you'll find a variety of samples of my artwork, from illustrations
and posters to set designs and production designs over the years.
You'll also find information on some writing projects, as well
as miscellaneous interviews and any other nonsensical tidbits
& Noble blogged...
my book cover for HOLLYWOOD
STORIES. Author Steve Schochet emailed me this
link just a few minutes ago, and it really took me by surprise.
Part of me wishes I could redo the cover again, but I'm glad
he liked it so. The book itself is a little treasure of tales
of Hollywood -- not so much its seedy underside, but a sweet-natured,
reverential look at the entertainment industry. It has much
wit and humor, but is seldom cynical. Aside from (or in spite
of) my own contribution, Steve's book makes a great holiday
R.I.P.: Frank Frazetta (1928-2010)
this the grandfather of belated tributes: Frank Frazetta, whose
illustrations of semi-clad, impossibly muscled warrior heroes
(and even lesser-clad, voluptuous women) pitted against against
ferocious monsters in exotic, faraway fantasy worlds, died of
a stroke last May.
work is the stuff of legend. His covers for a number of paperback
books -- from Tarzan to John Carter of Mars -- often matched,
if not exceeded the popularity of the stories from which they
were inspired. His cover for Conan the Adventurer (pictured
here) is particularly iconic.
Frazetta was a versatile and prolific comic book artist who,
in the 1940s and ’50s, drew for comic strips like Al Capp’s
“Lil’ Abner” and comic books like “Famous Funnies,” for which
he contributed a series of covers depicting the futuristic adventurer
satirical advertisement Mr. Frazetta drew for Mad earned him
his first Hollywood job, the movie poster for “What’s New Pussycat?”
(1965), a sex farce written by Woody Allen that starred Peter
Sellers. In 1983 he collaborated with the director Ralph Bakshi
to produce the animated film “Fire and Ice.”
most prominent work, however, was on the cover of book jackets,
where his signature images were of strikingly fierce, hard-bodied
heroes and bosomy, callipygian damsels in distress. In 1966,
his cover of “Conan the Adventurer,” a collection of four fantasy
short stories written by Robert E. Howard and L. Sprague de
Camp, depicted a brawny long-haired warrior standing in repose
on top of a pile of skeletons and other detritus, his sword
thrust downward into the mound, an apparently naked young woman
lying at his feet, hugging his ankle.
cover created a new look for fantasy adventure novels and established
Mr. Frazetta as an artist who could sell books. He illustrated
many more Conan books (including “Conan the Conqueror,” “Conan
the Usurper” and “Conan the Avenger”) and works by Edgar Rice
Burroughs (including “John Carter and the Savage Apes of Mars”
and “Tarzan and the Antmen”).
publishers have been known to buy one of his paintings for use
as a cover, then commission a writer to turn out a novel to
go with it,” The New York Times reported in 1977, the same year
that a collection of his drawings, “The Fantastic Art of Frank
Frazetta,” sold more than 300,000 copies.
Frazzetta was born in Brooklyn on Feb. 9, 1928, and as a boy
studied painting at a local art school. (Early in his career,
he excised one z from his last name because “with one z it just
looked better,” Mr. Pistella said. “He said the two z’s and
two t’s was too clumsy.”)
Frazetta began drawing for comic books of all stripes — westerns,
mysteries, fantasies — when he was still a teenager. He was
also a good enough baseball player to try out for the New York
popularity of Mr. Frazetta’s work coincided with the rise of
heavy metal in the early 1970s, and his otherworldly imagery
showed up on a number of album covers, including Molly Hatchet’s
“Flirtin’ With Disaster” and Nazareth’s “Expect No Mercy.” Last
year, Kirk Hammett, the lead guitarist for Metallica, bought
Mr. Frazetta’s cover artwork for the paperback reissue of Robert
E. Howard’s “Conan the Conqueror” for $1 million.
Frazetta married Eleanor Kelly, known as Ellie, in 1956. She
served as his occasional model and as his business partner;
in 2000 she started a small museum of her husband’s work on
their property in East Stroudsburg, Pa. She died last year.
Frazetta is survived by three sisters, Carol, Adel and Jeanie;
two sons, Alfonso Frank Frazetta, known as Frank Jr., and William
Frazetta, both of East Stroudsburg; two daughters, Heidi Grabin,
of Englewood, Fla., and Holly Frazetta, of Boca Grande, Fla.;
and 11 grandchildren.
Ellie Frazetta’s death, her children became embroiled in a custodial
dispute over their father’s work, and in December, Frank Jr.
was arrested on charges of breaking into the family museum and
attempting to remove 90 paintings that had been insured for
$20 million. In April, the family said the dispute over the
paintings had been resolved, and the Monroe County, Pa., district
attorney said he would drop the charges.
many art giants have passed recently -- Bernie Fuchs, Robert
McCall, Tim Hildebrandt and John Alvin among them.... Richard
Amsel and Bob Peak have been gone for a number of years now....
Drew Struzan has retired....
sad, as I wonder not only who's left, but if there's even a
demand for such artistic talents anymore. Movie posters have
been reduced to bland, insert-actors'-faces-here Photoshop templates.
