Thursday, August 9, 2007

Album Covers by Comic Book Artists, Part 2

To call Charles Burns a comic book artist wouldn't really be right. He did get his start in the world of Fanzines and Underground Comics, but I suspect that comics haven't been his bread and butter for quite some time. As far as clientele outside the industry, he has been known to do illustration for the likes of Coca-Cola and Altoids.

His early comic book stories tended to feature awkward freaks as protagonists. Big Baby, a young boy, uncovered the seamy underbelly of the American Suburbs. El Borbah was a mexican wrestler/detective. Dog Boy was just that: a boy that thought he was a dog (this is probably his most well known character, as he appeared in live action on MTV's short-lived Liquid Television animation show in the early 90's). Black Hole, a 12 part story about a northwestern town plagued by a physically deforming STD, is considered by many to be his best work in comics and was told from 1993 to 2004.

I chose Burns' album work for the opposite reason I chose Sienkiewicz's. While Sienkiewicz's RZA cover seemed to defy his established sensibility, Burns' cover for Iggy Pop's Brick by Brick album embodies everything about both his own, and Iggy Pop's, style. Burns' work exudes sweating freaks on their way to or coming from commitment of deviant acts. I don't need to tell you that so does Iggy Pop's music.

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