Monday, November 10, 2014

Tura Satana! Decades of Drawing the Fastest Pussycat!

Doing the art for the newest Tura Satana gallery event,
"Tura! Tura! Tura! 3," got me thinking about how
many times I've had the pleasure of  attempting to illustrate this iconic superstar.
The stunning kickasstastastic Queen Bee of "Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!," "Astro Zombie," and Burlesque legend has frequently been the subject of my doodles for 25 (!) years.
Her distinctive beauty, with raven hair, sharp arched eyebrows, eat you alive smile and more curves than a barrel of snakes have riveted fans forever.
My show of appreciation reached a zenith in "Tura! Tura! Tura!,"
the first Tura art tribute put on in Chicago in 2008
when a slew of similarly inspired artists were privileged to have Tura as their muse
(read all about it in the "World's Best Artist" book-
The best part? Tura herself came to Chicago for the show!
We were half ready for her movie persona reputation of chewing up

and spitting out whoever crossed her path,
but all that poured out of her in real life was limitless sweetness.
One reason I've enjoyed drawing Tura so much is that I could never get her quite right.
That artistic elusiveness keeps me coming back again and again to give it another shot!
Here are a bunch of those attempts (mostly in chronological order), some awful, most mediocre, and a couple good ones.
I'm not telling which are which! :-)
Getting a hug from Tura at the 2007 Miss Exotic World Vegas show!
The first time drawing Tura was in 1988 (called Tara in the illo),
when my pal Brian Thomas and myself reasoned that we
could somehow get away
with doing a Faster Pussycat comic book if
we just changed the title to "Sex Kitten A Go-Go!"
Ah, naive youth!

Tura, or in this case "Satin," made a 1989 appearance
as Speed's judo chopping racing rival.
You'll have to read the comic to see if she killed him or not!

This, and the next few drawings,
were done for the late great Tease Magazine
to accompany a Tura interview.

This was a cover for DC Comic's "Big Book of Wild Women,"
one of a series of "Big Book of…" publications, which,
in this case of course, included Tura.
Never heard of it?
Probably because it was never published.
I just asked DC to see if they can find the original art again
(been trying to have the painting returned for about a dozen years)
but I do have a fuzzy snapshot to prove it's existence!
I would have done the interior story too, but some annoying "artist"
put dibs on the assignment before I could raise my hand!

A Tura tattoo design, and a couple examples
of it (and other illos) being turned into a real life tattoo!
fyi- If you have one, email a pic off to me asap (
On a side note, I had forgotten to add the cheeky
beauty spot before showing it to Tura.
She pointed her finger at the empty space and reprimanded
(in a very nice way), "NEVER forget the beauty mark!"

Tura called asking if I could whip up a t-shirt design that she could
offer at a motorcycle get-together she was going to be the celebrity guest at.
I, of course, said yes.

A very fun CD cover for the band "Horror of '59,"
who wanted me to draw everything I wanted to draw anyhow.
I got a little to artistic and originally had a limited color palette,
which didn't include blue.
Tura informed me that her hair was NOT brown.
Blue was added.

You can get your very own copy at-

The unused first try for the "Tura! Tura! Tura! gallery show flyer
(the greatest gallery show of all time btw).
If you'd like to see pics from the whole week of having Tura in Chicago,
and to prove my "greatest" point,
just check out these jam-packed Facebook photo albums!

There wasn't just a gallery show, we also had a
"Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!"
screening with Tura at the beautiful Music Box theatre!
In 2007 a fundraiser titled "Breast Defense"
wrapped the sexiest burlesque stars in gauze and made a mold of their chests.
Step two was to have an artist take it one step further
by turning the white plaster into a colorful
 piece of art to be auctioned off raising money to fight breast cancer.
Can you guess whose bust I choose to paint?
Tura liked the paint job, but wasn't happy with the (to her)
unflattering shape due to a very loose wrap job.

Hopefully soon to be released as actual decks,
with my share of the $ going to charity (as  per Tura's wishes), at-'Connell-Customs
Siouxzan Perry, Tura's manager and pal,
decided to continue the Tura! Tura! Tura!
fun by having a second show in California.
I did one of my favorite things, reusing my art over and over again,
to slap together a show flyer.
As you can see with the blog lead off poster for
"Tura! Tura! Tura! 3," I made a little more effort on the third try.
Plus it never hurts to have designer Joe Black
make it look 1000% better than I could ever do on my own!

When coming up with a publicity poster for my new book,
"Mitch O'Connell, the World's Best Artist by Mitch O'Connell,"
I thought I'd illustrate the World's sexiest women enjoying my masterwork.
That's how my mind works.

Have I ever mentioned that you should get yourself a copy?

And, finally (unless I find more Tura art,
and I'm pretty sure there are still a couple hiding in the files)
Siouxzan asked me to come up
with the logo for  her production company.
That whole story was given a blog of it's own!

1 comment:

  1. Mitch: Mom loved your work. My only negative comment is liquor did not make her tongue hang out. It made her amorous ... very AMOROUS! I like the puppy picture on the wall.