Wednesday, June 10, 2009
TIERRA DE LOS PERDIDO
COMING SOON TO A T-SHIRT NEAR (or on) YOU!
Sid and Marty Krofft's brilliant shoestring-budget kids adventure show LAND OF THE LOST is a fondly-remembered part of my childhood. I clearly recall enthusiastically waking up early on Saturday mornings (back when this was a vital pop-culture ritual and the Saturdayscape was ripe with glorious cartoon and live-action offerings) to get my weekly dose of ULTRAMAN, HERCULOIDS, LAND OF THE LOST and other past gems. LOTL made a particular impression on my malleable, forming brain due not only to the all-important ingredient of dinosaurs, but also to the fact that the reptilian Sleestaks were downright eerie despite their guy-in-a-suit appearance. That distinctive hissing sound of theirs accompanied by their giant black-eyed, clawed and scaly appearance and weird musical cues overcame the clear budgetary limitations of the show to convince me that I did not want to run across one of these things in the real world. Sid and Marty Krofft were responsible for a fair portion of my childhood entertainment-related memories, and I've got several pieces inspired by their wonderfully bizarre creations percolating in my sketchbooks and the back of my mind.
I originally wanted to have this piece ready in time for the arrival of the big-screen adaptation of LAND OF THE LOST (which I have yet to see), but my work schedule prevented that from happening, so this is several days late. One of the things about the Sleestaks that appealed to me was that they were much more than simple beasties devised to threaten Marshall, Will and Holly -- they had their own society, technology and religion. I wanted to capture a bit of that essence in combining some LOTL imagery in a style reminiscent of Catholic iconography. So, what came out the other end was an illustration inspired by the multitude of Virgin Mary and Christ child images wherein the Virgin Mary becomes the Sleestak Enik and ape-boy Cha-Ka sits in for the Christ child. The original roughs featured several other icons from the show (such as a Sleestak skull from the Library of Skulls, and one of the pylons), but it made the image seem too busy and crowded for an effective t-shirt design. I may go back and rework the piece as a full-color illustration, but I quite like how it turned out in the end. Hopefully, the movie doesn't suck.
If all goes as planned, this will be my next t-shirt offering from TeeFury.
The Inking process
The furry Cha-ka and the infamous Sleestaks in all their Saturday morning glory!
Some Catholic iconography reference