<![CDATA[Blank Title - Blog]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 21:11:28 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Unlimited Editions!]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 01:32:22 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/unlimited-editionsQuestion: What do I have in common with Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, actress Tawny Kitaen and pro football player Vonn Bell of the New Orleans Saints? 
Answer: We are all selling autographed merch at a new Website: RackFest! 
That’s right, I signed a deal with a company that’s offering signed, “unlimited editions” of my artwork! The prices are reasonable (anyway I think so), and they’re offering high-quality editions of some of the illustrations I produced for my clothing deal in Japan, as well as the “Best of PUNK Magazine: book, the ueens museum/Ramones’ map and recent editions of PUNK magazine. 

Check it out: 
Several images I created for my Japanese clothing deal are for sale. I'll explain how I came up with these in my nex blog posts. 
<![CDATA[METROPOLIS VINTAGE CLOTHING: 43 Third Avenue]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:08:32 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/metropolis-vintage-clothing-43-third-avenuePicture
A neighborhood clothing store that specializes in vintage rock ’n’ roll clothing (no, not Varvatos, this place is more authentic), hired me to do a drawing for an anniversary celebration last year. They liked it so much that they now are using it all over the place! It’s the new store sign, it’s on their shopping bags, the Website, etc. etc. I think the drawing and lettering came out great and I get stoked whenever I walk past it.

Metropolis is located at 43 Third Avenue, just below East 10th Street. Two Ramones used to live across the block back in the day (Joey on East 9th Street, Johnny on East 10th Street), The Continental is just a block south, I live one block away… Yeah, it’s a great location.

I met the store owner (Richard Colligan) a few years ago, when he bought a vintage Ramones t-shirt from me off of eBay. His store is a passion project: He started selling pieces at flea markets in the mid-eighties and set up shop in the early nineties. Although most of that block has empty storefronts now, he's actually doing great business!

Stop by the store and buy something/anything: You’ll get a very useful shopping bag with my artwork on it!

Or check out their Website:

<![CDATA[October 07th, 2017]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 23:51:09 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/october-07th-2017
Above: Sid Vicious stopped by the PUNK magazine booth!
I have been attending a few ComiCons over the last several years a a Special Guest (East Coast ComiCon, Asbury Park ComiCon, TCBF in Italy (see story and pics below)). I always get first-class treatment and oddly enjoy the whole experience: meeting friends, celebrities and fans, watching the CosPlayers in their superhero costumes and  being immersed in comic book culture. I grew up on Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Thor as well as Creepy, Eerie and Famous Monsters and then Flakey Foont, Wonder Wart-Hog and Cheech Wizard and have tried to keep up with the comix scene over the years.

Getting invited to San Diego means making it to The Big Time. I’ve heard about this event for many, many years: It’s the peak of the Comic Book industry, home of the prestigious Eisner Awards, and a monster mash-up of corporate culture, alternative comics, and fringe maniacs (like me). I heard that 160,000 people attended, and it felt like twice that: huge crowds were everywhere, at times it was so packed that you couldn’t move. My “seller’s table” was unusually well-attended: I sold out of almost all the merch I brought. I was a guest on two panel discussions: One loosely based on “documentary comic books” (I think my comic strip interviews was why I was included), and a Spotlight panel, hosted by my best friend from the School of Visual Arts, Batton Lash. Both had the largest attendance I ever enjoyed at a ComiCon.\

The highlight of the convention is always the Eisner Awards (http://www.eisnerawards.org). I was seated at a place of honor: Table #1, with Will Eisner’s family, and Eisner publisher/archivist Denis Kitchen. The best part was seeing the Hernandez Brothers (Jaime and Gilbert, of Love and Rockets fame) get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Oddly enough, the only other time I attended a San Diego ComiCon, 20 years ago, I met those guys at a bar and partied with them! They were happy to meet me since we were both influenced by the Ramones. The Eisner Awards are put together by Jackie Estrada, Batton Lash’s wife, who is a V.I.P. in the ComiCon world. She invented and innovated Artist's Alley, where I was seated (and which manages to give those of us who are cartoonists and comic book artists but aren’t corporate types some attention).

