Back in 2011, I did a poster-sized drawing of me and my best friend, Rob. I drew him as an alien (denoted by the little antennae perking out of the back of his head), but otherwise looking like Rob. I drew myself as a robot, as denoted by the metallic shell, and terminator eyes.
The rest of the drawing was filled with as many random elements as we could think of and I could draw in there. I think it would be pretty near impossible to describe literally everything that’s in this picture, but I’m going to try, anyway.
He’s wearing a custom-made bass that he actually had in real life, featuring a Gibson Firebird body with a fretless Fender-style neck. The guitar my robot is playing is my Mexican-made Fender Strat (which I’ve since modified with an active boost circuit and noiseless pick-ups so that the electronics are just like the Eric Clapton signature model). He’s playing out of a Mesa 4x 10 and a 1 x 15, through an Ampeg amp, and I’m playing through a Marshall 4 x 12 half stack (which I’ve since sold and now just use my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe). The multi-effects processor is the same cheap Korg I’ve played through for years. Off to the side on the floor is the composition book I used to write all my song lyrics in. On the ground next to Rob is a green binder that he used to keep all the bass tabs I would write for him in.
He was insistent on having a teddy bear crying and holding a rose somewhere in the picture, as well as a creepy hand holding a cell phone reaching out of a fire, so I included those. He was also insistent upon a poster for a Carpenters concert, and, since Karen Carpenter has long since passed on, I drew her as a skeleton (I PROMISE it was not as a reference to her anorexia!).
Behind me is a JH similar to the one I use sometimes in my art for my initials, and behind him is a TGM, short for The Great Menchaca.
Other elements on the walls behind us include references to stories we liked, all dealing with either the end of the world, or revolution. There’s a, “Who Watches The Watchmen?” with the letters semi-hidden, just like in the Watchmen comics. There’s a sign from V For Vendetta, reading, “Strength Through Unity, Unity Through Faith,” with a red V in a circle tagged over it. Scrawled across the bottom is, “Who Is John Galt?” from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. I tried to put these elements into a circle, which, combined with the corner created by the brick wall, was supposed to hint at the subtext of a peace sign. Add to that the iconography of the moon being blood red, and Death, one of the horseman of the Apocalypse, riding in from the heavens, plus the fact that Los Angeles is burning down in the background, and it’s all supposed to come together to say something along the lines of, “There will only be peace at the end of the world.”
Apart from the hidden message and the little personal inside nods to actual items owned by my friend and I, the other thing that I feel made this piece really work was the coloring. By contrast, here is the black and white, pen and ink version, before color.
Anyway, my wife hates it, so I don’t have it hanging up anywhere, but I love it.