Too Much blow, Zubaz and THIS (amazing) guy
In 1984, artist Patrick Nagel died of a heart attack in his car following a celebrity appearance. He was 38.
He was way too young. After all, when your art is the art that is mostly closely associated with an entire decade, the 1980s, you should have had a longer run.
That’s right. All of the 1980s. Air traffic control strikes, free cheese, Miami Vice, Polish revolution, Blossom, ALF … the whole sch-bang. MAN, I didn’t even MENTION cocaine OR Scarface.
Nagel forged the 1980s visual identity by creating the Nagel woman. Nagel women may be most well known for:
- Adorning the Duran Duran Rio album cover.
- Cementing the look of the back-up dancers in every music video made rounding out the last half of the 1980s. Case in point:
I miss Robert Palmer’s swag.
Anyway, Nagel also drew for Playboy magazine, was a graphic designer for ABC television and did a lot of work for major corporations and advertisers. He had real chops.
Oh, and about those Nagel women?
I loved them all.
NOT LIKE THAT. GEEZ.
I loved the simplicity, the color choices, the look, the feel and the structure of almost every Nagel woman. As a budding artist, Nagel’s works fueled my brain with ideas and notions of where I ultimately wanted to end up as an artist. Coupled with the influences of comic book greats like Art Adams, John Byrne, Howard Chaykin, Bill Sienkiewicz and dozens of others, Nagel, too, had anchored himself as a bold influence.
One night whilst drawing Vorpal pages and watching the sands of 2017 wind down, a synapse wearing broad shoulder pads, a scrunchie and Zubaz pants fired and sent me this impulse: why not draw a page in his style?
Holy crap, Synapse. Pump the breaks. I mean …
I’m just saying the idea was daunting. But, the moment presented itself after I made one or two edits. Once I made those tweaks, I could Nagel my way to a page in book 2.
WOW. THAT WAS TOUGH.
And I did not do the artist justice. I should have done better, but, it is a tribute nonetheless.
As you look through Vorpal #2, and you find this page, let me know how I did with it and if you or family members remember the influence Nagel had on the decade of excess.
Now to go find my parachute pants …
(Vorpal #2 is available from me for $5 plus shipping or autographed for $8 plus shipping. The PDF and Kindle versions of #1 are free until Jan. 17. A print copy of No. 1 is reduced to $3. Head to my shop for more on all of those. You can also buy the book from my publisher’s web site at www.crazymonkeyink.com)