Only one more week left to guarantee delivery by Christmas!
So make that history nerd or that policy wonk in your life happy with a print of Aaron Burr, Harry S Truman and/or Theodore Roosevelt. Make your favorite obsessive completist leap with joy with the Full Veeptopus - all 47 vice presidents with octopuses on their heads.
Consider a Ruth Bader Ginsburg card set.
Or consider Veeptopus's reigning best-seller, a print that commemorates the notorious Burr-Hamilton duel in 1804. It was so famous, I hear they even made a musical about it.
Remember, nothing says holiday cheer like tentacles.
You love Hamilton The Musical? Are you a Star Wars fanatic? Celebrate both your loves with this amazing print.
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr were friends who became political rivals and then bitter enemies. Their feud boiled over in Weehawken, New Jersey, on July 11, 1804, when they met for a duel. Hamilton shot first and missed. Burr shot and fatally wounded Hamilton. The bloody event changed American history and still has historians talking.
Han Solo and Greedo faced off in a tavern on Mos Eisley. Like Hamilton, Han shot first. I don't care what George Lucas thinks. Han freakin' shot first.
Get this art print mash up commemorating both events. Makes a great gift for the history nerd, musical nerd and/or general nerd in your life.
Bernie Sanders might be 74 years old. He might have a haircut the is reminiscent of a mad scientist. And he might be a Democratic Socialist, but he is the by far the coolest person running for president. And he's has locked up the critical woodland creature vote.
Commemorate Bernie locking up the pivotal woodland creature vote with this totally sweet campaign poster.
Proceeds of this print will go Bernie's campaign.
How cool was Alexander Hamilton? He wrote much of the Federalist Papers, he has his face on the ten dollar bill and he died in a duel with Aaron Burr. More to the point, he's the only Founding Father I can think of who has a hip hop Broadway musical based his life.
So to celebrate the world's coolest Secretary of the Treasury, I've made two prints. One, which you can see above, is a single portrait of Hamilton. Great for anyone who wants to raise a glass to American monetary policy. The other commemorates Hamilton's fateful duel with Burr.
Get one or both prints this holiday season for the history nerd, economics enthusiast or Broadway musical maven in your life.
It's the holiday season. This year, celebrate them with badgers. Badgers sporting Santa hats. Badgers clutching deadly weapons.
That's right. The Veeptopus Holiday Cards are here! Send that loved one this Christmas / Hanukkah / Festivus a token of esteem and mild threat. Perfect for that uncle who holds a political view that is violently different from yours or that aunt who keeps asking about your personal life.
Remember, nothing says "Happy Holidays" like murderous badgers. It's a Veeptopus tradition.
It's October 8th so naturally, it's Octopus Day. Celebrate it by placing one on your head, drinking heavily or in whatever way you feel appropriate.
The Veeptopus Store has been open for one whole year. It's been a pretty amazing time where I learned a lot about running an online business and a fair amount about octopuses. To thank everyone for all the positive vibes and the kind words, I'm having a giveaway. That's right, you will have a shot at winning any Veeptopus print of your very own. There will be three lucky winners.
But get this, if you tag someone else in the comments then you get two chances to win. Tag more people, you get more chances. You see how it works. The lucky winners will be drawn at random September 9.
But wait, there's more!
I'm having a sale. That's right, 20% off everything in the shop. never have sales, but I'm doing one this week.
So if you've been thinking about decorating your house or cubicle with a lovingly created portrait of a US vice president with an octopus on his head, now's the time to buy.
Just use the check out code ONEYEAR at checkout. But act soon. This sale ends next Tuesday.
Be it written in the stars or the dumb luck of a cold and meaningless universe, three vice presidents were born today, August 27. LBJ was born on 1908 and was elected vice president in a squeaker of an election in 1960 and then, of course, ascended to the presidency in 1963. He named his penis Jumbo and showed it too way too many people. He also used to make his own vice president, Hubert Humphrey, cry. He was an able legislator but not exactly a nice guy.
Charles G. Dawes, who served under Calvin Coolidge, was born at the end of the Civil War, 1865. He is the only VP to date to have won both a Nobel Peace Prize and to have written a number one pop hit. He got the prize in 1925 for brokering the Dawes Plan for Detente between Germany and France after WWI. And in 1958, Tommy Edwards added lyrics to his song "It's All in the Game." The song soon topped the charts.
And Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln's first VP, was born in 1809. He was a Maine Abolitionist who generally proved to be uninspiring at his job. That said, Hamlin not only was born on the same day as two other veeps but he died on the same day as two other veeps. He breathed his last breath on July 4, the same day (but not the same year) as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams also passed on.
This is the classiest, most high-quality print we have on our site. A beautifully hand-drawn, hand-painted portrait of the Donald, printed on the highest-quality paper out there. I wanted to put this on rose marble, but for some reason, they don't make ink-jet printers for sheet rock.
So if you are looking for that perfect, unique, luxurious piece of art to decorate the wall at your villa in the Hamptons or perhaps a bathroom in the White House, look no further. Trumptopus is here. He's never going away. And you can't stop looking at him.
And remember, Halloween is coming soon.
So the thing about drawing Donald Trump is that you really don't need to worry about realism when it comes to color. I painted him almost entirely using orange straight from the paint set and it still looks more natural that the Donald's actual skin color.
So should I call this Chtrumplhu? Trumpusa? Or just the Trumpster?
On July 11th and 12th, I had the opportunity to ply my wares at the Renegade Craft Fair in scenic Downtown Los Angeles, right in the shadow of city hall. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.
It was fascinating watching people come into my tent.
