My second Metallica poster. And for our home town show, no less!
I did my first poster for the band (not counting a banner I painted back in high school that won me a meet and greet with them back on the Black Tour) last year for the Philadelphia date of their sprawling Worldwired Tour. Where that design was about challenging the conventional wisdom of what a Metallica poster should be, this one Iwanted to (wish) fulfill every self-indulgent fantasy of what a Big Rock Poster could be. I wanted bombast and flames and robots and explosions and dragons and destruction and every kitchen sink idea 14-year-old me would have crammed onto the page if I was drawing this in study hall. Every time I thought I pushed too far, I’d leave it alone for a week and come back, see it with fresh eyes, and push it a bit further. I had the entire summer to revisit and refine it, having gotten initial approval back in April before we left for our wedding in Mexico.
If there’s anything conceptual going on here at all its that no matter how we feel about our hometowns, we all secretly kinda wanna see them get blown up. Generally with show posters for large touring acts, you down want to localize the art too much, on the odd chance that rescheduling will occur and the date/location will need to be swapped out. Having already done one Metallica poster and now getting to do one for my own city it gave me both an opportunity and a challenge: how could I make this poster both very Sacramento yet not dependent on you knowing that for it to work? This art could work for any stop on the tour if (worst case scenario) I dropped out the bridge and the capitol (and probably the Koons) and the stylization of the location and its buildings would carry the rest. The massive fire-breathing dragon (wearing a metal headdress/helmet no less) could come down from the sky to rain destruction on any futuristic city while that same city is defended by an enormous chain-mace wielding Jaeger designed in a style that’s equal parts Pacific Rim-futurism and clunky ROM Space Knight retro sci-fi.
To the localization end, there are lots of details (and, sorry, geographic fibs for dramatic impact) to look for. From the Golden One Center’s security robots (guarding the controversial Jeff Koons art, possibly in vein) to the twisted wreckage of the Tower Bridge, to the SacRT light rail train getting clobbered (and saved) by the head of the swinging mace as it comes too close to the gaping fire chasm in the earth, to a very special cameo from my good friend (and frequent meme subject Chris “Wolo” Woloshansky). I’ve even included the Golden One Center’s outdoor video screens to suggest that as all this is happening outside, the band plays on *inside*
I couldn’t;t be happier with how this all turned out and owe an endless debt of gratitude to my city for inspiring it, Timothy Paul Doyle and the lads at Nakatomi, Inc for indulging me, and especially LeAnn Jensen for taking my crappy color seps and making them sing with her color sep and trapping skills.