This was fun. I had the pleasure of getting to know the very talented Nate Utesch at last year's WMC Fest. It was there that I both snapped up copies of the first two issues of his Ferocious Quarterly and hatched plans with Nate to participate in the forthcoming issue, which just came out and is on sale now! If you're new to Ferocious Quarterly, the handsome publication is best described as "a curated publication that collects illustrators, graphic artists, short fiction authors and written text."
Each issue has a theme, and those participating work within that theme and within a select color scheme. The theme of the third issue was "Be Prepared." Participants, myself included, were sent a brief PDF breaking down how the issue would be produced and arming us with the fact that "survival" was to be our main inspirational guideline. From there, what we did was up to us. The results, across the board, were nothing short of spectacular.
While I initially thought about pursuing some sort of Scout-related theme for my spread, I anticipated others going down that path. So, Casey and I put our heads together and assembled the greatest fictional survivor showdown to ever take place. Being 2012 and all, the site of the fight card — The Mayan Temple — and the date (the winter solstice) were no-brainers. From there, I drew inspiration from the classic, letterpress fight posters of years past. I wanted the spread to have a wit and edge to it, so I set about adding as much of our personalities as possible. Besides, Charles Darwin always seemed like he'd make for a good fight promoter in his spare time, right?
The main event — Rambo vs. Commando vs. Die Hard — came to me quickly. Pure awesome coincidence that all three heroes were named John. As for who would win this fight, that's a really tough question. Are we involving weapons of any sort? Will anyone be using kidnapped offspring as a motivation? Is Reginald VelJohnson allowed to be McClane's cornerman? These are all important questions! My money's on Matrix, personally.
Now the card gets crazy. It's a She-Vivor Showdown! No survivor-themed battle is complete, of course, without the two stone-cold bad-asses most responsible for putting survival-themed songs in the world. Note that the special guest referee for that match is Mr. Soul Survivor himself, Rev. Al Green. Up next: A modern-day battle of two made-for-TV survivalists. Sure, Bear Grylls has the military pedigree and will, with no hesitation, drop into a set of naked pushups to keep his body warm in extremely wet and cold conditions. But there's just something about Les "Survivorman" Stroud that screams "I would turn you into a Tauntaun sleeping bag if I could, Grylls."
What fight is complete without passive aggression? It's the stock-and-trade of mean, old people and mean, little cats everywhere. The role of Sheba, coincidentally, was played by our one-time cat Johnny Cash, who I'm sure would pee all over the upholstery if he caught wind of this, to say nothing of us depicting him as a female cat. He was troubled. Wrapping things up is the fight between two food staples best known for their likely ability to outlive humanity should the end times come about. Full disclosure: I've never had Spam, so my money's on the humble Twinkie.
All in all, I'd have to say that this project was perhaps the most fun I've ever had working on a design. I knew the roster of creatives involved in each issue of Ferocious is always strong, and my hunch was proven yet again when I saw who contributed to the third issue. Major league talent, all the way around, and some friends on there. I'm looking at you, Dan, Jon, Dan, Erik, and Tuesday. To say nothing of Nate himself. I owe you big, Nate. Thank you so much for the honor of being able to participate. It was a real pleasure. With this in mind, you really need to get your hands on a copy of the third Ferocious Quarterly. Operators are standing by!