Category Archives: Kollection

An underlit Alien egg (Marines below?), being protected by the big ol' MOTHER ALIEN.

Kollection Mann: Projekt Portfolio from a Past Perfect

A long time ago, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, Mann had dreams of becoming a book cover illustrator and/or comic book cover artist.

In retrospect, the latter seems much more viable, as breaking into book cover work practically required you to live in New York, and being that Mann was a born-and-bred California guy (SoCal, to be exact), the idea of A) East Coast winters, B) being so far from home, friends and family (NYC being a nice place to visit, but...), and C) starving so far from home was always a non-starter. 

Don't even get him started on how one of the most amazing all around artists and book cover illustrators ever—one of the young Mann's heroes—Frank Kelly Freas ("The Dean of Science Fiction Artists"), ended up after five decades in the field.  

Eventually, there was D), as well. Mann learned that unless one was a big name, doing book covers was not a lucrative occupation—to say the least. It was one thing to be a "starving artist" because you had no work. It was another when work simply didn't pay enough to be anything other than a form of indentured servitude!

TERMINATOR vs. ALIEN

The late '80s, early '90s saw lots of crossover comics. Alien fighting Terminator seemed a natural to Mann. Dark Horse Comics loved it, then didn't. 

ALIEN: MOTHER & CHILD

A "sentimental" piece showing how mama Alien looks after one of her "babies". The light below is that of space marines debating whether to fire or not...

In truth, Mann did have some forays into doing illustration for games and comics in the early '90s, a period of which, according to the artist, the less is said, the better.

Some years later, still toying with breaking into illustration somehow, he considered "funny books" (comics) once again. Mann had both the connections (or so he thought) and the geographical desirability (or so he thought) to have a chance. 

Seeing this burgeoning industry as his artistic salvation, he made a big push to break into the field in '98. He did a batch of pieces that showed his broad capabilities across multiple genres, and in particular, his affinity for dark tales of science fiction and horror, both very popular at the time (as, indeed, they still are today). 

San Diego Comic Con, after all, was only a few hours south of the City of Angels, which Mann called home. Once upon a time, he had attended Comic Con every year. And there he went, sizable portfolio in hand (only some of the works he brought along are shown here) in an effort to attract the attention of industry pros.

Being on the "Left Coast" wasn't going to be as much of an issue in comics as it was in books. He knew that many comic industry types lived and worked in the West (Dark Horse Comics was located in Seattle, for instance). He could even call a few of them by first name, having worked for an LA/Hollywood comics operation that had, sadly, folded prematurely some years earlier (for which Mann did some good work, now lost to history).

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT FIGHTS

Mann loved the goth-modern look of Tim Burton's BATMAN and that fantastical City of Gotham. It informed and inspired this piece, as our hero dispenses justice in an electrical storm...

PREDATOR: WWII

Mann had an idea for a Predator WWII saga. Pred goes a-huntin' in Stalingrad, ship gets blown up, both sides (Nazis and Reds) after him, he makes some new friends...

In fact, it was about this time (the early to mid '90s) that the big move of adapting comic books into films began in earnest. Working in Tinsel Town during this period, Mann was more than a witness to it; he was a participant—as a graphic designer/art director in the entertainment advertising industry.

The response to his work at ComicCon was stunningly positive. He ran out of 1000 business cards by day 2. Numerous portfolio pieces were passed out. The publisher of Dark Horse Comics—the company Mann REALLY wanted to work for—told him that some of his pieces were "ready made covers," and practically assured the artist steady work. 

Which did not explain how and why, several weeks after ComicCon, when Mann contacted said publisher as instructed, he was treated very rudely and given the verbal "heave ho."

Today, all these years later, the artist says it doesn't hurt, but that kind of 180º about-face bitch-slap has gotta smart still, regardless.

Then, slithering in the pits and in the depths of post-ComicCon despair, Tinsel Town came calling once again, with it's many blandishments (filthy lucre being chief among them, not to mention wine, women and song*), and the rest, so they say, is history... 

