All those original hand painted art boards... where are they? Between December 1979 and January 1993, I drew, devised, and dramatized (really working for an alliteration here!!) hundreds of pages of the Radical Rick comic strip in BMX Plus! magazine. NOTE: For you young'uns, magazines were made of paper, printed with pictures and writing, and used to share information before cell phones were invented.
It's kind of hard to precisely figure out how many individual pages I've penciled, inked, and watercolored over the 13 plus years. Not counting posters and merch, I think I must have created well over 300 panels of the strip when you consider 99% of the 153 monthly episodes were at least 2 pages. And we're not even counting the BMX Plus! subscription ads insidiously made to look like a Radical rick comicstrip.
Each page was hand drawn, inked in black india ink, and watercolored on a large sheet of heavy paper, or illustration board at a size roughly one and a half times larger than the size of the magazine page. They were painted oversized so all the detail would fit. Very few people outside of the magazine staff ever laid eyes on these original panels. If you've seen one, or better both pages of an original hand painted episode side by side, you know how much more vibrant and crisp they look in real life compared to the smaller printed version that appeared on the printed magazine page.
So where are they now?
Many I hope most are safe and snug in BMX loving homes, proudly hung on walls, properly protected from direct sunlight where they are spied daily and inspire doses of spontaneous radness. How they got there is a whole other discussion. Some never returned to me after I dropped them off at the BMX PLUS! offices to be sent off and separated in preparation for printing. Over the last few decades, people who followed the adventures have tracked me down and bought an episode or two. I still have few personal favorites in my possession tucked away in a flat file. Of those originals that left my possession, I really never kept track of where they went or who joyously tucked the artwork under her arm, so it would be nearly impossible to find them now.
Now you know why that dang book (See "The Book" in the menu bar) has taken so long. If I had a time machine, I would go back and properly photograph each freshly painted Radical Rick art board the moment I finished it. True confession, I'm a terrible archivist. Man, if only knew then what I know know now...I'd buy undeveloped property in downtown Los Angeles. Oh yeah, and record every single solitary episode, every poster, every sketch that I inked, painted, or airbrushed of Radical Rick and the Rad Squad. Wow, that would have made collecting all those episodes for the publisher, sooooo much easier.
Someday I'll tell you the story of a well known individual in the BMX community who came to my home and after a making an $ offer, walked away with at least 30% of the known original Radical Rick episodes in existence. Stay tuned...