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Dale Stephanos
We're gonna have a little talk.
posted:
I’m working on a Sopranos piece right now, which made me think of another job I did a while back on the godfather of the mob genre, that’s right, The Godfather.

This was done around the time Mario Puzo, the author of the Godfather books died, and the article examined Puzo’s impact on our view of the Mafia (You know, it doesn’t really exist!) as well as the Mafia’s own self image.

There was a dispute between the AD and the Editor. The AD ended up with his you know what in his mouth, tied up in the trunk of his car with two in the hat and thrown into the East River.

Not really.

The AD wanted an image of Marlon Brando, because he’s instantly recognizable as the Godfather. The editor wanted an image of Mario Puzo because “The article is about Mario Puzo, not Marlon Brando”.

I got a lot of reference of both guys and tried to do a mash up of the two (even though that term wouldn’t come into use for another 6 years or so). Also, I got the book and tore pages out and matte mediumed them down on the canvas.

They loved the final. The AD said “Great Brando” and the editor said “Great Puzo”.

This is back when I was trying to be an oil painter. I remember that I’d always try to be making things finer, smoother, more realistic. Now that I work digitally it’s the opposite. I try to leave some kind of evidence that a hand created the work.


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Stephanos is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!