I had an amazing time. Janet Goggins, who runs the “Invited Guests” department and her entire staff were so helpful—which came in handy for a newbie like me. The San Diego ComiCon is a huge event. It takes over the entire city (unlike the New York ComiCon, which attracts around the same number of people but they get swallowed up here).

I’d also like to give a special shout-out to Johnathan Diaz, my “personal assistant” who helped us out, and Dave Stern, an old friend who saved the day by providing invaluable throughout the event. Thanks everyone!

John Holmstrom with Batton A. Lash. 
Above: Hunter Thomson (aka Johnathan Diaz) at the John Holmstrom/PUNK Magazine booth.
<![CDATA[Computer problems]]>Sat, 07 Oct 2017 22:49:26 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/computer-problemsI finally sorted out a myriad of computer problems (still have a bunch to fix), but at least I can update this here blog now.
<![CDATA[The John Holmstrom/Punk Rock 40 Drawings Exhibition]]>Wed, 16 Nov 2016 06:10:18 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/the-john-holmstrompunk-rock-40-drawings-exhibition
The peak crowd of the exhibition of my work at Porta Santi Quaranta, Treviso. 
The entrance to the exhibition space, guarded by an ancient cannon and the Winged Lion. 
The exhibition of my original artwork, which also featured an amazing selection of 40 punk-related images by cartoonists from all over the world, took place in Porta Santi Quaranta, built in 1516. It’s one of the three gates of the ancient walls of Treviso, and was reportedly used to store ammunition. There is even an ancient cannon that is still stationed outside the building! Since the area of Treviso is considered to be one of the most important birthplaces of punk rock in Italy, I drew some Ramones’ pinheads on cannonballs with “Cannonballs From Treviso” instead of “Rocket to Russia.” 
At the peak of the crowd, which numbered in the hundreds, both inside and outside, the organizers of the exhibition gave a short talk (left to right): Mery (who put together the entire exhibition), Andrea (lots of his great photos appear in my blog posts about the event), John (That is me: the big, fat, bald guy in the WOW! WOW! WOW! t-shirt), Roger (who bears a very strong resemblance to Roger Daltry of The Who), and... I am sorry, I forgot his name, but he was the official representative from TCBF. I will update this page with his name soon. 
Here is a better photo of Mery from the exhibition. She did an amazing job, framing almost 100 drawings in only a day or two in time for the opening! She was The Best to work with. During the show, we all said: "There's Something About Mery." 
A (very) last-minute addition to the exhibition was this life-size drawing of Joey Ramone by Davied Toffolo:
Davide attended the exhibition with his very beautiful girlfriend! (I am so sorry, no photos available). We had a lot of fun outside the exhibition after the show. The street was packed! So many people were partying outside of the John Holmstrom/40 drawings exhibition that one of the corner bars ran out of beer! (You are welcome, and owe me some next time I visit!) ​Davide is a cartoonist/illustrator/musician: He's also the frontman and guitarist for the italian punk band called "Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti" (Three Happy Dead Boys): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tre_Allegri_Ragazzi_Morti 
This was probably my favorite image from the "40 Drawings) exhibitions: Lucia Fioretti's interpretation of Debbie Harry. This drawing is based on a photo shoot by Chris Stein that we published in PUNK #4, and I have to admit that I think that those photos of Debbie helped put Blondie over the top. They contributed to almost every single issue of PUNK Magazine back in the day, and because they were so commercially successful I think that most people overlook how radical and ground-breaking Blondie were as artists. A pop band that is also avant-garde? People just can't even conceive of something like this today. 
Get into it: This drawing of the Velvet Underground is AMAZING! 
Above: My good friends David Godlis (godlis.com) and Roberta Bayley (robertabayley.com), interpreted by Francesca Protopapa (http://francescaprotopapa.com/ILLUSTRATION). Thank you, Francesca, for adding them to the show! 
I can't find his info on the Internet, but King Simon's illustration of Tommy Ramone says a lot. He really is the most under-appreciated member of the original band, and I have always believed that without his intellect and smarts, the Ramones would never have happened. Here's to you, Tommy Ramone! 
Everyone loves Siouxsie Sioux, right? Except that if she appeared in today's culture, she would probably be accused of "cultural appropriation" because of her use of "Sioux." I am so glad I am not growing up today, that would be too absurd. She was an important female force in early punk rock (along with Patti Smith, Tina Weymouth, Ivy of The Cramps and hundreds more). Anyhow, I love this drawing!!! 
Yes, some of the limited-edition, silkscreened art prints are still available: print@punkmagazine
So are the t-shirts: t-shirt@punkmagazine.com

