LOTERIA GRANDE CARDS / SERIES TWO!!

loteriafiveThe new Loteria Grande Series Two Cards are now available online — for a very limited time! Included in this new deluxe five-card set are ‘El Arbol’ (The Tree), ‘El Nopal’ (The Cactus), ‘La Botella’ (The Bottle), ‘La Corona’ (The Crown) and ‘La Pera’ (The Pear), featuring my color artwork on the front and my final graphite drawing reproduced on the reverse. The cards measure a giant-size 4.5″ x 7.5″ and are printed on thick card stock. There will only be 1000 of these limited run sets produced — and they make a timely holiday gift for yourself or the art lovers in your life. ūüôā

The Series One sets have completely sold out, and I expect these Series Two sets will as well. Advance sales have been brisk. IMPORTANT: The order window for these cards won’t last long. Deadline to order is MONDAY, DECEMBER 5th at 11:59PM CST, when the online order window will be closed. I will then fulfill all orders at once and ship them out, in hopes that most everyone will receive in time for holiday gift-giving. Online ordering will be discontinued after the December 5th date.

Thanks to everyone who has already advance-ordered these and to all of the fans who grabbed up their packs when they debuted at Alamo City Comic Con. It was gratifying to see all of those happy faces. I’m working on Series Three right now, including artwork for ‘El Gorrito’ (The Bonnet), ‘El Valiente’ (The Valient One), ‘La Mano’ (The Hand) and more! All best to you and yours for the holiday season, and I look forward to fulfilling all of your card orders.

In Loteria We Trust.

By Popular Demand: The ‘La Sirena’ Poster!

LASIRENAposterLR2Ever since I first debuted my ‘La Sirena’ art, I’ve been getting tons of requests for her to be turned into a poster. Ask and ye shall receive, Loteria Lovers.

She is now the fourth¬†official Lone Boy limited-run poster, joining “La Calavera”, “El Corazon”, and “La Luna” to be featured in a giant 11″ x 18″ format on thick card stock. There will only be 500¬†Sirenas produced.

SAN ANTONIO — the posters debuted last weekend at Dragon’s Lair, but¬†you have a second chance to score them this weekend, Friday May 13th and Saturday the 14th! I’ll be appearing at¬†Paper Trail SA 2016,¬†located at Brick at Blue Star (108 Blue Star / 78204). I’ll be signing¬†‘La Sirena’ posters, but there will only be fifty available, at the special event price of $20 each!¬†Come get ’em, San Antonio — and check out over forty illustrators and print makers under one roof.

Friday’s ‘Night Market’ is a pre-shop event, with advance tickets required for those who want to beat the Saturday crowds. (A few tickets still available, as of now.) Open 7pm to 9pm.

Saturday is Artist Market Day¬†and it’s free to the public. Open 11am to 6pm.

FOR THOSE WHO DON’T LIVE IN SAN ANTONIO¬†— especially all members of The Lone Boy List — I’ve got you covered!

There will be a one-week online order window to purchase ‘La Sirena’ posters — as well as ‘La Luna’, ‘El Corazon’, and ‘La Calavera’ posters. Orders will be taken from Monday, May 16th to Monday, May 23rd via the Lone Boy shop. The single poster price will be $25, including shipping and handling. No international orders, please. Only orders within the continental United States. All Lone Boy List members will be notified in advance and given priority. This will be the only chance to order these posters online this year.

I’m looking forward to the Paper Trail extravaganza this weekend and thank you to the event’s founder¬†and host, Tiny Roar Creative, for inviting me.

‘EL NOPAL’ FINAL ART!

Here’s the final pencils and final color artwork for ‘El Nopal’ (The Cactus), one of the next artworks in my Loteria series. Those of you that attended Worldcon, Bubonicon, or Alamo City Comic Con saw this pencil artwork¬†in progress, as I worked on it¬†during spare minutes at these conventions. It’s been finished for a long while now and measures 14″ x 21″, graphite on Strathmore 500.

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The final color artwork makes me happy because it’s a vast improvement on the version that I did for the 2014 Calendar. The only remaining artwork to revise from the calendar is ‘La Corona’ and I’m working on that along with new Loteria works.

