Tuesday, January 26, 2010

History, Game 1, 2009 Season

Referencing April 5th

All right, I'll start off with the prop-poster in the explanations, I figure, cause they come first.
    The initial art was preceded by a slew of ideas. I wanted it all: rays of glory, gas masks, riot cops- a real scenario, like it was a premonition. And it was. If I remember correctly, our finishing that game was a reaaal riot! The tag 'Join the Fight' was taken from the IWW, and had leftist roots.
    Here is the absolute flood of thumbnails that came out in about five minutes after days of researching actual posters. It may not make sense to you, but somehow, TDFC6 reads my manic scribbles and reference material like a novel. The one that is circled is the one that we went with. Kinda, w/out the roster roll call. Gas mask! Riot cops! Over 30 soccer team! Like I said, sometimes stuff was just subjective, a result of the personalities involved. The fonts used were a mishmash of asian, russian, cuban and american 'looking'- depending on the tone of the art. Some, besides the obvious, maybe were similar to a language from a non communist place. Don't care. Artistic license. All nations use propaganda anyways. 
    Some ideas crossed with others, some never made it, and then when planning got more concise, there was a spontaneity, with sometimes little or no preliminary work. I'm a big fan of first ideas being the best. Save your judgement, it works most of the time except for when it doesn't. The 'copyright abfu 2009' makes it's debut as a design team. The small tag of 'Power to the People' sourcing 'All power to the people,' the 60's protest slogan underneath it and in direct opposition brought us great joy.

    Now something you can chew on. Facts. Facts for no reason, facts for reasons, but an intellectual stew that looks and tastes good all the same.
    The 'Great Leap Forward' TDFC18 mentions references the Chinese plan to get right through agriculture and industrialization in the late 50's. If you must know, it didn't work too good. Our writer also likes to go to the 'hinterlands', or uncharted areas, cleverly used, as it also is described as going beyond the riverbanks. City folk going god knows where to play some footy. There are some names thrown in to inspire our revoltionariness (oh, I will make up words and use bad english when it suits). I think the words of the author should be used in some instances. I'll probably do that a lot now that I think of it...

    "I use Bonds because he was the Becks of his day (superstar, married to a pop star, the whole thing) EXCEPT he was ENCOURAGED to tackle, studs up from behind! The same with Chopper Harris. He was known for those crunching tackles. Plus, he shares the name Harris with Steve Harris from Iron Maiden who is a huge West Ham supporter... like me! Likewise, Bobby Moore is #6 from the West Ham squad of the 1960s that had a big spot on the World Cup winning 1966 team. Iconic... Marx, Engles, Harris (both), Bonds and Charleton ...all icons.... not Icons of Filth... that's a different story... but icons nonetheless. Freddy Engles was Marx's main man. He was the partner of Marx in writing the Communist Manifesto and spreading the word."

    This first Blog From the Struggle also marks the beginning of the nickname game. Sometimes there is some roundabout relation, sometimes it just made sense, but most of the time I think we were at the bar after training or a game and were drinking (except TDFC18, he doesn't need your crutches, he's funny au naturel). But back to the thing about the things:
    The Dear Leader in question refers to TDFC7, one of the captains and creators of the team. The reference is to Jong-il, the interesting little man from North Korea. The official title of Jong-il is not to be confused with his dad, who was known to the masses as the Great Leader.
    The new guy, TDFC33, became known as the Young Pioneer, a term used for what are pretty much communist boy scouts. There is no relation to the Devo anthology, 'Pioneers Who Got Scalped'.

    So there's some stuff. Not too in depth but enough to get it. Nobody wants to read a book report or some huge player profile. We'll save the profiles for the Tartan Devils trading cards.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The 'History' of the 2009 Propaganda Campaign

    Let me start off by explaining that the mission here is to fill in some space between now and the beginning of the season. In doing that I'll explain references, historic and otherwise, as well as what is going on in the posters. In trying to be true to form, I will explain Simply Red Scare as our jersey numbers, a la The Prisoner (a British series from the sixties that had a collectivism/ indoctrination slant to it and one man's quest for individualism- heavy). But don't be surprised when some things are just plain subjective.

(Close your eyes and imagine the Dating Game theme playing here (or to you smart folks, Spanish Flea by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass). I will learn how to put music where it needs to be then the Blog will be even more threatening with it's over the topness!)  

    Myself and TDFC6 are responsible for the art. We chose the style cause it's fun to do and pretty dynamic and the obvious want to spread the word about the Tartan Devils FC- propaganda style- get it?- the Blog seemed to have to go with it. Some posters are a direct homage to an original. Some started that way, then we got a little sidetracked, but the feel of them is always within the format. We replaced imagery that suited our needs and made it pertinent to the 'thing', along with some actual quotes from commies. Sometimes it was only a matter of having something that simply appealed to us and we went with it. There are nods to those that help and support us, like the guys that hand screened the posters from www.PrimordialPrints.com
    The colors are all black, red, grey, and white and that is intentional (a fair amount of black and red in communism, yeh?), as the squads colors are black and red. Happenstance really, but it plays well into the whole thing. If our colors where orange and purple we would have used those for our images, thankfully that wasn't the case. Black and red is way punk rock. Some might claim that a certain EPL club was the basis of our kit colors. We'll leave that to conjecture. Each poster took about 6 hours to design and execute, sometimes more. I'm the sketch things out guy with a plan and a funny way of thinking. TDFC6 has amazing computer skills, realization of visions, and always something to add. We both went to art school, although she designs for a living while I should go back to school and learn how to use a computer.

    The writing is also a collaboration. If you see a lot of 'glory' this and 'glorious' that, that would be TDFC18 and the literary tricks of agitprop discussing the struggle.  He's a teacher who has an interest in literature and composition, history, cultural studies and Marxism. He started his formal study of Marx in the early 1990s and it has only grown since then. There some smarty pants degrees mixed in there too. His writing comes across as if the new day truly is dawning on the perfect system, TDFC.
    Any scathing, venomous, seemingly on the verge of Kim Jong Il crazy comes from TDFC22. He's MMA fighter masquerading as a librarian with multiple degrees, including a masters in history. During graduate school he wrote several papers on American Anarchists. He was a card carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World and a one time member of the Democratic Socialist Party. Classic political punk and a politically minded grandfather formed early leftist leanings.
    Both those guys are heavy on the facts. Anything that looks like a play on words or some bullshit, that would usually be me. All the same, it comes together to further the cause of making Tartan Devils FC always come out ahead, always look better than the opposition, and always something you want. Win, lose, or draw.

    So there's some background. We do it for fun. Have fun yerselves. Buy our stuff.