Every minute or two, people would come in, squinting at my work as if figuring out a puzzle. Then I'd say, "Every single vice president with an octopus on his head." Inevitably, there would be a beat as they processed the info and then they'd burst out laughing and say something along the lines of "That's great," "This is the best thing I've seen at the fair," or "You're insane." (I'm assuming that last one was a compliment.)
This happened at least 100 times throughout the weekend. There's some kind of strange alchemy that happens when you combine vice presidents with cephalopods.
At the fair, we broadened and expanded our line by debuted a few new products: note cards, folded card sets and art prints.
For example, let's say that you are someone who prefers your octopuses without vice presidents (I personally don't understand this). In the past, you would be out of luck here at Veeptopus. But now, we have something for you.
That's right! Tentacle note cards! Great for writing a note to your mom or to that marine biologist in your life. Four different prints, each with its own envelope. Only $10.
And we have more notecards. Ones with octopuses splayed out on typewriters. Great for writing notes to your mom or that tortured novelist in your life. Four in one pack each with its own envelope. Also $10.
Many of you know that I've been doing this ridiculous series involving President William Howard Taft and a badger.
Well, I've turned some of my favorites into folded card sets. There's the one set above, which shows Taft riding a badger, the badger riding Taft and a couple weirder permutations of that same theme.
And here is the second series, Taft in a badger suit, a badger in a Taft suit and then two more weirdly existential complications of that general theme. Both Taft/Badger card sets come with envelopes. $15.
And lastly, we have Ruth Bader Ginsburg (AKA Notorious R.B.G.) with a robot arm. Why? Because she's a badass, that's why.
We have this lovely print of an original ink/watercolor painting. Great for your law office or dorm room.
On this July 4th weekend while you are firing off roman candles and drinking that third beer, spare a thought for this nation's vice presidents. While their job might not be worth "a warm bucket of piss" as FDR's first veep John Nance Garner famously described it, they seem constitutionally prone to dying on Independence Day. America's first and second vice presidents - John Adams and Thomas Jefferson - both died on the same day, July 4, 1826. That's precisely 50 years to the day both signed the Declaration of Independence.
Adams and Jefferson were, of course, rivals during their long political careers. When they squared off in the election of 1796, the rules were that the guy who got second place wound up the veep. Jefferson lost and thus became America's number two. This process might seem fair on paper but in practice pairing up with a political competitor became a recipe for intrigue and ill-will. By the election of 1800, they amended the laws to the current party system. The heated rivalry between Adams and Jefferson, by the way, turned to a lifelong friendship after they left public service.
Calvin Coolidge didn't die on this day but July 4 is his birthday. So that's something.
A couple of copies of the Veeptopus book - which sold out in under 24 hours last month - are on sale at Nucleus Gallery now. The store is filled with all sorts of amazing things for sale there so go ahead and poke around.
If you're in LA and some time to kill, stop by and say hi. I'll be unveiling some new products there.
Update: Wow! I sold out in less than 24 hours. Thank you everyone!
Anyone who's been reading this blog knows that I've been trying to get my Veeptopus series into book form for a while. While drawing these watercolor/ pen & ink cephalopod-bedecked portraits over and over and over again, I learned something about each and everyone of these vice presidents. Little stories that were not only weird and wonderful but also revealing about both the character of the man (and, to date, they are all men) and the time he lived. I wanted to share all that with you.
So I painstakingly researched biographical facts about every VP and then I had those facts vetted by noted scholar on the Vice Presidency Aaron Mannes. He not only wrote an introduction to this book but also came up with a great reading list on the Vice Presidency too.
And then I managed to get Joan Lau to design the book. She's an amazing art director who did all the graphics for the movie (500) Days of Summer, the opening title for the ABC series A to Z and she even had a hand in the opening titles for Mad Men. She's also my wife, so that helps.
Anyway, I'm really excited about how this book looks and, if you are a fan of strange art, odd historical facts, cephalopods and/or Joe Biden, then I think you'll like this book too.
So here's the thing: I only printed 20 of these books.
Why did I only print 20 of these beautiful tomes? Well, to be honest, I originally only wanted to print 5. I am actively talking with publishers to get this book out to a wider audience and I wanted to print a few up as a proof of concept, a tangible version of my book proposal.
But as it turns out, it's about as cheap to print 5 books as it is 20.
So I decided to sell a portion of this very limited run. Each copy is signed and numbered.
So if you've been on the fence debating whether you should get a Gerald Ford print or a Schuyler Colfax one, you no longer have to choose.
People frequently ask me where do I get my ideas for my pictures. Sometimes they come to me from a dream. Other times, they come from a 48-hour tequila binge. But most often than not, they come from history itself. Truth is after all, stranger than fiction. Case in point, the above picture of President William Taft riding a badger was inspired by a real-life evident when William Taft rode a badger.
The place was Utica, New York. The time was May of 1910. Taft, our nation's heaviest president sat aside a rare giant badger and rode the beast through that city's largest thoroughfare during a local parade. It was an awesome sight and the raucous crowd felt silent when the POTUS passed. Tragedy struck hours later, long after the president boarded a train for Poughkeepsie, when the badger grew enraged and savaged two clowns and a majorette. Badger riding, a brief fad in the 1910s, was deemed cruel and dangerous. In 1972, the last of the Giant Eastern Badgers died and the species was declared extinct.
Happy birthday to Charles W. Fairbanks. He was a dull, uninspiring politician whose naked ambition for the White House was the source of jokes among the press. The Nation, one of many periodicals that regularly ridiculed Fairbanks, quipped, “No public speaker can more quickly drive an audience to despair." He is the namesake for Fairbanks, Alaska, however, so at least he has that.