It seems that too often in America justice fails us.
Yesterday’s grand jury announcement that there would be no criminal charges against the police officer who killed an unarmed 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri sparked more rage, unrest, looting, riots and violence. Many more people were hurt and buildings destroyed in Ferguson. Unrest, protests and riots happened around the country last night and including close to home in Oakland.
Today, It seems fitting to post a b&w illustration I did last year for VERDICT on the theme of justice being cut down and rendered powerless.
We should not let injustice, racism and violence rule in any form. We have work to do as a nation and in our communities to mend justice and find true peace and equality.
November 25, 2014 | Categories: Chuck's illustrations, Political Art | Tags: art, artwork, charcoal, comics, courts, drawing, ferguson, illustration, justice, lady justice, law, legal, pencil, police, protest, race, racism, riots, storytelling, The Verdict, violence, visual journalism | Leave a comment
I created this illustration for Bay Area News Group to go with a Dana Hull story on lock down technology used by Apple and other smartphone makers to thwart thieves from stealing private information from a cell phone. In print the illustration ran in the San Jose Mercury News and in the Contra Costa Times in the TechMonday business section. I few months later I was delighted to learn that my artwork was also picked up by The Huffington Post and ran with this story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/smartphone-kill-switch_n_5158926.html
The illustration was created with pencil, photocopy and Photoshop. I wanted to really push the threatening feeling of the hands trying to snatch the iPhone. I did this as a separate drawing, xeroxed it to push the blacks and texture and then worked back into it some more. On another piece of bristol board I drew the hand and the lock with chains wrapping around the iPhone to keep it locked down. I scanned both in and accented the hand and phone with color in photoshop. Keeping the background black and white was more striking and sinister. This approach harkens back to my love for printmaking and etching.
October 14, 2014 | Categories: Apple, Business, Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Security, Silicon Valley, Smartphones, Social Media, Technology | Tags: Apple, art, artwork, Bay Area News Group, chain, Chuck Todd, Contra Costa Times, directory of illustration, drawing, etching, fantasy, fantasy art, graphics, hand, horror, Huffington Post, illustration, iPhone, kill switch, lock, newspapers, pencil, photocopy, photoshop, printmaking, private information, San Jose Mercury News, Sci Fi, security, smartphone, stealing, storytelling, technology, thief, thieves, visual journalism, www.chucktodd.net | Leave a comment
Street Smarts graphic and illustration by Chuck Todd created for the Monday, Dec. 2 TECHNOLOGY section in Bay Area News Group papers. Centerpiece design by Daymond Gascon (and the Street Smarts headline). Story by San Jose Mercury News writer Dan Nakaso.
Cars are getting smarter and safer: From Toyota’s fuel cell concept car expected to go 310 miles between fill ups to sensors that detect and warn of cars in a drivers blind spot to systems that maintain safe distances from cars in traffic, new car technology is changing how drivers interact with their vehicles.
For this illustration I played on the idea of cars making drivers smarter. I had fun using the car as the brains of a driver and used the vector car art to highlight new car model technology. The driver’s profile was drawn in pencil, xeroxed and drawn back into to increase contrast and then taken into photoshop. I decided to keep the driver drawing in light blue tones and pop the car out for emphasis by using oranges and black lines. The car and graphic elements were created in illustrator.
Here is a link to the story: http://goo.gl/6FoziB
December 2, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: Bay Area News Group, car, car technology, cars, Chuck Todd, design, drawing, driver, drivers, fuel cell, hydrogen, illsutrator, illustration, infographics, photoshop, portrait, profile, safety, San Jose Mercury News, technology, toyota | Leave a comment
Recently I got this illustration assignment for a Pat May story published in the San Jose Mercury and Bay Area News Group papers. Pat was interested in finding out what made Apple’s enigmatic, helpful (sometimes) and mysterious female concierge tick. He wanted to get inside SIRI’s head. To do that he enlisted the help of a local psychologist to probe and ask SIRI questions to discover the mind behind the iPhone voice.
Trying to psychoanalyze SIRI was a fun assignment to get. When the story was pitched to me by the Business editors we hit the idea of putting SIRI on the psychiatrist’s couch. I took the idea and ran with it. And what more famous couch…or psychiatrist to dive into the mind of SIRI than Sigmund Freud himself. No kidding on running with this assignment….with other newspaper deadline work I had just a morning and part of the afternoon to go from thumbnail to finish.
You’ll find in the illustration a few apple and female related symbols.
You’ll find Pat May’s story at this link:
September 28, 2013 | Categories: Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Freud, psychology, Silicon Valley, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized, Visual Journalism | Tags: Apple, art, artwork, Bay Area News Group, Chuck Todd, comics, Contra Costa Times, design, drawing, fantasy, freud, graphics, illustration, iOS7, iPhone, mind, newspapers, Oakland Tribune, painting, Pay May, pencil, photoshop, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychology, San Jose Mercury News, sequential art, Sigmund Freud, Siri, storytelling, subconscious, visual journalism, woman, www.chucktodd.net | Leave a comment
The funeral for actor James Gandolfini was held today in New York City. Gandolfini died last week of a heart attack in Italy at the age of 51. Gandolfini brought the character of mobster Tony Soprano to life in HBO’s “The Sopranos.” He breathed into the character complexity, vulnerability and a violent power seething under the surface. So sad to lose such a great actor in the prime of his life.
