Colossus of Roads
As those who know me well — and also those who don't know me that well — already know, I have never been awarded a degree in history, but I certainly "majored" in it. Consistent with that, my latest project brought to fruition a historical theme that I had been wanting to implement for quite a while now: The Colossus of Rhodes (1).​​​
The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, a select set of ancient structures that represented the Hellenistic Age "things you have to see before you die" long before there was "Lonely Planet" and google maps (2). The 7 structures were: The Colossus of Rhodes, The Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Tomb of Mausolus, The Temple of Artemis, The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Great Pyramid of Giza — the only one still standing to this very day.
Although I can't punctuate the following statement with "by far," the Colossus of Rhodes would be the one that has captured my imagination the most, and I have to offer up the "cool factor" of a giant statue standing sentinel bestride the entry to the island as the reason why. Although, to my knowledge, there has never been any evidence discovered to support this as the actual position of the statue, in my mind this has been a visual bell that cannot be unrung. 
Therefore, I have wanted to do a Photoshop project using the Colossus of Rhodes as the motif for at least a few years by now, but like a lot of other things in life, the timing was critical, and certainly in my experience in the creative space, it's not about "making" it happen as much as it's about "letting" it happen. 
I had to wait for preparation to meet opportunity.​​​​​​​
During the process of reading a book on South African history, I was introduced to Cecil Rhodes, who up until that time I had only been indirectly familiar with as the namesake of the former country of Rhodesia (which itself I was introduced to by chance via the movie "Blood Diamond," when Leonardo DiCaprio's character tells an American journalist (Jennifer Connelly) that he's not South African, he's "from Rhodesia"). Well it turns out that it was no coincidence that Cecil Rhodes had a country named after him, because his resume also included founding the De Beers Diamond group and endowing the Rhodes Scholarships. However, perhaps his biggest ambition remains unfulfilled: A cross-continent railway spanning from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. Therefore, upon seeing a cartoon of Cecil Rhodes as the "Colossus of Africa," bestriding it from Cape Town to Cairo was how one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World collided with EHG to produce my next photoshop project.​​​​​​​
The ideation was Cecil Rhodes as the Colossus of Rhodes and EHG as the Colossus of "the Road," i.e. touring any and everywhere. So the tagline became "The Colossus of Road Tours Returns..." since EHG, like pretty much every other band out there has been on hiatus since the beginning of 2020. In order to preserve the late 19th/early 20th style the original image, I knew I needed to use vintage, old-newspaper style fonts that meshed with the hatching and cross-hatching lines of image. Accordingly, I used Essays 1743 for the "copy" and Old Alfie out of the vintage font bundle to accomplish this; I really don't see what other two fonts could have fit better. 
To add more decoration and use up some white space, I added the fleurs-de-lis specifically, since EHG hails from New Orleans. "In Southern Discomfort" I added since "riding in transit" would be one of the fundamental themes of the poster with this also being a throwback to one of the band's albums. Furthermore, the latin phrase "APUD APOCALYPSES AFRICA," translates to "Africa at the End Times," another throwback to a previous EHG release. 
The last 2 anecdotes come from personal experience. I added the supporting act as GÄHDZILLA MOTOR COMPANY, a (I believe) now inactive Austin-based metal band, because I was introduced to their guitar player Bobby when I saw Down play in Europe years ago when he was serving as their guitar tech (and later on as a band member). Finally, "Proudly Presented by Wakaliwood" came from a chance encounter with a freelance write on the Austin waterfront who told me about his travels through some pretty exotic (and very dangerous) parts of the world including the Central Africa Republic (look it up). He told me about a grassroots action movie industry based in Kampala, Uganda, that if I were to happen to make it there one day, I could absolutely land a role in whatever film they would be making that week for $200 (3).  That "production studio" is known colloquially as "Wakaliwood," after Wakaliga, the borough that it is based in (3). 
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