Q.V.: Samples of Mann's entertainment advertising work

It was not lost on Mann as the years went by that the films he was doing design (and later video and web) work on—like X-MEN, HELLBOY, HARRY POTTER, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, MEN IN BLACK—were the very kind of projects he'd hoped to work on at the front end, not at the back!


NOTE: In case it's not clear, the title of the post is tongue-in-cheek; Mann's "illustrious" past career was anything but "perfect." 


*Mann is still waiting to collect on the "wine, women and song" part; he has it on good authority that it will all arrive any day now... 

LOBO GOES LOCO

At one time Mann worked with one of the co-creators of the archetypal comic bad boy, LOBO. There was talk of doing many covers. Of course it fell through... 

TORG: THE CYBERPAPACY

Mann was part of an avid RPG group which played, among other things, TORG. He was particularly enamored of the Cyberpapacy realm...

Kollection Trump: Art 4 the #ManBaby We Love to Hate

I've hated Donald J. Trump for years, and Kollection Trump should prove it (for anyone who has a doubt).

I disliked him and thought he was a conman and a crook from long before that fateful day he descended from the gold plated on-high of Trump Tower, to the roar (OK, mildly excited cheers) of a paid crowd in order to tell us Mexicans are rapists and criminals, we're going to have a 2000 mile long Great Wall to keep them out (that they're going to pay for) and only he—the Great Donald—could save us from a bleak future, and Make America Great Again. 

But it wasn't until he was actually running for president that I grew to truly loathe him, and with every passing day, those antipathic feelings only grew. And even now, as the End is Near, with every insane, incendiary, insulting tweet and abject lie, these feelings only grow all the more. 

Sorry, Don. 

Kollection Trump: Donald Trump Covid-19 Legacy–The MAGA Files

A long time ago... like four years ago (gah!)... I thought I could and should do some public interest graphics on the life and career of the  "stable genius"—none other than our brand spanking* new POTUS, Donald J. Trump. I called it the "Trump Files"—or T Files for short.

I began the project and it quickly got out of hand. I mean, way, way, way out of hand. What I thought would be half a dozen or so infographics quickly metastasized into dozens, and then continued to grow in scope and complexity.

With every rock I turned over, I found more scandalous material that I felt should be added to the series for context. Between the research and writing alone, what I had thought would be a day or so project started to stretch into days... 

And rapidly became exhausting. It was just too much. Then, as if often the case, some paying projects came along and that was pretty much was the end of that. 

Sigh.

What I should have done is follow my own advice, the very thing I used to tell my staffers when a big project seemed overwhelming; break it down into smaller chunks. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. But, I confess, sometimes you get so close to something you can't see out of the hole you've dug for yourself. Anyway...

Cut to 2020, nearly 2021.

*With a rolled up magazine applied across vast, flabby white butt cheeks, of course.

The Worst President in Ever is about to exit the main stage of history, and I find myself long past overtaken by time and events. Even if I had the time now (I don't) to revive that long abandoned T Files project...

Well, the words "Who cares?" come to mind! 

But even as Trump goes (carping and whining, of course), he is guaranteed to remain front and center in our collective consciousness and our reality because A) he is, by nature, one of those "gifts" that keep on giving, B) he is bound to be in the news for some time to come because, most experts believe, he has a nearly endless array of legal entanglements awaiting him, and C) the Covid-19 pandemic will still be maiming and killing us long after he's gone. And, to my mind, he's personally responsible for about 80% of it. 

No, Trump didn't create the Coronavirus problem—it was going to plague (pun intended) any President, regardless of name or party affiliation—but thru his willful ignorance, utter incompetence,  sociopathic maliciousness and syphilitic madness, he has made it 1000% worse than it had to be. 

I am and have been freakin' outraged by Trump's baleful actions, carelessness, laziness and reckless prevarications. I should have done something long since. But I think it's really important to remind each and every one of us what he hath wrought. 

