The Magnificent James Fosdike, Gaypocalyptic Artist
First of all, I approached James Fosdike, who has created such great posters for Wil Anderson and Justin Hamilton as well as his stellar work creating art for podcasts like The Shelf, Little Dum Dum Club, I Love Green Guide Letters and The Poofcast.
We chatted about the basic concept, talked about what would be involved, and settled on a price. I tend to think quite visually, so as well as telling him what I wanted on the phone, I emailed James a basic layout of what was in my head, and it looked like this dreadful mess here -- I drew this on my iPad. (Image after the jump).
I wanted that "sun setting on the age of mankind" vibe. You know, gay zombie apocalypse kind of thing. Just in case he hadn't been to Adelaide's singular gay bar, The Mars Bar, I also provided a bunch of reference photos; members of One Direction, Kylie Minogue, a leather queen - all the usual gay icons you might find in a pack of gay zombies. Let's be clear, I'm not saying any of the members of One Direction are openly gay, but every second 20-something twink - and some as old as 30 - dress like they're in the band.
As if I needed proof he was up to the task, James sent me a zombie picture and a desolate streetscape he'd used for previous commissions, both of which were breathtaking. I nearly wet myself with excitement.
The next step was to provide James with a photo of me he could use as the basis for the poster. I did a shoot with gorgeous Stano Murin, whose work I have admired for a while. He took some photos of me once, half-naked, on a pile of rusting mattress springs (no, you can't see them, if you need nude me, crack out your Celebrity Splash videos), so I knew he would get the apocalyptic vibe immediately. I sent James the handful of photos I thought had the requisite drama for the poster and we both agreed that this one was the most dynamic - bearing in mind I would also need a photo for press and websites, some of whom refuse to print line art.
Originally, I was going to contract a graphic artist to incorporate all the elements needed into the poster, once the art had been delivered, but James said he'd been experimenting with creating his own fonts, and he offered to lay out the majority of the text as well. Over the next few weeks I would get tantalising hints of how he was progressing with mock-ups of the logo and some of the solo figures that would populate the background. James even made me an online teaser poster out of his Zombie Kylie Drag Queen figure!
Then, one day, it appeared in my email. The entire poster in all of its gruesome glory. Half masticated buttocks in leather chaps, twink and leather zombies, bear and Kylie zombies, 1D bow tie and Freddy Mercury clone zombies. It is just brilliant. I urge you to steal a copy of the poster when you're in Adelaide and get the man to sign it for you (please wait until the show is over - I still haven't paid for them...)