Illustrator/graphic designer Peter Stults reimagines not just movie posters but the movies themselves, recasting them and creating new posters with meticulous attention to every detail of style and design. “The Shape of Water” is imagined with Donna Reed, Ray Milland, and Ethel Waters. Mmm, three of my favorites. I’d love to see that. His posters are so real I can almost imagine I have. The more you know about movies, the more you will appreciate his brilliant casting choices. But everyone can appreciate his beautiful images.
I admit it. I feel shaken and stirred. Washington DC’s Madame Tussaud’s now has all six James Bonds, elegantly attired in tuxes designed by Oscar-winner Lindy Hemming, the wardrobe, poses, guns, and roguish charm all re-created, standing in front of an iconic swirl from the movies’ opening credits. They are so realistic you can almost hear each of them say, “Bond. James Bond.”
That would be: Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore. It’s 007 times six.
The elegant spy figures from the movies based on Ian Fleming’s agent with a license to kill took a team of twenty artists four months to complete at a cost of almost $200,000 each. Hundreds of layers of oil paint were used to build up accurate skin tones and each hair on their heads was inserted individually by hand, taking six weeks. I spoke to General Manager of Madame Tussauds Washington DC, Therese Alvich, who told me each figure was delivered in a separate crate from London. Although packed with as much care as an Old Master painting, a few minor touch-ups were needed before installing them amid some of the other celebrity figures, including Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Lopez. The six Bonds will be on display through the summer, so Madame Tussauds has been able to coordinate with Washington DC’s Spy Museum, just a few blocks away, where a special exhibit of Bond villains is a popular attraction. It’s good to know that the various cat-loving Blofelds, lethal sidekicks, and assorted megalomaniacs at the Spy Museum will be under the watchful eye of six 007s.
I had a blast as always at the annual meeting of the National Cartoonists Society, which includes comic strip artists, gag/one-panel cartoonists, animators, web comic artists, caricaturists, political cartoonists, and greeting card artists. The top award, the Reuben (named for Rube Goldberg) went to Glen Keane, animator of Disney classics like “Tangled, ” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Rapunzel.” His dad created one of the all-time comic classics, “Family Circus,” now drawn by his brother, Jeff (yes, that’s Jeffy from the strip.)
Tina Fey hosted the season finale of “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which means many months until the next opportunity to see their take on the news. If that seems like a very long time to wait, you can visit the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago to see the SNL Experience, a wildly entertaining interactive exhibit that takes visitors through a week of creating an episode and the 41-year history of the show as well.
The exhibit, which covers two floors of the museum, includes iconic props and sets from the show’s history, taped interviews, and clips. It is a lot of fun to see items that bring back memories of classic SNL moments but it is fascinating to peek behind the scenes (literally) and see interviews with the writers, costume designers, and set designers who start with a blank page every week and somehow put together 90 minutes of material. Highly recommended!
Rolly Crump is a true Disney Legend, an artist and designer who helped create some of Disneyland’s most iconic images in attractions like the Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World. His lifelong collection of Disney treasures is being auctioned April 28, 2018 by Van Eaton Galleries and the gorgeous catalogue can be viewed online. It includes animation cells, drawings, posters, correspondence, props, and Crump’s own stories about the objects.