Hence, the MAGA Files are born. My plan, such as it is, is to update the graphic every few days, so that those paying attention can follow the "progress" of this horrifying disease which, I hope and pray, will forever and henceforth be known as Trump's Disease. 

A more fitting tribute to his memory I could not have conjured up myself. 

Kollection Trump: The T-Shirts & Merch

Back in 2015, I thought it was a sure bet that I'd make a fortune with my caustic and brutally humorous anti Trump t-shirts and such. I mean, for every idiot who loves #MangoMussolini, there's two who hate him.

Unfortunately, what I learned the hard way is that while people love to buy tees to tell the world who they are and what they love, they aren't so keen to own or wear duds that are the opposite. 

I also think that, in the extremely bifurcated polity of modern day Amerika, it takes real guts to wear anti Trump gear, because there's a genuine and real fear that some lunatic Trumper will go off at sight of anything calling into question the infallible greatness of The Donald. 

In any event, I did sell a fair amount of shirts, but hardly enough to write home about—or retire on. I also made some vids along the way to promote said shirts. The above is the latest and what is assuredly the last.

It's a pretty cool vid, though. You should watch it.

I supposed I could be wrong, but I doubt that the limited demand for anti Trump gear is going to increase as he fades into (what we hope) will be relative obscurity. 

Some of the shirts shown were nuked by Teepublic almost as fast as they went up. You can learn more about that saga over here.

Kollection Trump: The "Lil Donald Trump" Illustrations

The above digital illustration/graphic and the below Donald Trump "cartoons" were created for my good friend K.S. Knight, for his article which he published first on Medium and then on his own site. 

Each cartoon addresses a Trumpian myth. We felt this was necessary, because even at the point the article was written, approx. 2 years into the disastrous, calamitous, felonious President Donald J. Trump 24/7 shit show, there were people who continued to believe he is Smart, Slick, a Genius, Modest and a Winner—despite the overwhelming and steadily mounting evidence to the contrary.  

Donald Trump – Smart

Donald Trump – Slick

Donald Trump – Genius

Donald Trump – Modest

Donald Trump – Winner

Klik on the above for bigger images.

Kollection Trump: Enter the Trumpenfuhrer

Another piece created for K.S. Knight, author of TRUMP IN HELL.

Many folks live under the assumption that "it can't happen here." They are very often the same people who don't know that Adolf Hitler, while initially made famous by a failed coup (the Beer Hall Putsch), came to power by way of the vote. Yes, he was elected into high office, and from there, seized total power and destroyed the nascent democracy the Germans built after WWI. 

On a related note—and this is something everybody should understand and take to heart—everything the Nazis did was legal. Everything. Yes, it was all legal. Under Nazi law, that is. And there is the rub. 

Hitler to Trump transformation. Digital retouching (i.e. "Photoshop" wizardry), animated. Trump would like nothing more than to become a modern day Fuhrer. 

The Hitler-Trump comparisons are apt, for a wide variety of reasons. The "rule of law" is only as good as the men administering it.

Which brings us back around to Trump, of course. The man who has said on more than one occasion that he plans to be President For Life, just like his buddy Vlad.

He has demonstrated, through repeated demonstrations of his ignorance, indifference and impulsiveness, that he would make a particularly erratic and terrifying dictator. 

Donald Trump is the man who puts the dick (albeit a tiny one) in dictator. 

Kollection Trump: Art for K.S. Knight

This section contains various pieces of cover/header art for K.S. Knight's articles, as well as promos for his first Amazon book, called QANON & TRUMP EXPOSED (QTE).

Like so much of Knight's work, QTE was way ahead of it's time, and so therefore languishes on Amazon, ignored and only reviewed by a few idiot MAGAts and Qult members. But Knight showed that Qanon was an incredibly stupid scam even back in 2017, long before the mainstream (or even alternative) media got interested. 

One of the great Q-related ironies here is that Donnybrook clearly has no idea who or what Q is. It's obvious if you've watched his behavior once Qanon signs began showing up at TrumpWorld rallies.