<![CDATA[Wednesday, 9/21: More of my Publicity Tour]]>Sun, 13 Nov 2016 04:57:11 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/wednesday-921-more-of-my-publicity-tourAwesome day. It started with a panel discussion at a high school devoted to art and architecture where Ruggero played several rock ’n’ roll videos, and I tried to give an inspirational talk. It is sometimes difficult for old-timers like me to understand how our music is becoming forgotten and just part of the past when it was such an important part of 20th century history, but it’s 2016 now so, you know… 
No images from the event, but I will post if/when I receive any. 
The weirdest moment was when they announced to the high school class that AC/DC had just officially broken up! Immediately after, we ate at a great restaurant where Roger recently appears in his AC/DC tribute band. I saw AC/DC when they opened for the Dictators at the Academy of Music many years ago, and again when they played CBGB in a surprise gig in 1977. I had a great time talking with Bon Scott at the bar that night, but I think he was too drunk to remember when Roberta Bayley and I did a very short interview with them at the CBS Records office a couple of days later (PUNK #14 and "The Best of PUNK Magazine" book). They were a great rock 'n'roll band. 
After we had lunch at a club where Roger performs with how AC/DC band, we suddenly noticed that day's local newspaper: WOW! I was on the front page of the local Arts page! What an experience to have with the official TCBF event happening the very next day. I have to hand it to Andrea and Roger, who think of themselves as "The Italian Ramones": They really make things happen. Thanks again. 
The highlight of my tour was a visit to Fabrica, which is a temple to culture, an academic institution, and an archive for important art, film, video, etc. It’s architecture is like a “Temple of Wisdom.” 
I did a live interview in front of 100+ people (in English), with Mario Bonardi (Rolling Stone magazine) and Roger Brunello, aka Roger Ramone. The event was sold-out, all full of people really interested in our discussion. You could feel the energy in the audience: Everyone was interested in our conversation. No one got bored and left early. According to Roger, many of the rock ’n’ roll people are part of the “Mod” culture (which is apparently very popular in northern Italy), and not necessarily punk rock. Since the Mod culture pre-dates punk rock but was a huge influence (especially The WHo), it all makes sense. The Q&A after the initial discussion went great. As you can hopefully see for yourself: 
Prints and t-shirts from the event are still available. Please send an email if you are interested. 
The limited edition, silk-screened art print of the Queens Museum map, which is suitable for framing: 
The limited edition t-shirts are almost sold out! They re available in many sizes and colors, so email us to see if you can get what you want. (Sometimes you can get what you need, right?): t-shirt@punkmagazine.com

