King of the Beasts

This year the National Cartoonists Society is having their annual Reuben Awards convention weekend in good ol’ Memphis, Tennessee. As part of the festivities, members were asked to create some Memphis-themed art that could be used for several purposes:

  1. Decorations on the tables during the awards dinner.
  2. Original art to be auctioned at a swanky dinner on May 26 (TONIGHT!) at a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  3. Art to be used by a Memphis travel bureau to help promote the attractions of the city.

The choice was obvious – since Memphis is the home of Elvis (which is all I really knew it for, having never been to the city in my life), I chose to illustrate the Memphis Zoo with a slight nod to Elvis, of course. I present to you The King of the Beasts.


King of the Beasts
King of the Beasts


While this is not quite a velvet Elvis painting, it is a real painting nonetheless. I procrastinated a little in creating it, but ultimately decided it’s now or never. To ease your suspicious mind, I broke out my long-unused gouache paints, some of which needed a little reconstitution with the aid of some Kentucky rain. Basically the paints needed a little less conversation, a little more action. The only part created digitally are the words, so there is a nice painting there for one lucky bidder TONIGHT! Sales are final in benefit of the sick kids – bidders can’t return to sender.

Yes, that last paragraph was a little corny, but please don’t be cruel with your comments.

Thank you. Thank you very much.