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To all who celebrate Dia de los Muertos, Halloween, and¬†soul days everywhere — this one’s for you. I love seeing people cosplay my Loteria cards and if anyone decides to dress up as ‘El Nopal’ in the coming days and months, let me know. ūüôā

‘El Arbol’ Final Art + Armadillocon Wrap

ARBOLpicacioI debuted the final art for my next Loteria card at Armadillocon in Austin, TX this past weekend. Behold “El Arbol”. It¬†was featured in the con’s Art Show, and I’m proud to say that it won “Best In Show”. Thanks so much, Armadillocon. That one’s for you, Jay Lake. The artwork is a tribute to Jay as a ‘Tree of Life’. He passed away last year from cancer, but he is not forgotten.

Great times at the con. Big thanks to all who played Loteria on Saturday and snatched up¬†my Loteria Grande cards and posters¬†all weekend long. It’s great seeing my friends do well at this con. Enjoyed visiting with C. Robert Cargill, Stina Leicht, John Hornor Jacobs, Wesley Chu, Justin Landon, Joe R. Lansdale, John DeNardo, Jacob Weisman, Sanford Allen, Chris Brown, Amanda Downum, Clayton Hackett, Jonathan Miles, Sara Felix, Rocky Kelley, Don Webb, Caroline Yoachim, Michael Nelson (DC17) and many more that I’m sure I’m forgetting (apologies).

Huge shoutout to Team FACT and the Armadillocon committee. I heard a lot of great reports on the programming content from the writer folk, but I want to give a special shout to Scott Zrubek, Tomi Welch, Laura Domitz, Jimmy Simpson, and the Art Show team. Yeah — that art show location was pretty hard-to-find, to say the least. The room itself was fine, but I give a lot of credit to Scott and the team (you too, Chuck Siros), for letting me figure out a solution that would pull more¬†traffic into the show and experiment with table locations. For the first time, I tried doing a vendor table within the Art Show and when that wasn’t quite working, I moved it out into the main concourse, designing a table layout that would draw foot¬†traffic down the handicapped ramp, to the Art Show. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and sales on both ends¬†leaped immediately. Hopefully, my¬†table solution provides a model for success in upcoming years. And thank you to Karen Meschke and Scott for a major assist on Sunday.

What’s next? It’s your turn,¬†Spokane, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque.

In August, George R. R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe will be hosting “Loteria Fest” from August 12-29, featuring a first-time ever exhibition of my first twelve Loteria artworks as large-scale giclee prints in one room. The prints will be for sale, as well as my Loteria Grande cards and posters, plus limited edition prints of my A Song of Ice and Fire art. On Thursday, August 27th, from 7pm to 9pm, I’ll be hosting a special reception where we’ll play the traditional version of Loteria for fabulous prizes, and I’ll do a card and poster signing that night.

Before that reception, I’ll be in Spokane for the World Science Fiction Convention (AKA Sasquan) from August 19-23, and after the reception is over, I’ll be appearing at Albuquerque’s Bubonicon.

Whew — this August is going to be a beast.

Let’s do this.

‘El Arbol’ Final Drawing Revealed!

Here’s the final drawing for ‘El Arbol’ (The Tree), the next artwork in my Loteria series. Those of you that own my 2014 Calendar have seen an earlier concept¬†version of this. I thought I could do it better though so I started over from scratch. In my opinion, this new drawing¬†is already head and shoulders better than the previous. It’s¬†14″ x 21″, graphite on Strathmore 500.

I’ll reveal the final color artwork soon, and then ‘El Arbol’ will be all done.

The great Jay Lake agreed to model for this artwork, and today is exactly one year¬†since his passing. I think he would dig being remembered as a tree of life, ideas, and inspiration, on this day of all days. Here’s to you, Jay.

In Loteria We Trust.

ELARBOLpicaciopencils

Loteria Fest at Salud Tequila Bar!

LOTERIA4picacioLRSan Antonio: Ready for an evening of amazing tequilas, cocktails, art, and Loteria?