If you experience any problems, please email me at : jholmstrom@punkmagazine.com
<![CDATA[Tuesday September 20: Venice!]]>Sun, 13 Nov 2016 04:32:17 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/tuesday-september-20-veniceRuggero and Andrea drove me to Venice, one of the most famous cities in the world. I am very grateful for this, since everyone wants to visit Venice. Yes, it’s beautiful and a very special place (for instance, there was an amazing exhibition of Leonardo DaVinci’s “machines” at a local church), but I felt like I was visiting the West Village in NYC. It seems like super-expensive tourist traps have taken over most of it, and I was told that the “Chinese Mafia” has been buying a lot of local businesses. It was like being in Amsterdam, a city I love because it reminds me of New York City, but in when I was in Treviso? I felt like I was visiting Italy. 
My trip to Venice was remarkable for two reasons: I met two of the most amazing people in all of Italy. Alex Ruffini: a famous Italian rock photog: 
I don't know why so many of my good friends are rock photographers (Roberta Bayley, David Godlis, Bob Gruen, Joe Stevens, etc.), maybe it's because I am a frustrated rock photog myself. That was my dream job when I was younger, but since I was not a great photog I fell into drawing and cartooning about rock 'n' roll instead. I have always enjoyed the visual spectacles of great rock 'n' roll music, and Alex is a master of capturing great moments. 
The other amazing person I met was Mario Panciera, an astonishing punk collector/fan/writer/musician/good guy. He has the largest archive of 1970s punk rock posters, flyers, records, CDs, magazines/fanzines, and artifacts in the world. I am not kidding. Unfortunately, photos of our visit were discouraged.
People who have seen his collection call it: “The Punk Rock Museum,” and it is. Everything is framed and archived to the hilt. Mario is planning to make his collection accessible to the public someday, so I will keep you posted if/when it happens. I just have to say being allowed to visit his vast, perfect and complete archive of all things punk rock is something I am still trying to process, and was the most amazing time I spent in Italy. This might be the most amazing collection of artifacts by anyone of anything of all time.  (I am not exaggerating!) For instance, he wrote the definitive book on the subject: 
We got along like brothers from another mother. We both started out as Alice Ciooper fans in the early 1970s, love everything punk rock from 1975-1979, and lost interest in punk rock after that. Mario discovered Love’s “Forever Changes” LP and this became his favorite music after punk rock (I am also a fan of this LP, and saw Arthur Lee perform the entire record at the Cat Club in the 1990s). me? I still like punk rock and rock 'n' roll and everything, but dislike mainstream culture from recent years. 

