Way back.. when I was a freelance illustrator, I use to pour through these books… well more like phone book sized books, of page after page of hundreds of artists .. all showing what their work of what they could do … for some art director or design guy to hire them for their next job … so, as an art student, I use to buy these annuals and look at them for inspiration and awe … there were always a few guys that would stand out from the usual trend of airbrush style or old school oil painting ( this is before computer art, for you young folks out there ) … one guy whose page I’d always look at was Bob Conge ..his intensely drawn pen and ink with wash illustrations always stuck in my head .. not in a cheerful way (sorry Bob !) but rather in a more disturbing fashion ;-P .. so flash forward more than a decade later, and I now find myself not only working and collaborating with Bob, but also witness to his new creations ! What he did ( and still does ) on paper, has transferred to the third dimension ( and beyond ! I would say ) … so, for the second Kaiju Comrades art toy show, Bob has once again, created 2 more awesome pieces.. and written back stories to them .. each is unique, hand made and painted, and for sale at the show. Enjoy !
“Coco and the Frigiscare”
copyright Bob Conge 2009
Obsession has caused the downfall of kings and certainly a seven year old boy is no match for its overwhelming power. Coco is an only child who lives in an upscale apartment building in Chicago, overlooking the river as it wanders its way through the windy city. His favorite room in the expansive penthouse is the kitchen and his favorite appliance is the Frigidaire refrigerator. Sadly, one might say this cold white tower with its comforting hum, was his only friend. Coco was very very overweight and all day long he thought about what luscious gifts his friend might have for him when he got home from school.
Over time the after school snacking wasn’t enough and Coco began getting up in the middle of the night to raid the frig. The objects of consumption were always the same, soft ice cream and Cool-wip. Unfortunately one night Coco mistook a tub of yogurt for Cool-wip, YUK, he quickly put the yogurt back and began eating the Cool-wip using the same spoon.
As Arnold would say “BIG MISTAKE”. He pushed the half empty tub of Cool-wip, now contaminated with the yogurt culture, to the very back of the frig behind some jars of pickles and stuff no one liked very much. For weeks the tub sat forgotten like some character in a Kafka novel. A metamorphosis was taking place. The yogurt culture thrived in the sweet environment of the white muck. It grew and grew spilling out of the confinement of its container covering more and more of the pickles and stuff hidden in the back till one night when Coco came down in the darkness and opened the frig door it spilled out and enveloped him, the fridg, and everything else in the kitchen, before spilling out the windows and down the side of the building to the darkened streets of an unsuspecting city.
Not the end.
*(Coco is living proof that Frank Zappa was right on when he said “you are what you eat”)
“Bituminous minor” aka “The GUNKANJIMA Kaiju”
copyright 2010 Bob Conge
All projects begin at the point of INSPIRATION and this one is inspired by a real place,“Hashima” aka “Gunkanjima”, a nickname translated to English meaning “Battleship Island”. This tiny (1.2 sq km) island when viewed from the coast of Japan does in fact look like a battleship setting 19 km off shore. Described today as a rotting Metropolis, Gunkanjima was from 1887 until 1974 a self contained coal mining facility that fed the iron and steel industry and contributed to Japans modernization. At its peak in 1959 Gunkanjima was the most densely populated place on earth, packing 139,000 people into one square kilometer of its 50 residential high risers. They were mining coal from beneath the the sea floor with waves and typhoons raging above. Then 36 years ago the entire population vanished almost overnight leaving behind most of their possessions. The official line said they returned to the mainland, but of course we know better.
And this is where MY story begins. “A great storm raged from the sea that black night in 1974 breaking loose the moorings of all ships docked at the island sending them crashing into the towering break water that surrounds Hashima. Any hope of escape was at the bottom of this tormented ocean when a creature of revenge was awakened in the deepest of the mine shafts as a hand full of men broke through into the cavity before them. This was the first taste of flesh in over 2000 years for “Bituminous minor” aka
“The GUNKANJIMA Kaiju”. He made his way up through the dark winding shafts to the city above and by morning had consumed all those living on this doomed island. Where will he feed next ?”