June 2, 2010

East End and Toonseum Unite with Illustration Ale Project

Any teaming up of craft breweries and museums is something I wholeheartedly support. Pittsburgh's East End Brewing Company (which I already loved) has teamed up with the Toonseum, a museum of comic art, on the Illustration Ale, a beer with six labels illustrated by different local artists, whose proceeds got to support the Toonseum, and which will be unveiled at the Toonseum for the release party on June 19th.

Here's a quick look at the Illustration Ale artwork:
David Coulson's is the most basic of the labels. Looks kind of like some of the older breweriana labels.
I like the complementary color palette that Dave Klug uses here. Also, I like whales and octopi in general. Pretty much everything from the bowler-clad fish to the catfish is adorable.
Pat Lewis' caveman owes more to the Flintstones than Lascaux, but I like the guy with the beer he's drawing. It's like a mini-anthropology lesson: Are those figures drinking with that game creature, or hunting it to use as a pairing?
A slightly more contemporary illustration, George Schill's work seems less indebted to Hanna Barbara than to Antoine de Saint-Expury or Gary Larson. This piece is a nice, crisp two-color image that could be a nice piece of branding (though it does call to mind some of the older style posters whose spoofs have become prevalent on dorm room walls).
Comic book artist Jim Rugg seems more inspired by the later comic book work of the 80s and 90s, when artists like Brian Bolland and Dave Gibbons worked with the first generation of what we now call "graphic novelists" like Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. The pairing of the anatomically detailed brain stem with the traditional gag glasses, one assumes, is a comment on the work of the comic artist.
Mark Zingarelli's label is the most obvious throwback, using the golden age comic book style that inspired Roy Lichtenstein. I love that Suds Tully looks like the most mirthless bureaucrat one could imagine.

Once again, June 19th is the release party of the Illustration Ale. Could make a great bookend to a roatdtrip with "Design, Drink and Be Merry" on the other side. Okay, enough shameless pluggery.

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