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Ron Williams
Slow but inefficient, bright but dull
Slow but inefficient, bright but dull


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I just realized something about the comics code that I wrote to a friend about; the email follows.
I'm slowly getting things back in order after the holidays. While browsing a bit this morning I looked at my google blog on ONYX and found a list of followers I didn't realize was there until now. As I began to look through it I saw Alex Jay's blog. He has sketches there for the logo for X-Factor comics and sample covers. Looking at the covers I realized that I am responsible for an image that has probably been seen more than any other ever seen by comics enthusiasts. I've largely forgotten this story and when it does come up, it's only in passing but here it is:
Back in the 1950s a year or three out of high school, I landed a job as an artist's assistant at a company called Consolidated Lithography, in Carle Place on Long Island, NY. I was the gofer, running into the City every other day or so to get stats or pick up type or retouched photos. The art department did work on Consolidated's customer's jobs, the art director was one of the world's experts on cigar band art, and we did labels for liquor companies as well as the occasional point of purchase ad or package design. 
Occasionally we'd get a commission to design a liquor label and the boss would set up an in office competition. The winner's prize was usually a bottle of booze that was sent to us for a label mock up. I won once for the design of a label for "PM" rye whiskey. The letters had always been in an ellipse or circle and I submitted a design with the letters in a shape like a TV screen of the time, sort of a Piet Hein rectangle. The prize, a bottle of PM of course, was horrible - really rot gut. The label lasted for many years but nowhere as long as my next success.
An organization that was formed in reaction to a furor about the bad influence of comic books decided to establish a code of standards for the comic book publishing industry; I guess I don't need to tell you much more - just look at the cover of any American comic book published in the years since. I won a bottle of J&B Scotch Whiskey for that one. Little did I realize how long that would last, probably 60 years now and how ubiquitous it would become. If someone asked me today what I thought of it if I didn't design it, I'd probably sound like a real snob. Knowing that I designed it doesn't help; I'm still the snob in my reaction to it but there it is.
We do our art and want as many eyes to see it as is humanly possible. Here I am doing paintings and looking for reactions and viewers, getting all excited about the ONYX stuff, having my indoor book enjoy a rejuvenation and then I see that little thing on a comic cover and realize - whew! that's really something and boy have a lot of eyes seen it. All I can do is laugh . . . 
I just googled "comics code" for the first time and opened google images - WOW!
Now I are a success.
Ron (Williams)

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Ad free!

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Smithsonian Institution at The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum.

I feel better already.

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LOL .. when you pulled the fly rod out I nearly pee'd myself

thanks for the laugh

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We're on Wikipedia. Check out "ONYX (architectural collective)"

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Further to adding value to an #ifihadglass winner: 

Google just announced that it would forbid reselling of Glass as part of the sales agreement.

However, they are probably in for some lawyerly expense since the U.S. Supreme Court decided last month that "if you bought it, it's yours":

The important part of the Harvard article regarding Glass, is the last two paragraphs. It will be interesting to see how all this turns out.
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