Even book covers, once the common, bread-and-butter market for
illustrators, are now rendered through recycled Illustrator
fonts, stamped over stock photos culled from royalty-free digital
are some guys left whose work I love, and are still at it. Guys
like James Gurney, William Stout, Greg Hildebrandt, and -- of
course -- my very good friend David Byrd. But ask yourself:
Where is the next great illustrator? Is there a new generation
of artists on the way? And, most importantly, will art agencies
and publishers be wise enough to put such talents to good use?
Earth calling Adam... Come in, Adam...
recent computer virus forced me to cleanse and restore all my
software, including my sitebuilder. This, among other things
(long hours at work, my falling pathetically, inexcuseably behind
on a long-overdue art commission, getting hooked on endless
TV reruns of Law & Order: SVU and Being Human)
are primarily what prevented me from making updates.
a lot of stuff I want to mention, but first I want to thank
my friends for throwing me one of the most wonderful birthday
celebrations of my life. It sounds cheesy, but true friendship
really is a blessing, and to have such an assortment of wonderful,
loving people in my company -- always miraculous, sometimes
insane -- really reminds me that life is worth living.
age catches up on me.
spent my 37th birthday helping two of my best friends move into
their lovely new Sierra Madre apartment, and while I can't say
I enjoyed the physical experience, being in the company of friends
made it good enough. I'll likely be throwing a little getogether
at the end of the month; I always start getting sad around this
time, as my birthday not only marks the near end of the summer,
but another year gone by.
a lighter note, I wanted to give a shout out on behalf of my
friend Stephen Schochet, who will be doing a book signing of
his HOLLYWOOD STORIES at the Village
Bookstore on Friday, August 20th at 7pm.
August 20th at 7pm Village Bookstore
Swarthmore Ave. Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Corey Allen, 1934-2010
thee well, Mr. Allen. It was a pleasure to have known you, however
Brothers Hildebrandt" are legends in the illustration world,
and especially known among sci-fi and fantasy fans for their
Star Wars movie poster and the immensely popular Lord
of the Rings calendars. Twin brothers, Greg and Tim often
collaborated on projects (exchanging "shifts" in painting
duties -- a neat ability when facing tight deadlines), as well
as worked on their own. What made their partnership so extraordinary
was not just the consistant high calibre (and volume) of their
work, but that they were so creatively sympatico, it's impossible
-- for me, at least -- to distinguish one artist's work from
the other. (Take, for example, Tim's Secret
of NIMH poster and compare it to the collaborated works
Tim passed away in 2006 due to complications from diabetes,
but Greg has continued their artistic legacy. I had the pleasure
of meeting him yesterday in Santa Monica, and he was extremely
kind, gracious, and receptive to my many annoying questions...
first of which I was a little hesitant to ask: As he and his
brother collaborated so often throughout their careers, was
there ever any serious creative strain or severe difference
of opinions in approaching their many works? To my absolute
astonishment, Greg answered no -- and even marvelled
himself at just how well he and his late brother got along,
as close personal relationships can so often fall victim to
pressure while in the throws of creative collaboration.
who blushed when I called him "sir" -- "Call
me Greg!", he laughed -- is a class act, and I was delighted
and honored to meet him at long last.
11 , 2010
Nucleus in 2011?
delighted to find that Gallery
Nucleus has featured one of my Harry
Potter pieces on its blog! The gallery, which I visit quite
often, will be having an exhibit of Harry Potter artwork next
summer, to coincide with the release of the final film in the
painting was inspired by Maxfield Parrish's Esctacy,
using a photo of Dan Radcliffe from Vanity Fair as reference.
I thought Parrish's fantastical landscapes seemed suited to
the young wizard's flights of fancy.
seriously considering making a new and improved version of this
painting, with more detail, richer colors, and this time done
in oils. The original painting was made almost 10 years ago
-- God, has it been that long? -- and I had not even
used oil paints at that time. If my work might possibly hang
in a gallery, I'd better make it as damn good as I possibly
McDaniel I called "Mom". It was a title for which she was
the prizewinner, and I can't imagine anyone else capable
of matching her 12 rounds in that arena. Don't get me wrong
-- I know for a fact that there are many, many wonderful
mothers in the world, present company included, and I know
in their childrens' eyes, each is the champion. But in my
eyes, there's no match, and no contest.
death of my mom marked the darkest point of my life. At that
time, the whole world felt like it was crumbling down; my aunt
Sue (my mom's younger sister) had died just three weeks before,
a relationship I was in had abruptly and unexpectedly ended
(via an email, which I received just a few hours before my mom's
funeral, no less...), and two heartless,evil pricks
-- who I once stupidly considered to be good friends, much less
decent human beings -- didn't give a damn.
taken me years to get through it all -- though perhaps "get
through" isn't an accurate term. I can't imagine ever being
completely healed from the experience, but I have at least survived
it. Indeed, it wasn't until about two and a half years after
my mom's death when I was finally able to get up, look at myself
in a mirror, and say "I'm OK." While surely moments
of loss and sadness come, overpower me in silent pause, I've
endured, and am ready to pick myself up again.
