Since 2006 the good people here at Drawger have somehow managed to wrap up an annual show and make a gift of it to everyone. As the proprietor of the Drawger situation, it's my distinct privilege to see these entries arrive before the annual is finally unwrapped.
This year, my former bodyguard Harry Campbell was good enough to offer up a poster for the show. How he had time to do this while being the most popular and rugged illustrator in the history of print is beyond me, but he delivered the magic about an hour after I groveled at his door asking for help. Harry is not only the most dangerous man on the mountain, he can shoot an illustration bullseye from 300 yards.
We're a bit late releasing the show this year because the Society of Illustrators have had me in solitary confinement while I finished the upgrade for their online competition site. If you entered Illustrators 57, I hope you enjoyed using thier new software. It was a load fun to program and I'm especially grateful to Kate Feirtag and Anelle Miller for trusting me to make this happen for everyone who loves the Society as much as I do.
I hope everyone enjoys the 2014 Annual as much as I've enoyed watching over the show as it arrived in digital packing crates. Thanks to everyone here who made this happen!
What's the biggest news in baseball as the major leagues move into the post-season? - it's the nine and ten years old illoz Bandits!
Since 2008 illoz has sponsored a fall baseball team and sure-enough, we're back again with some cool kids playing the best game ever!
You wanna know how cool these kids are? The one pictured to left, his name is Truck. That's not a nickname. It's on his birth certificate people!
As the commissioner of Fall Baseball leagues in Western North Carolina I have to round up a lot of coaches. Sometimes it ain't easy to get coaches, I tell ya.
This year was lousy for coaches in the 9 and 10 year old division. I had to ask some friends to help out.
The Bandits coach was a fellow that stepped up. He's Zach Alberto, pictured left and I want to thank him for setting aside his drum sticks and coaching the illoz team this season. His assitant coach is Kelly Barrow, who I'm lucky enough to say is my girl friend and I sure do hope she stays my girl friend after this! Admittedly, Kelly doesn't know much about baseball, but she knows how to keep kids supplied with bubble gum and encourage a smile on their dirty little faces!
Who likes boring team photos? Nobody! Especially Bandits!
Releasing the Drawger Annual is always a bit bitter-sweet for me. For a while, it's like having my own private gallery. Nobody else is allowed in until I decide to open up the doors.
Well, the doors are open and I've left some cheese and wine by the fire escape! Welcome to the show.
The great BILL MAYER did this years poster at the last possible minute. I asked him to think about it three days ago, and yesterday he sent me five (count em) options. Who says the days of 'can do spirit' are in the past? Not Mr. Mayer, I tell ya!
I've always been inspired by Bill's series of Letters to Lee, so I sort of begged him to do something similar for the good people of Drawger.
Below are the stupendous options Bill sent in!
Why the cat won one, I have no idea. I had to pick one, that's all I can say about it.
Something tells me this isn't exactly poultry
As anyone who knows anything knows, antlers are just in.
Sometimes I really do wonder about Bill...
I like this one because he used a picture of my lips!
And nine scruffy kids.
Does it get any better?
I seriously doubt it.
Every year, since I don't even know when, illoz has sponsored a baseball team in the fall.
This year, please stand up and do the wave for the illoz Volunteers.
Take a look at this kid to the left (not the big ugly guy....the shorter one). If I had a poster kid for why I do this every year, he's my man!
These kids don't know it yet, but the illoz logo on every one of their shirts was designed by Leo Espinosa. Thanks Leo! One day they will all grow up to love baseball and illustration, which goes without saying. But most of all they will sing the praises of Leo Espinosa. And who can blame them?
The illoz Volunteers play the great game of T-Ball.
For those who don't know what T-Ball is, it's the only sport that isn't included in the Olympics that should be.
I mean, come on! Is Syncronized Swimming better than THIS? No way!
Hold on just a minute...
I might be changing my poster kid to this guy! He put on his sunglasses for the ladies, and two of them are on his team. I approve!
You go player! illoz has your back, but look out because one of those girls is hitting clean-up!.