See evil, hear evil, speak evil.

FEATURE: UGLY KID JOE ART – I Am The Wolf Edition

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Hear ye! Hear ye! It’s been nigh on a year since I Am The Wolf updated itself with all things Ugly Kid Joe, and it’s not because they haven’t been busy. 2013 is proving to be just as illustrious and fruitful as 2012 with a few dates in the USA, a short jaunt of shows and festivals in Europe just completed, and of course the announcement of a European tour with SKID ROW in the autumn! The cylinders are firing. Whit & co are still demolishing. More music is to come.

Meanwhile, during the last year, I Am The Wolf got to working on some new concept art for Ugly Kid Joe. They didn’t ask for it, but they’re certainly gonna get it.

I had been thinking for a while about a new parody artwork after seeing (and purchasing) their very top notch homage to Motörhead t-shirt, and it hit me…

What about an Iron Maiden Number Of The Beast parody? Sure, UKJ aren’t hugely influenced by them. But as a parody, it would be a classic. Stormtroopers Of Death had done it with their 1999 album Bigger Than The Devil, but why do I give a monkey’s about that. My version would blow that out of the cosmos, and not to mention that my version was gonna lend itself perfectly to Ugly Kid Joe: Wouldn’t it be better knowing that the Ugly Kid Devil from Stairway To Hell was actually being manipulated by the original Ugly Kid all along? The answer is of course, yes. And what better opportunity is there to be able to bring back the original mascot for the Joe’s. ‘Nuff said.

THE PROCESS:

The Ugly Kid Joe mascot was sketched freehand by looking at all the art available from original artist Moish Brenman. I decided not to trace as I hoped to get minor flaws and changes which would fit directly with the overall look.
UKJ geeks: You’ll spot the lighter from the As Ugly As They Wanna Be inlay, and his boots are taken from the censored art from America’s Least Wanted.

Drawing a whole new Devil sketch which was a little harder to do since he’s so dark in his original Goddamn Devil guise by artist Marc Goldstein, so I went for inspiration using the latest art from Stairway To Hell and fellow Brit artist Sean Tidyink. I wanted to give this Devil a more obvious difference from that however, and decided to angle his head around more to reveal his other eye.

Sketches 2012

*** Remember, all artwork on this page is clickable if you want to poke your goggles at a bigger version. ***

I tried to create a vector image from this, but wasn’t happy with my shonky effort. So what better person to go to for help than my long term associate and good friend John Blackshaw former art editor of the UK’s Total Guitar Magazine.
John has done some great art since joining the magazine back in 2004 and also does a lot of work freelance. (Check his site out on my links menu.)

Below you can see the two different vector arts. Mine is on the left, with John’s smoother and superior version on the right! You’ll also note that at this point the devil’s head changed back to its look on the Stairway To Hell EP art.

UKJ Vector Art

 

The computer magic was left in John’s capable hands, where he got down to the business of colouring it and making it look like something that could be used by Ugly Kid Joe themselves. Here is some of John’s work and ideas in progress:

UKJ Work In Progress 2012

 

And John’s final version before he put it back in my hands for final touches and extra messing around with colour variants:

UKJ John's Final!

 

Back into Inkscape at my end and down to the final touches and adding different fonts for the Ugly Kid Joe logo. I also decided that if the Devil was going to look like the Stairway To Hell version, then his colours should probably follow suit too. The hard part here was recreating the stellar job Sean Tidyink had done, and getting the right gradients and colours in for this.

Two variants below are ones I’m quite happy with, retaining a lot of John’s original colouring as well as the devil Star:

UKJ Back In Red?

 

Bringing it back to a classic black background I had to lose the devil’s star. But I’m happy with how this version nicely bridges the Ugly Kid Joe history gap between 1991 and 2012.

UKJ Top Notch 2012

 

And my work here wasn’t done unless I’d made it look like it was 1992 again:

UKJ Final Art 2012

This was a labour of love during 2012 and I’m very glad to have seen it through to completion. I even exchanged a few emails with guitarist Klaus Eichstadt who thought it was ‘Rad!’, so it’s good to know that it sort of has UKJ’s blessing. Oh yeah, and for a grand finale, where would you be without seeing it put into context of it’s original inspiration. This was Klaus’ favourite. Lo and behold, I give you the Iron Maiden parody!

UKJ Maiden Parody

 

Many thanks to John Blackshaw for his hard work, and of course huge thanks to my original inspiration Moish Brenman. I’m merely a rip-off merchant! Thanks also to Sean Tidyink for the colour inspiration, and the mysteriously unknown artist that goes by the name Marc Goldstein.

See you during 2013! Ugly Kid Joe rule, and so do you lot for coming here and checking my shit out.