credit two things for this: First, the support and unwavering
comfort my friends, few but true, have given me, and second,
the enduring memory and love of my mom, for which I shall forever
carry, and of whom I shall forever miss.
to you, Eileen.
it summer yet...?
year has been flying by, and a proper recap of everything I've
been up to will have to wait. It includes another visit back
east with family, a return to Vassar College, and a trip down
memory lane, visiting the neighborhood in Connecticut where
I grew up.
the meantime, I'd like to thank Stephen
Schochet for his kind words during his radio interview with
Tron Simpsonon on
KCMN in Colorado Springs. (Simpson, Steve said, was
"gushing" about the book cover for HOLLYWOOD STORIES,
so he mentioned adammcdaniel.com on the air.)
of the joys of being an artist is the freedom to create
one’s own world.... Like the real world, these excursions
of the imagination are fraught with inaccuracies of perception—it
is rare that one glimpses through the veil of time even
a hint of tomorrow’s reality—nor does it seem important
to me whether one’s perceptions are right or wrong, the
pleasure is in making the predictions and doing the work.”
— Robert McCall
Space Artist Robert McCall, 90, Dies SPACE.com / Robert Z. Pearlman
Robert McCall, whose visions of the past, present, and future
of space exploration have graced U.S. postage stamps, NASA mission
patches, and the walls of the Smithsonian, died on Friday of
a heart attack in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 90.
described by author Isaac Asimov as the "nearest thing to an
artist in residence from outer space," McCall's paintings first
attracted the public's attention in the 1960s on the pages of
LIFE, illustrating the magazine's series on the future of space
travel. He expanded on that theme at the invitation of director
Stanley Kubrick, who had McCall paint the advertising posters
for his seminal 1968 science fiction film, "2001: A Space Odyssey."
then, many more have encountered McCall's space art through
canvases both very large and very small.
his most famous piece, the six-story "The Space Mural — A Cosmic
View" greets visitors to the National Air and Space Museum in
Washington, D.C. Painted over the course of eight months in
1976, McCall's depiction of the creation of the universe leading
to astronauts walking on the moon is seen by an estimated ten
of McCall's large murals can be found at NASA's Johnson Space
Center in Houston, Texas, at the Dryden Flight Research Center
in Lancaster, California, and at the Kansas Cosmosphere and
Space Center in Hutchinson. A number of his paintings decorated
the walls of the former Horizons pavilion at Walt Disney World
Resort's Epcot in Florida, and one remains on display at the
entrance to the park's iconic "Spaceship Earth" attraction.
the other end of the size spectrum but no less popular, McCall
created the art for 21 space-themed U.S. postage stamps, ranging
in subject from the moon landings to the unmanned probes sent
to Mars and Jupiter. His design for a commemorative marking
the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project adorned the largest stamp published
in the United States.
1981, McCall designed eight stamps celebrating STS-1, the first
flight of the space shuttle. At mission commander John Young's
request, McCall also designed the insignia that Young and Bob
Crippen wore aboard Columbia for the two-day mission.
was through the stamps and patches that he created did McCall
ultimately see his artwork merge with their subject matter and
enter space. The Apollo 15 astronauts flew his "Decade of Achievement"
two-stamp pane to the Moon, and the last men to walk on the
lunar surface did so while wearing an Apollo 17 mission patch
designed by McCall.
is something I continue to covet," shared McCall in a 2006 interview
with collectSPACE.com. "It was wonderful to really see this
emblem that I designed on the Moon, in real time from Mission
1973, at the personal request of flight director Eugene Kranz,
McCall designed the original insignia to represent the Mission
Control teams. McCall also created patches for the third and
fifth shuttle crews, as well as the first to dock with
Mir space station. His most recent patch was designed for back-up
spaceflight participant Barbara Barrett, a family friend, in
reading at collectSPACE.com
about McCall's path to becoming a NASA artist and his view on
the future of spaceflight.
it the end of February already? Where does the time go?
year I received a book cover commission, and I'm happy to see
that it's now being released with quite the marketing push.
Stephen Schochet, a successful Hollywood tour guide with several
audio books to his credit, is releasing his first book, HOLLYWOOD
STORIES: SHORT, ENTERTAINING ANECDOTES ABOUT THE STARS AND LEGENDS
OF THE MOVIES!
when you thought you've heard everything about Hollywood comes
a totally original new book - a special blend of biography,
history and lore. Hollywood Stories is packed with wild, wonderful
short tales about famous stars, movies, directors and many
others who have been part of the world's most fascinating,
unpredictable industry! Full of funny moments and twist endings,
Hollywood Stories features an amazing, icons and will keep
you totally entertained!
Publisher: BCH Fulfillment & Distribution
editions (including Kindle, Palm, Stanza, and Sony readers)
are currently available through Smashwords.
There you can also download a special preview of the opening
of the book -- which includes a hilarious tale of a knife-weilding
Jim Carrey attacking a bunch of tourists!