During the combat phase of Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991) the U.S. Army began implementing the first field operational version of a GPS (Global Positioning System). Unfortunately that first unit was barely portable and was saddled with an extremely difficult user interface. The Army was shocked to find most of the units unused and the 500+ page manual was often discarded to the winds! Fast forward to the spring of 1994 and I had just graduated from Platt College in San Diego. My first graphic design assignment out of school was to design a 160-page manual detailing the practical use of a newly developed PLGR ( Personal Lightweight GPS Receiver).
The Army had decided that the average reading level for a foot soldier at that time was at an 8th grade level and the best format for the new manual should be a comic book! So I worked away for six months putting a huge amount of technical data into some form of a comic book. I had zero experience in life drawing so I had the company I was working for borrow a platoon from the local Marine base and I shot a bunch of reference photos. So I just traced the scans and used the same poses over and over! Real clever, eh?
Of course I couldn’t wait to turn the PLGR unit into a cartoon character and thus the Little Plugger was born! And this little character, which I initially dashed off in just a couple of minutes, turned out to be the part of this entire project that resonated the most with the Army brass!
My first attempt at putting this project together was on the best dos-based pc available at that time and it just kept crashing. So, I convinced my boss to go out and get me a powerful Mac computer and everything went pretty smooth after that. I used QuarkXPress to lay the book out. All the graphics were hand drawn and then scaled and placed for position. I had to develop a whole array of word balloon shapes for the various text inserts, plus a bunch of graphics representing the data screen on the PLGR unit. The final comic book was deemed a success by the military and went into multiple printings here in the states and at bases in Japan.
Lots of technical data here…but I had some fun putting the troops thru various missions. I even inserted a picture at the bottom of page 86 that looked suspiciously like Betty of Archie’s fame, but it’s really Larry Welz’s Cherry Poptart! I showed it to Larry a few years back and he got a kick out of it!
Work continues on a series of digital prints in various formats, all based on views of Mount Signal. Mount Signal was used by the early Pioneers and Native Americans as a landmark to help guide them through the desert.
On a clear winter morning, Mount Signal appears to leap into the scenic foreground making for a spectacular view. My idea is to do something very similar to the Japanese woodblock masters of old.
Here are the two latest additions. Enjoy!
No.13 – “View of Mt. Signal with Everyday Warrior”
©2016 Sam Hallmark – Digital Media
No.14 – “View of Mt. Signal and that Fat Old Sun”
©2016 Sam Hallmark – Digital Media
I’m working on a series of digital prints in various formats, all based on views of Mount Signal. Mount Signal was used by the early Pioneers and Native Americans as a landmark to help guide them through the desert. On a clear winter morning, Mount Signal appears to leap into the scenic foreground making for a spectacular view. My idea is to do something very similar to the Japanese woodblock masters of old. The prints could be assembled in any number or variations desired. The full set of forty-four prints would be bound up in a traditional Japanese print folder styled in my artwork.
Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, October 31, 1760 (exact date questionable) – May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (富嶽三十六景, Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.
Hokusai created the “Thirty-Six Views” both as a response to a domestic travel boom and as part of a personal obsession with Mount Fuji. It was this series, specifically The Great Wave print and Fuji in Clear Weather, that secured Hokusai’s fame both in Japan and overseas. As historian Richard Lane concludes, “Indeed, if there is one work that made Hokusai’s name, both in Japan and abroad, it must be this monumental print-series…”. While Hokusai’s work prior to this series is certainly important, it was not until this series that he gained broad recognition.
~ Howdy, Folks!
Here is some new artwork composed in CorelDraw X3. Enjoy!
Triptych – View of Mt. Signal from Ocotillo ~ © 2015 Sam Hallmark ~ Pencil / Digital
~ A little something from my retro-past. Originally appeared in Gold Key’s Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories, Vol. 24, No. 8, May 1964.
“The Return of the Phantom Blot” ©2015 Sam Hallmark – 6.75″ x 6.0″ – Gouache
“Luminous Being in Landscape” ©2015 Sam Hallmark – 18″ x 24″ – Acrylic
Here is a new canvas with a luminous being in the foreground. They often appear to me as I fall asleep. Much like Morpheus in old Greek myths luminous beings guide me from evening-tide into my nighttime dreamscape. Although at times mysteriously shrouded they often appear as glowing energy balls. Sometimes egg-shaped they emit wiggling bands of energy in all directions at once.
In fact, all living creatures appear on a certain plane of existence as glowing egg-shaped energy balls. Our presence is beneficial to each other. We are constantly making connections and remaking connections with other luminous beings. When a connection is made I am instantly filled with feelings of bliss and well-being.
Call them luminous beings, glowing energy balls, spirit guides and helpers… they contribute in a huge way with centering each one of our spirit selves.
“Mind on Fire – The World’s Aflame” ©1973 Jerald Ault
“Minds Afire – World’s Aflame!” ©2006 Sam Hallmark
The earliest inhabitants of the Anza Borrego Desert left hardly a trace of their passing. Flourishing sometime between 5000 to 8000 years ago, these early peoples were completely nomadic. They pursued large game, caught fish and waterfowl.
Our understanding begins with the written historical record beginning in the year 1774. This was due to the expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza through the desert on his way to California from Tubac, Arizona.
Three main tribes make up the prehistoric and recent historical inhabitants of Anza Borrego. These are the Cahuilla to the north and east, the Northern Diegueño off to the west, and the Kumeyaay to the south.
Petroglyphs and pictographs remain as the representational art left behind by these tribes. The rock art is more plentiful here than in most other regions of North America. Petroglyphs are created by picking directly into the dark stain of desert varnish which coats the rock surface. When picked through, the lighter colored underlying granite is exposed. This results in a lasting image. Pictographs, on the other hand, are painted on the rock using ancient formulas to achieve a range of colors.
Interpretation of rock art is always a matter of conjecture, because the true meaning has often been lost to the sands of time. One thing is certain, that many of the symbols and glyphs have a mystical or ritual quality and come into use in initiation ceremonies, fertility and marriage ceremonies, astronomical and or astrological observations, visions and dreams and even historical records. The importance of these carvings and paintings to the various tribal shamans cannot be over emphasized.