The t-shirts are still available, in several sizes and colors:
If you have any problems ordering? Email me directly:
<![CDATA[9/19/16 Vicenza]]>Wed, 09 Nov 2016 06:03:03 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/91916-vicenzaA day in Vicenza:
I enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal of genuine Italian pasta at Andrea’ Compa Ramone's home in Vicenza, and afterwards did a video interview with him for Classic Rock magazine. The interview was set up by "Tony Face Bacciocchi, who is "The Italian 
Godfather" (who is also good friends with Paul Weller, who was in The Jam). It was published recently:  
On the way to the Signing Party, we stopped the car and took a look at the Palladian Villa “La Rotonda” (a very famous UNESCO world heritage site built in 1592): 
I saw a lot of very nice villas in Treviso, but this was the grandest. Next, we visited Serimab Screenprinting, the print shop that produced my first official silkscreened, limited edition art print (of the Queens Museum/Ramones map). 
I signed all the official silksreen art prints, then it was time to party! 
The shop threw a great party with lots of beer and fun! It reminded me of the good old days in New York City back in the 1970s and early 1980s, and how much I always enjoyed visiting the printers who would help create PUNK Magazine, Comical Funnies and STOP!. I did a video interview for Salad Days magazine that I think went well, keep an eye out for it:
sI was introduced to an amazing punk rock group from Verona: Kill The Mayor. This band kicks major ass! I am so glad I met them. They are like the Italian Pussy Riot. They are more proof that punk rock is NOT dead, that it is alive and well and thriving around the world. Watch their video here ("You Are A Bitch" is my favorite): 
I also met the very famous Sebastiano “Seby Derozer” Berlato, the front man for one of the best and most popular punk rock bands: Derozer. (Sorry, no photos yet.) They tour in front of sold-out crowds all over Europe! 
(SIDE NOTE: The response to the map I drew for the Queens Museum has been unprecedented in my career. I am very grateful, since it took many months for me to finish: I did tons of research on Forest Hills, Queens, Manhattan and the history of the Ramones in the Greater New York area. I’m so glad people, especially all of the Ramones fans, like the way it came out. I intended it to be like a new record cover for a Ramones LP that never came out, mixed with a visual history of the Ramones, especially their now-historic first record. The response at the Queens Museum, which had record attendance, amazed all of us who worked with them back in the day.) And the limited edition, silkscreen art print was made for people who want a copy of the Queens Museum map to frame, without the creases from the actual map (which was given away for free at the Queens Museum). 
The silkscreen art prints of the Ramones map (a reproduction of the Queens Museum map) are selling better than any art print I ever produced. Here’s how to order one: 
<![CDATA[9/18/2016: Tour of Treviso]]>Wed, 09 Nov 2016 04:07:42 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/9182016-tour-of-trevisoRoger and Andrea took me on a nice tour of the “Colline Del Prosecco”: The wine country outside Treviso where the vinyards grow the grapes and the wineries produce Prosecco. It’s similar to Napa Valley in California: A big-time tourist industry based on winde prodiction. We ate a great meal at an amazing restaurant with a great view of the vineyards: "Trattoria Fos De Marai" (Valdobbiadene, Via Santo Stefano, 20). I had dinner a few days ago at a restaurant that served Prosecco from this region: $60 per bottle. It's the good stuff! 
Above: Andrea, me (John Holmstrom), and Roger. NOTE: I am wearing the special edition t-shirt that Roger made for his Coney Island wedding day, which was inspired by the Ramones' "Road to Ruin" record cover. 
I recommend visiting Treviso if you'd like to see Italy at its finest. The wine country is beautiful.
Roger and Andrea are very social people and always bring friends with them wherever they go. BTW, the woman in the middle is Roger's wife, Vania, who is a total treasure. She took great care of me during the trip. It was a lot of work to do everything that needed to be done, and she made sure several times that I got home early. Thank you Vania! 
<![CDATA[Saturday 9/17, 2016: Treviso]]>Sun, 06 Nov 2016 01:56:32 GMThttp://johnholmstrom.com/blog/saturday-917-2016-trevisoI was brought in a few days early for the Treviso Comic Book Festival by Ruggero Brunello and Andrea Compagnin, the two best guides, tour operators and organizers you ever want to work with. Danny Fields (subject and star of the film “Danny Says” and former Ramones manager) and Monte Melnick, the Ramones tour manager and author of “On The Road With the Ramones”), toured Italy with them the previous two years and highly recommended them.  (Below: The Italian translation of "On The Road with the Ramones by Monte Melnick (cover drawing by yours truly), which was put together by Roger and Andrea). 
Above: Roger "Ramone" and Andrea "Ramone": The Italian Ramone brothers. 
I met Roger and Andrea when they visited New York City for Roger's wedding with his beautiful and wonderful wife, Vania. I was honored to be a wedding guest: Their souvenir was a t-shirt inspired by "Road to Ruin." It was the most beautiful ceremony I ever saw: On the boardwalk on Coney Island, surrounded by several friends and family, within sight of Rockaway Beach and not far from the film set of "The Warriors."  
Left to right: Monte Melnick, Roger "Ramone," Vania, and Danny Fields. 
Roger told me during their wedding visit that they wanted me to be their next "guest" to Treviso, Italy. "Okay, sure, what do I have to lose?" I figured. Just my sanity, I think, looking back. But going crazy like this is a good thing. My entire career as a cartoonist/writer/artist has been about getting involved in crazy-ass projects that are exciting and fun that somehow become important 20 years later. Why stop now? 

We all did a lot of advance work for the tour, going back and forth about what artwork I had to exhibit, what we could sell, what we couldn't, Italy's VAT taxes, etc. I was busy until I took the night flight to Venice, and   booked into the Madam BNB:
I learned a lot about Prosecco over the next few days. It is a wildly popular wine in northern Italy—like champagne, only less bubbly, much cheaper and IMHO stronger. The local vineyards and wineries are so obsessed with its production that the only comparison I can think of would be the “Emerald Triangle” in California where marijuana growers are insanely-competitive about how they grow their plants. This went beyond that because wine has been produced in Northern Italy for so many generations: One winery I visited traced production back to the 1600s. It is an amazing wine: tasty, enjoyable, excellent, and best when they affix the heralded “DOCG” official label to it.