While the photo to the left doesn't do him justice, the man in the Penguins shirt is none other than artist Rob Ullman. Rob is a man I truly respect because he has talent that I could only wish to have considering my artistic ability. I've been lucky enough to get to know Rob through his phenomenal website, Atom Bomb Bikini, and through our occasional discussions on the Uni Watch Blog. Rob draws illos, and his ability is second-to-none when it comes to combining the female form and sports.
Let me say this up-front: I respect Rob for his ability. He's a phenomenal artist. Some might view his work as "sexist", but I think that his works are magnificent. They are simple enough that they don't lose the model's form, but are detailed enough that the Blackhawks logo is very clear and concise. His blending of the female form and sports is no worse than the Statue of David in my mind. If you disagree, disagree with my opinion. Rob makes a tidy living with sales of his illos, so don't hate on him. I'm featuring him here, so complain to me if you're unhappy with Rob's work being displayed here. That being said, let's get back on track here.
Rob sent me an "official programme" of his Old-Timey Hockey Tales!, and I have to say that I enjoyed this short look at hockey through Rob's eyes very much. Rob illustrates comics in Old-Timey Hockey Tales! of Bill Barilko, Terry Sawchuk, and The Rocket Richard Riot. The historical recounts of these stories are factual, and Rob does a good job in emphasizing the major points in each historical hockey story.
What makes this sixteen-page book so great is that the story of each legend is illustrated to show the major events in those players' lives. The illustrations are superb, and really turn the stories from historical recounts into visual storytelling. Rob's artistic ability shines through as his illustrations of each of the main characters are their actual personages in ink.
Old-Timey Hockey Tales! is available in Rob's online store, along with a pile of other comics that he has drawn. Of course, there are other hockey-themed comics available, and I may have to pick a few more of Rob's works up for my own collection. The best part? Nothing is more than $30, and all of your proceeds goes towards helping an artist create more art. That's something I'm proud to support here on HBIC: community helping community.
If you'd like a preview of the Bill Barilko comic contained within Old-Timey Hockey Tales!, Rob has published that one-page comic on his website. You can read it here. Rob has a ton of stuff on his Atom Bomb Bikini website, so I encourage you to take some time to go through all his works posted. It's definitely worth the time.
Here are a few colour illos that I think deserve some recognition. I'll list them off, and make a few comments of my own about them.
- Team USA 1960 Throwback: I love this jersey, and Rob does a beautiful job in capturing how gorgeous this jersey actually is. This might be my favorite of the bunch.
- Team USA jersey: Rob's female model is wearing Brooks Oprik's number, a shout-out to his favorite NHL team and country.
- Pittsburgh Penguins jersey: A Pens-Caps game is previewed featuring a Malkin Penguins jersey. Love the attention to detail on the font.
- Philadelphia Flyers Winter Classic: This is just a gorgeous jersey, and Rob does a fantastic job in bringing its rich colour scheme to life in 2D.
- Boston Bruins Winter Classic: Rob's details, such as the non-symmetrical "B" in the logo, are captured brilliantly here.
Rob, thanks for allowing me to talk a little about your work, and keep drawing your amazing illos! Your work is certainly appreciated by me, and my artistic ability is limited just to stick men!
And because I enjoyed the work, Old-Timey Hockey Tales! receives the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!