Saturday, September 28, 2013

Birthday Boy!

Today is the Birthday of "The World's Best Graphic Designer
(among many other attributes), 
Joseph Allen Black!
Joe put together the best reviewed book of the year (clue- it has my name it the title), DJ's throughout Chicago as 
Joe Black's Midnight Spookshow, is roommate to a beauitful black cat and always looks fashionable no matter what the hour he stumbles out of his penthouse apartment to get a cup of coffee.
So here are a selection of hand-picked cards for us to post on his Facebook wall today!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Flea Market Finds!

Woke up at 5am Sunday morning with a refreshing 2 hours sleep under my belt after the wedding reception, with the equally groggy Amy Payne, Tom Dechristofaro and Mark Braun.
First find- if you ever want to recreate the
 men's restroom at Sidekicks-
here's a giant step. After I snapped the pic, I was told it was just a dollar. But I shan't be greedy, and left it for you!
Hello Nurse!

Oh bright hobo nose, please light up to help me find my bourbon!

Why is this album valuable?
Because it's a rare find from the estate of The Jeffersons.

Jesus statue #138 is now at his new home. At 5 feet tall, he's the largest (so far) at the manor, and as soon as I fix his broken fingers he'll be as good as new!

I can't figure out if this is supposed to be hillbilly cute, hillbilly sexy, or just hillbilly.

After pleasing the ladies ("Number 27! Is there a 27?! OK, number 28!") I also like a smoke. But only if I'm doing it in the most awkward position that'll always result in burning all my fingers.

If you know anything about me, you know I'm a man of danger and action who lives life in the fast lane, windows down, music blaring, driving without brakes while doing jujitsu.
So this book was a must have!

Love Nest!

My bedroom was a bachelors paradise (at least to my way of thinking). Leopard sheets, nude velvet paintings, coin operated 1000 Finger bed massager, condom vending machine, fully stocked tiki bar, pimp mugs and more.
Now, being happily wed, that was retired, only to evolve into a cozy marriage love nest. Alyson was inspired by the bedroom of Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay, and we went to work...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Did You Know…?

On the back of the envelope containing a "congratulations" My Pretty Ponycard card from my lovely niece Alice, was this handy list of Mitch attributes.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'll just wait for AAA instead.

Marked for Life.

Since I rarely look in the mirror, (which is odd, considering how much I talk about myself) this has become a frequent occurance.
The Mrs. went off to work in the am (someone has to pay the bills) and I spent a day doing chores, including Aldi, Home Depot and the Post Office.
They all might have noticed that I am loved (and don't wash my face).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

You'll Believe A Man Can Fly (aka- the things I do on the weekend)!

To watch the Man of Steel in his full length motion picture-

Balloon Animals will lift you right to Heaven!

My new favorite author is Ralph Dewey, who has AT LEAST a dozen books about balloon making ...all delivered with a gospel message.
I can't even guess how that "Here is your poodle!" is going to figure into the Bible, but the truth be told, I don't know because I'm just assumming he's my favorite. I have yet to purchase anything yet.
For those too tired to 
do all that reading, get the one hour dvd and convert all your friends heavenward (lots of balloons) before they end up in hell (no balloons)!
Tell him I sent you, 'cause I'm guessing the Amazon seller "thisistheclown" is Mr. Dewey himself, because he also has another dozen books about performing as a clown …with a gospel message, natch!

fyi- Warning! These ways of playing with balloons will lead you right in the other direction!

Friday, September 13, 2013

"Around Town" a Blast from the Past!

While straightening up, I stumbled over a stack of clippings from my 7(?) year run doing doodles for Rick Kogan's "Around Town" Chicago Tribune column that ran every Sunday in the Arts section.
It was alot of fun to do and Rick was kind eno
ugh to be happy with anything I came up with.
What follows are a smattering from the 100's and hundreds to choose from!
I saw Russ Meyer at the old McClurg Court theatre in downtown Chicago when he had a 3+ hour show where he pretty much screened his favorite 20 minute segment from each of his films and then did a Q&A with Roger Ebert. He was working on his "Breast of…" autobiography at the time and I asked him if he needed a cover painting. He said no thanks.
It never hurts to try!

I was paid $50 a piece to start, but by year 7 my services had become so invaluable to the Trib, that my salary had rocketed to $50 an illo.

Here's one in tribute to Amy Payne and the opening of her new store!

Here's one about Chicago's "The Alley," your place for all "shocking" fashions.
Funny story- around this time, the owner of The Alley asked me to design a bunch of t-shirts that he would sell at his shops. No money up front, but I'd get a percentage. When I saw them printed, my eyes bugged out, they were the most blurry off register blobby mess ever. Instead of just telling him this, and seeing if the problem could be corrected, I decided to sue for $500 a design. I do not know why I made this assbackwads decision, but I remember that when practicing my speech to the judge, it seemed to make sense. When I actually delivered that speech, the judge responded, "I'm guessing you make a better artist than a lawyer."
So, a 20+ year late apology goes out to the Alley, from a wiser Mitch O'Connell!

It turns out there are other artists in Chicago, and they seem to have figured out how to be immensely popular, exhibited in museums and sell their art for a Biz-zillion dollars each. I keep asking Mr. Tony Fitzpatrick how this is done, but he refuses to tell me!
Actually he was nice enough to trade me a fancy framed color etching for this doodle, which I still have hanging in the living room.

The Good 'Ol Days, when movies only cost 25 cents to watch!To see my photo reference (and the following 5 blogs after this one)-
What Rick is thinking of.

Personally, Rick had an Astaire fashion timelessness, and as you can see, so did I. My long flowing mullet, Joan Crawford fullback padded shoulders set off with a bolo tie, are as understatedly tasteful now as they were back then!

I vaguely remember standing at the Tribune offices dropping off a job just as AD Tom Heinz got off the phone with an artist that had turned down doing the illustrations for this new column. Since I was there, Tom said he was looking for a "New Yorker kinda loose sketchy feel" for these illustrations. Could I handle that? I responded "Of Course!" I then went on to draw 'em in the same stiff and straight way I always drew.
Oh Mitch, you lovable scamp!

Any day you get to draw Tammy Fay Bakker is a good day.

This was an article about gallery openings, and even though Rick didn't mention a group show I was in, I snuck in myself (in suit) and other artists in the show including Heather MacAdams, George Hansen (pictured) and Shane Swank and Tony Fitzpatrick were in it too (not pictured).
Of course I made sure that Gig's "Potato Chip" aka "Lil Puddles" big eyed dog has an appearance in at least 1 out of 3 of my illustrations.

The wordsmith himself.
On the wall behind Rick is a Post-It with "Call Mitch" scrawled. The art was due at 5pm Thursday, so at around 2pm those days, repeated calls were put in for just a hint of what it was I was supposed to draw. Pretty please?!
Now Rick is even more of a Chicago institution with dozens of radio shows, television appearances, live events and who knows what else.
Would it kill him to mention my book at some point?