Saturday, March 23, 2013

Making of a Toons On Tap Poster - Session 27: Venom

The team and I have our long list of dream themes we aren't yet sure how to pull off.  We've been dying to do a buddy cop night for months.   I'm insisting on an American Psycho inspired Hallowe'en special.  Jeremy has his heart set on working with former child actor Corey Feldman. (Why!?)  Yet, a chat with Mark Boyer of 3B Artistry has led to the realization of one of our dream themes - a drawing session featuring the comic book character Venom.

Bodybuilder and human statue Jeff Sim is on board to be painted by Mark for our upcoming session on April 23rd.  Both Jeremy and I spent countless afternoons as little kids pouring over special effects books.  To say we're happy to see it done live is an understatement.

Mark Boyer applying make up to Sion Irwin-Childs for our Terminator night.   Photo courtesy of  Jeffrey Danyleyko, the badass Toons On Tap photographer.

To begin the poster, I thumbnailed some ideas while chatting on Skype with my friend Anne.  (Sorry Anne!)  I had in mind a profile portrait of Venom, with the poster text contained within the blackness of his suit.

My partner-in-crime looked over my thumbnails, and disliked all the profile sketches.  Unexpectedly, his clear favourite was the open mouthed drawing, second from the top left.  Taking his advice, I roughed out the drawing on paper, and started tinkering away in Photoshop.

The focus, I decided, would be Venom's jagged teeth.  Referencing photos of infected gums, tooth decay, and rabid dogs, I worked away at making his mouth disgusting.  Considering my own bad teeth give me nightmares, working on this actually made me uncomfortable.  One afternoon during the process, I literally returned home from a root canal to paint rotting, abscessed teeth.  Cathartic, maybe?

All the text is done in the font Ghoulish Fright.  I wanted the bold, graphic look of Socket without using Socket for the one billionth time.  To better resemble the logo from Venom comics, I altered a few of the letters in "Toons On Tap".

The final poster, for print
Lastly, I'm using this poster for two tests:

1) The print versions of the poster say, "Like Us On Facebook!".  Before, our posters listed our bare-bones company website  However, we have since found our Facebook 'like' page to be our most effective place to promote.  As of writing, our page is just shy of 500 likes.  Once we reach 1000 likes, I'll treat the boys to champagne.

2) This image will be combined with the April 9th session to make a 'double feature'-style poster.  For the first time, both sessions occurring in the same month intentionally share a related theme.  April will be 'Marvel month' at Toons.  If the double feature idea works, we'll promote the October Hallowe'en sessions the same way.

Now, to see how many times I dream of my teeth falling out between today and the 23rd.

UPDATE:  You can see how Jeremy drew two lovely X-Men for the second half of the double feature poster here.


  1. That is a really cool pic of Venom! April is going to be a fun month for Toons on Tap I think. I'm really looking forward to seeing what 3B comes up with for the Venom Make up.

  2. Thanks! 3B is awesome, and I'm super excited as well to see his body painting skills!