As friends and family of the actor gathered to celebrate Gandolfini’s life I thought I would share this illustration I did of Tony Soprano for the Contra Costa Times when “The Soprano’s” ruled.
The A&E cover for the Contra Costa Times featured boxing poster take on “THE BATTLE FOR THE EMMYS” with James Gandolfini and Martin Sheen portrayed as boxers as “The Sopranos” and “The West Wing” fought for Emmy Awards supremacy. I created the characters of Tony Soprano and President Bartlet in pencil and watercolor adding in boxing gloves, shorts and some details that matched each character. Fellow artist Dave Johnson did the design, background photographer and combine them in photoshop…art direction by MaryAnne Talbott.
RIP James Gandolfini.
June 27, 2013 | Categories: Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Social Media, Uncategorized, Visual Journalism | Tags: acting, actor, art, artwork, Chuck Todd, Contra Costa Times, crime, Dave Johnson, David Chase, design, drawing, Emmys, facebook, graphics, HBO, illustration, Italy, James Gandolfini, Martin Shen, mob, New Jersey, New York, newspapers, painting, pencil, photoshop, sequential art, storytelling, television, Tony Soprano, visual journalism, watercolor, West Wing, www.chucktodd.net | Leave a comment
I was honored to be part of a group asked to give a presentation at the Alliance for Innovation “Transforming Local Government Conference in Atlanta on April 10, 2013. Our presentation was entitled “Think Outside the Bar Chart! Creating Compelling Budget Communications for Public Engagement” Walnut Creek Assistant City Manager Lorie Tinfow, , Multi-Media Producer Liz Payne and I were joined in spirit by Communications and Outreach Manager Gayle Vassar in spirit though she could not be at the presentation in person.
Last year I was asked to work on a project that grew into “A COMMUNITY CONNECTED: THE 2012-14 BUDGET STORY” for Walnut Creek, CA. The project grew out of a desire to create a more visual, informative and engaging publication than the typical large budget binder. To create something with more context and to also help the public understand the work the city is doing…and the tough challenges and choices ahead. Gayle and Lorie assembled a team that included Finance Manager Cindy Mosser, Liz Payne, Blue Ribbon Taskforce member Karen Majors and myself.
As a visual journalist on the project I was brought in to find visual ways to tell the story. And in the presentation I got to discuss what a visual journalist does and the process of working on the publication, cover and the Priority Based Budgeting infographic. A visual journalist takes complex information, data and ideas and turns it into a visual story….focusing on key messages and what is important to connect to the reader. Visual Journalism is visual reporting using illustration, infographics, design and/or sequential art.
Priority Based Budgeting is a process where a city establishes goals and with input from The City Council, city staff and citizens rank programs and spending in how well they met the goals. It is new, innovative way for cities to aproach budgets and the city of Walnut Creek is one of the first to embrace the process.
The graphic and publication has been well received by the citizens in Walnut Creek and has garnered national attention. It was a great honor to be asked to give our “Think Outside the Bar Chart!” presentation at the TLG conference. I’m including here the cover and a two-page spread from the Budget Story.
It was a great experience and I even got to meet the folks who came up with the idea of Priority Based Budgeting. Getting compliments from them on how well the graphic described the process was high praise indeed! For more about their work go to ( For more on Priority based Budgeting go to: http://www.pbbcenter.org)
April 10, 2013 | Categories: Alliance for Innovation, Business, Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Infographics, Political Art, Politics, Priority Based Budgeting, Social Media, Technology, Transforming Local Governments, Visual Journalism | Tags: art, artwork, Chuck Todd, clarity, design, drawing, graphics, illustration, illustrator, infographics, photoshop, sequential art, stories, storytelling, visual journalism, Walnut Creek, www.chucktodd.net | Leave a comment
After 42 years Gary Bogue’s final column published in Friday’s Contra Costa Times.
Gary wrote his pets and wildlife column for the Times for 42 years. Amazing. More amazing is his wealth of knowledge, his empathy for wild critters and his connection to his readers. I have had the honor of working with Gary at the paper on graphics, wildlife posters….and on our three books for HeyDay Books. Gary is a great resource, a gracious and incredible collaborator and a dear friend. We have been on many adventures together to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum for research and events…and giving talks to schools and civic groups throughout the Bay Area. Gary is a pure storyteller, in his columns, in his books….and on our roadtrips to various events.
I’ll miss working with Gary at the Times…I don’t think the place will ever be the same. But, I better clear off my schedule. Now that he has more time…he’ll be hitting me up with many more book projects to illustrate. Bring it on Gary, let the adventures continue! And congratulations on 42 wonderful years of columns that connected, enlightened and raised millions in funds to help preserve open space and care for animals in the Bay Area.
