Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Switchblades at Dawn

The Typing Monkey has never watched more than a few seconds of the animated Fox sitcom Bob's Burgers. We don't know why, it just never happened. Maybe someday.

Neither have we seen anything beyond a teaser clip for the Nickelodeon cartoon Sanjay and Craig.

Why are we giving an inventory of animated shows we've never seen? Because artist Jay Howell has a hand in both of those shows and we've just discovered his art blog.

One of the most creative and sly things Howell shares via his site, are the "book paintings" in which he paints a sort of illustration on the title page of a paperback. Most of the books are Harlequin romance novels:

When Howell interprets the title literally, as in the example above, it changes what we can assume the book is actually about. Try hard enough, and you can probably imagine what the real book cover looked like. You're probably not far off if you've seen a romance novel or two.

Howell makes them funny, absurd and creepy-cute. His site is full of these, and he even sells them. (We didn't check to see how much he charges.) But just getting to see them online makes his blog worth a look.

Yes, it's the sun covered in naked people. Somehow, Howell has tapped into the 9-year-old boy part of his brain that giggled when Huck Finn shouted "hump yourself" at Jim as the teacher read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn out loud in class.

The Naked Sun joke is so simple and Howell's depiction so elegant and profane that the viewer isn't so much angry that we didn't do it first, but rather overjoyed that somebody made this happen.

Not that Howell's art is all bewbs and knife fights. Go see  for yourself what happened when he took his brushes and pens to the title page of a paperback called Cast a Tender Shadow.

[Yet another enthusiastic nod to Monster Brains for turning us on to Howell's work.]