we noticed that something seemed different. The mattress had disappeared! Fearing it had flown off into a busload of handicapped orphans (tonight on News Center 5, local artist kills 37 children with bedding!) we quickly opened the sunroof for a better view. The mattress was bent at a 90% angle right in the middle with the front half of it sticking straight up doing a wild herky jerky dance. We flung our hands right through the opening, grabbed the ropes, and held on for dear life. I screamed, "Leo, get on top of the car and we'll use your weight to hold the mattress down!" Leo looked at me as if he was 90% sure I was joking. The 10% was pretty funny.
Once we made it home, sore arms and all, I declared it comedy photo time. Leo jumped on the mattress and with upshots we tried to simulate the car going down the highway. Well, we didn't quite pull off the desired effect, it looked like a kid on a parked car in front of his house. Leo jumped up, "Get one of me standing!". "Don't jump on the roof!" I yelped, fearing a dent. Too late.
Didn't notice a problem until I tried to close the sunroof. No go. The sunroof serves no purpose for me. In summer it's good if I want my big bald head beet red. In winter... well I was about to find out. Yanking, kicking, hitting, pleading, the power of prayer... nothing worked. I drove the cardboard protected vehicle through the start of 6 inches of snowfall over to Pete's Auto to let the professionals take over. Within 10 yards the cardboard blew off. I explained the problem to them wearing a snow hat. Literally (get it? Who Ha!). The following day the Pete's crew met me with downcast eyes. Nothing could be done. They recommended the Toyota dealership. When the word "dealership" was mentioned, for some reason the sum of $800 appeared in my mind. I don't have a spare $800 (see "divorced" in sentence 2), but the word's of a wise friend sprung to mind. Duct it or F**k it. I made the decision to go full throttle white trash on it's ass. First a sheet of plexiglas was taped securely down, then a second layer of a folded over tarp was tightly ducted down over it. Damn it, if I was gonna go hillbilly, I was going to be from the ritzy side of the trailer park.
One month later and it's holding up great.
I'll make sure to keep you up to date with any other M.O'C car repair tips!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Terror in the Aisles!

Right after I pop my head in the door of the Rotofugi gallery opening to be annoyed at how great Ryan Heshka continues to paint, it's off to the Portage Theatre for "Terror in the Aisles 4"!
Check out the details!

Hanna Barbera Bye-bye!

Hanna Barbera doodles, we'll always remember you!
The End!

Heavenly Hanna Barbera!

Hanna Barbera doodles, we bid a fond farewell!

Hanna Barbera Hee-hee!!

Hanna Barbera doodles, we hardly knew ye!

Today's Free Tattoo Design!

Another tattoo design sponsored by "Terror in the Asiles 4"!
Join me friday at the Portage Theatre for hours 'n hours of zombies! Check out the details at
One thing they don't mention is that the Portage serves beer. Ahh- life's simple pleasures!

Haunted Hanna Barbera!!

Don't put your umbrellas down yet!