Archive for the 'MOVIES' Category

The Ballad of Butch Coolidge

You feel that sting, internet? That’s just pride fuckin’ with you.

Alrighty, here’s the rundown on my second batch of prints for the Spoke Art Quentin vs. Coen show.

This was the natural progression from the first round of prints I contributed on the theme of The Big Lebowski in the Ralph Steadman aesthetic.

When I started brainstorming concepts on the colossal theme of “Quentin vs. Coen” I naturally had a million ideas but I wanted to do something I figured no one else had thought of because you never know what everyone else is bringing to the table in these kinds of shows. Somehow the idea of Walter and The Dude driving around in a piece of shit car overlapped in my head with Hunter S. and Dr. Gonzo flying around in that convertible in Fear and Loathing. It’s apples and oranges in a lot of ways but the similarities are two guys in a car on an insane adventure, the protagonist is on a mission while his sidekick means well but mostly just complicates things.

I started playing around, doing my best Steadman impression and it worked out. But in the middle of the process before I landed on what became the pieces on Walter/The Dude, The Stranger and Donny, I was trying the same aesthetic on other movie elements under the Quentin vs. Coen umbrella to see what fit. The illustration of Marsellus Wallace in the basement with Butch was actually one of the first things I started working up but set it aside when the Lebowski stuff started coming together. I knew I liked the illo of Wallace but didn’t know where it was going.

So when I found out there would be a second wave of Q vs. C I figured I should finish what I started with Butch and Mr. Wallace. Thing was, the Lebowski prints were specifically, intentionally a Fear and Loathing/Steadman homage. That tongue in cheek angle wasn’t necessary for a three piece art print arch on the character of Butch Coolidge BUT I had already started it in the Steadman style so I figured I’d keep the illustration style rough, gritty and insanely sloppy but I din’t feel the need to go out of my way to do a tight impression of another style. I wanted it to fit  with the approach of the Lebowski set but still be it’s own thing.

But anyway, let’s talk about Bruce Willis. I really think the character of Butch Coolidge(Bruce Willis) in Pulp Fiction has the most underrated storyline in that movie. Butch is for lack of a better term the “hero” out of the entire ensemble. He overcomes great obstacles to earn his freedom(kills a guy in a boxing match, nearly gets raped and or murdered in order to go back and get that fucking watch! Kills Vince etc.) and makes a clean getaway in the end, no strings attached.

Now you could argue Jules makes a clean getaway, and he pretty much does but his story doesn’t make him a “hero”. Jules is more of a bad guy who took a while to realize he was a bad guy and decided to make a change once he figured it out…but back to Butch. The thing that makes him the hero of Pulp Fiction is the way you pull for him throughout the film, he’s a guy doing what he has to do to get out of a tight spot at all times, he has a love interest and a strong sense of honor and moral compass. There are more reasons to care about what happens to butch than any other character.

He has to go back and get his fathers watch. He has to go back and save Marsellus Wallace, a man who wants to kill him. That’s the fucking definition of a good guy if there ever was one, Butch’s problems are solved if he leaves Wallace to Zed and the boys.

With Wallace dead Butch would be completely free, but he turns around, does the right thing. This is the kind of character that Willis has perfected over his career, from Die Hard to the Last Boy Scout he always adds a level of believability to these action heroes. He doesn’t make it look easy, there’s an everyman quality there. He smokes, he’s hungover half the time, he’s not excited to be in a position where his life is constantly in danger, he gets the shit beat out of him and he looks and acts like a guy who’s pushing his mangled body through these adventures on pure adrenaline because he has no other choice where Schwarzenegger or Stallone come off as robotic or wooden in comparison.

Sorry I got all James Lipton on you at the end there, internet. Sorry. Anyway here’s the official skinny on the new prints: signed and numbered edition of 80 regular prints on Mohawk cream paper and  20 variants. 5 colors, signed and numbered by moi. Get them for now at Spoke Art, I’ll have my copies available later.

In other news I’m looking to have a major website upgrade soon(if I can manage not to fuck it up) and a top secret big time interview coming up…stay tuned!

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