Here is a link to a story on his amazing career in today’s CCT Times.
July 27, 2012 | Categories: Book Illustration, Chuck's illustrations, pets, Social Media, Wildlife | Tags: acrylic, adventure, art, artwork, Bay Area News Group, birds, book, Chuck Todd, clarity, connecting, Contra Costa Times, drawing, facebook, family, fantasy, Gary Bogue, graphics, illustration, illustrator, infographics, kids, newspapers, painting, pencil, photoshop, stories, storytelling, visual journalism, wildlife, www.chucktodd.net | 1 Comment
How do you illustrate the concept of Investing in Ideas? One of the two startups highlighted in Peter Delevett’s story called MOTIF aggregates companies into motifs or ideas. Say an investor likes PETS. Yup you can invest in a grouping of PET companies. Or GREEN companies, or FAST FOOD companies or MOBILE TECH companies, etc.
I thought of an idea taking off, earning money. The concept of turning light bulbs into a flock of ideas flying up and away popped into my head. After a couple of thumbnails the idea gelled. I used $100 bills to construct the wings, which created some fun, bird like patterns. I kept this one loose and fun, I painted up one light bulb and incorporated the finished wings all in photoshop. Then I duplicated the ‘light bulb with wings’ image on multiple layers and made the smaller ones more transparent. I used my artistic license to keep an old style of light bulb…allowing me to leave a subtle birdlike beak on the bulb.
This appeared in Monday print editions. To read Peter’s story online go here:
July 23, 2012 | Categories: Business, Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Investing, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Silicon Valley, Social Media, Technology, Video Games | Tags: art, artwork, Bay Area, Bay Area News Group, birds, Chuck Todd, clarity, comics, connecting, Contra Costa Times, design, drawing, facebook, fantasy, graphics, illustration, infographics, music, newspapers, San Jose Mercury News, Sci Fi, sequential art, stories, storytelling, visual journalism, wildlife, www.chucktodd.net | Leave a comment
Don’t blame the end of the male species on sex, drugs and rock and roll. A new e-book claims that violent video games and online porn are leading to the “Demise of Guys.”
In today’s online and print editions of San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune Bruce Newman writes about the new book.
Newman writes: ” Lamentations over the fall of man reached a crescendo recently with the publication of a celebrated Stanford University psychologist’s e-book, which suggests that guys may be doomed by their addiction to Xbox video games and X-rated video dames. Among author Philip Zimbardo’s more startling conclusions in “The Demise of Guys,” co-authored by Nikita Duncan: “Video games and online pornography could kill you.”
To read the whole story click here:
For the illustration I wanted to highlight the violent video games and online porn that the authors claim are isolating and rewiring the brains of men. I contrasted the physical play of a video game with the internal impact and social isolation. I drew the teen head and shoulders in pencil and created a separate drawing of the hands and the controller. Most of the line art to represent video games and porn was done in Photoshop. The zombies I sketched and scanned in. The rest was painted in Photoshop.
July 18, 2012 | Categories: Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Silicon Valley, Social Media, Technology, Video Games | Tags: art, artwork, Bay Area, Bay Area News Group, Chuck Todd, comics, Contra Costa Times, design, drawing, facebook, fantasy, illustration, illustrator, infographics, kids, men, newspapers, Oakland Tribune, painting, pencil, photoshop, porn, San Jose Mercury News, Sci Fi, sequential art, storytelling, teenagers, teens, video games, violence, visual journalism, www.chucktodd.net | 2 Comments
Here is my latest illustration for today’s (June 8) editions of the San Jose Mercury News and Bay Area News Group papers for a column by Mike Cassidy. With all of the “cloud” storage out there for apps, photos, documents, videos and such it makes it virtually impossible to keep track of the virtual clutter. Cassidy says that the “beauty of the cloud” doesn’t help when ” I don’t even know what cloud I’ve seeded with what document.” Here is a link to Cassidy’s column on http://www.mercurynews.com:
I explored the motif of having someone’s head in a cloud. Rather than it being a positive…the clutter of files swirl about…the cloud, like fog, makes it hard to see…or remember where things are. The cloud hides, twists and confuses around the head. I like the fog-like fingers of the cloud that start to wrap around the man’s head and in front of his vision. The final is painted in Photoshop on top of rough sketch. For speed, I sketched out the line art clutter in pencil on paper, scanned it in and layered it into the photoshop file.
June 8, 2012 | Categories: Chuck's illustrations, Comic Art, Politics, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Silicon Valley, Social Media, Technology | Tags: art, artwork, Bay Area, Bay Area News Group, Chuck Todd, Contra Costa Times, drawing, facebook, fantasy, illustration, newspapers, Oakland Tribune, painting, pencil, photoshop, San Jose Mercury News, Sci Fi, sequential art, storytelling, visual journalism, www.chucktodd.net | Leave a comment