fbpx

Bill Smith

10 Reasons to Switch From Christianity to Scientology

1. Secret handshake 2. Annual Thetan Jamboree in Trementina, New Mexico 3. Subterranean passages linking Beck’s house to every Starbucks in the city 4. No one feels it necessary to elect a new Hubbard after the old one’s died. 5. Free airplane rides 6. New members receive secret letter explaining......

Give Me a Tall Ship and a Monkey to Steer Her By

Photo by Bill Smith I’m high in the hills of Pasadena standing inside the Hunting Lodge for Wayward Comic Artists, otherwise known as Tony Millionaire’s garage-studio. We are four beers into a six-pack and Millionaire — raccoon carcass on head — is fumbling with a stuffed fox. He tells me......

Why I Miss Frank Gehry’s Balls

I’d always been fond of Frank Gehry’s balls. Even before I knew they were those of the great architect I admired their playfulness, their perfect, alabaster roundness. They dangled, at times loomed above us — though that sounds a bit menacing — on warm summer nights, entertaining us between sips......
article placeholder

I’m Tomine! I’m Beyer! I’m Kaz!

Illustration by Adrian Tomine Artist scrapbooks bring to mind a Jon Lovitz sketch about an obnoxious Picasso scribbling on paper napkins and forcing them on people as valuable works of art because “I’m Picasso!” It’s not that scrapbooks are bad, but they typically signal a point in an artist’s career......
article placeholder

Graphic Artists Bite Back

I’ve had amiable debates with my friend Robbie Conal about political graphics. Playing devil’s advocate, I’d argue that protest imagery does nothing but preach to the converted and, worse, galvanize the opposition. Art used in progressive agendas has never been as effective as the propaganda of war- and hate-mongers. Propaganda......
article placeholder

Full Mental Jacket

In the future pantheon of graphic arts, you’ll undoubtedly find an entire hall devoted to nothing but book-jacket design. There will be busts honoring legends such as Paul Rand, Jan Tschichold, Chermayeff & Geismar, Alvin and Elaine Lustig, as well as lesser-knowns such as Richard Chopping, who created jackets stylish......
article placeholder

A Wooden Performance

Photos by Anne Fishbein When designer and artist Mike Lee left his hometown of Vancouver to come to Los Angeles in 1993, he also left behind his woodworking tools and — so he thought at the time — his blossoming career as a craftsman of custom furniture. In L.A. he......

The Natural

Photographer and artist Laura Aguilar tells a story. She is out having dinner with her cousin, who is a physical trainer and bodybuilder, when the conversation comes around to fitness. Her cousin gestures toward a thin, attractive woman and says, “Laura, I can make you look like her.” Aguilar replies,......
article placeholder

The Sun Dialer

It is 2 p.m. on a hot June day. The room is cool without benefit of air conditioning. There is an abundance of soft light reflecting from the eggshell-color gypsum walls and from the natural plywood ceiling, yet there is no artificial illumination beyond a few low-wattage desk lamps and......
article placeholder

There Is a Heppy Book

As Bill Blackbeard notes in his introduction to Krazy & Ignatz, George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” was not a wildly popular comic. Its lengthy run was in fact due partly to a guardian angel named William Randolph Hearst, who continually ignored editors inclined to kill the full-page strip -- Herriman‘s artwork......