He's even been asked a few times about Qanon by reporters, and from the slightly befuddled look on his face to the awkward ad-libbing he does to attempt to cover up his ignorance (which in itself proves he really is clueless on the subject, since he doesn't even have a good "cover story" at the ready), there's no doubt he has no idea about his supposed role as Our Savior From the Deep State. 

The ManBaby, American Hero

Yeah, that's right. Our resident high-functioning White House moron is actually, in the deeply deluded eyes of Qanon adherents, a nonpareil genius playing 9th dimensional chess against the evil baby-raping cannibal vampire cabal secretly running the USA. 


Oh yeah. 


You know, that exclusive blood-soaked flesh-ripping club which includes among it's many members not just each and every liberal and Democrat across the land (presumably, the rank and file too), but such famous figures as Tom Hanks and his wife, the entire Obama family, Oprah Winfrey, and presumably, Jill and Joe Biden as well.


This deranged conspiracy theory/belief says far more about Trump's followers than it does about The Donald. 


What I'm not clear how many of the Biden grandkids are either A) lucky enough to have survived the ravenous depredations of their elders, or B) are being groomed as the next generation of vampires. 


As they say on the interwebs: SMFH

Kollection Trump: The Donald vs. The Dyke Feud

It seems like a gazillion years ago, but there was a time when Donald F'n Trump was just an ignorant, self-promoting, obnoxious, evil shit who was mainly a danger to himself. 

No more. 

Sigh.

Simpler times. 

Though I was making the transition from mainstream marketing to entertainment advertising at the time, I rarely paid any attention to pop culture and never watched THE APPRENTICE (other than bits and pieces of it here and there).

However, for some reason I knew about Donnybrook.

Perhaps this was due to his infamous and epic business failures.

What Dad and I Thought

Following Donald's fabled Atlantic City fiascos, I think word even reached West Coast business banking circles, within which my father was a dues-paying member, that Donald J. Trump was a flake and and a fool and a very, very bad risk indeed. Basically, to hear my father tell it, Trump got blackballed by Amerika's banking institutions.

Dad didn't need his favorite after dinner "light reading"—The Wall Street Journal, don't ya know—to tell him Trump was a nincompoop. Business and the economy was one of the few topics my father and I could have discussions about, so The Donald had been a subject of conversation on several occasions.

We both came to feel that Trump was not just a terrible businessman (hardly a worse sin being imaginable to Dad) but a revolting human being as well. To our mutual horror but total lack of surprise, we watched him become a household name and even something of a star.  

The Bitch-fest Begins

And then, somewhere along the way (1993), the Trumpster got into what turned out to be a long-running spat with Rosie O'Donnell. 

It literally went on for years, and even continues to this day. Check out the complete timeline of "Donald vs. The Dyke" hate for all the gory details.  

Because the Trump/O'Donnell spat became such a high-profile, public "thing" it actually penetrated into my reality enough that I took notice. I dunno why, exactly. Probably because, like OJ or the Menendez Brothers, it was a big story in general, but due to local interest, an even bigger one in the L.A. media market. I remember that back in the day, everybody was talking about it. 

That it was a big, steaming, stinking hot mess there was no doubt. But as they say in the news biz, "If it bleeds, it leads." And while there was no actual bloodshed in the Trump vs. O'Donnell fracas (except maybe on the set of The View), it had plenty of invective and barbs, and for the TV crowd, that was good enough. 

The spat really flared up again in 2006 and 2007, which is why my  piece got done. It started off as a lark and ended up as one of the first satirical cultural-reference pieces I ever did. God knows more of what would end up being called Kollection Trump soon followed. I still think it's pretty cool. You?

Anyway, this last entry in Kollection Trump was the first thing I ever did where The Donald had any presence whatsoever in my work. It was made it onto a limited run of t shirts which, if any still exist all these decades later, are collectors items, for sure. 

If my anti Trump street cred needed to be established, I'm pretty sure this piece from long ago does it.