I’ll be hosting Loteria Fest¬†at Salud Tequila Bar (8123 Broadway, San Antonio, TX, 78209) on Saturday, March 28th from 6pm to 8pm.¬†Join us for multiple rounds of¬†the classic Loteria game (AKA “Mexican Bingo”) and win¬†fun prizes and drinks!

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Prizes will include:

‚Äʬ†Heads up,¬†Game of Thrones¬†fans!¬†Signed prints¬†featuring John Picacio art from the award-winning George R. R. Martin /¬†A Song of Ice and Fire¬†Calendar!

‚ÄĘ Signed John Picacio Loteria art posters

‚ÄĘ DVDs including Alien, Batman Begins, Underworld and more!

‚ÄĘ Movie art books

And even if you don’t play Loteria¬†—¬†you still win as Salud offers commemorative Loteria-inspired tequila specials with a free¬†John Picacio Loteria Grande card¬†included when you order selected¬†drinks!

Don’t miss executive chef Michel Costa (formerly of Frederick’s), serving delicious food throughout the evening, and I’ll be there signing Loteria Grande cards and posters after we finish the games and prize-giving.

Spread the word and bring your friends! See you on March 28th.

In Loteria We Trust.

LOTERIA54

Austin Books Signing + FRAZETTA!!

So much fun¬†yesterday at my Loteria Grande Cards Signing at Austin Books & Comics. Thanks to Brandon Zuern and¬†the entire ABC team for the hospitality. Huge¬†thanks to everyone¬†who attended, including appearances by Michael and Linda Moorcock, C. Robert Cargill, Rick Klaw, John Worsham of Texas Lightsmith, Peggy Hailey, Kimm Antell, Lawrence Person, and many, many more. Austin Books now has a few of my signed Loteria posters and Grande Card sets available in-store — so get ’em before they’re gone!

After the signing, I made the pilgrimage to Robert Rodriguez’s Frank Frazetta Exhibit in downtown Austin. They don’t allow photography inside (understandably), so I don’t have onsite pics to share, but lemme just say that if you love great works of art or have any love at all for fantasy, this is one of the year’s MUST-SEE art events. Why?¬†Because these are only a few of¬†the originals on display……deep breath……

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The Rodriguez exhibit doesn’t just have ‘some’ Frazettas hanging on a wall (which no matter what, would be pretty cool). No — they’ve got some of the all-time GREATEST Frazetta paintings ever¬†hanging on a wall. And if you’ve never heard the name Sebastian Kruger — you won’t be forgetting it after you see a giant 6′ x 6′ painting like this¬†on display. I won’t even post his Keith Richards painting because it needs to be seen to be believed, and was one of my favorite works of the entire display, Frazettas included!KRUGERjagger

Add to that original Drew Struzan movie poster art, Frank Miller Sin City art, and George Yepes originals,¬†and…..seriously, folks. Missing this exhibit means living with regret for your remaining years. Don’t think. Don’t stop. Just GO.

Enjoyed visiting with Nixon Guerrero of Troublemaker Studios while touring the exhibit. (Borges FTW!) Brought along a blast from the past with¬†me, just for fun. Back when I was attending¬†the University of Texas, I used to shop at a comic book store¬†called Funny Papers. One day, circa 1991, I spotted stacks of¬†compendiums for a comic strip called¬†Los Hooligans, written and drawn by a guy named Robert Rodriguez. Never heard of him. I flipped through it, dug it,¬†plopped it¬†on my stack, and carried it to the register. The manager rang up my purchase, opened up the Los Hooligans¬†book and said, “Oh hey. Congrats, man. You scored the free one.” As fate would have it, Robert did an original sketch inside that single¬†book with a note saying that the buyer¬†received this copy¬†for free. What were the odds? I’ve kept it¬†all these years.HOOLIGANS

I attended¬†UT around the same time as Robert, even though we never crossed paths. I graduated with my architecture degree, and went on to self-publish my own comic books, which led to my current career as a Hugo Award-winning science fiction/fantasy illustrator.¬†Yesterday’s signing, plus the exhibit visit, was rocket¬†fuel, an energy boost for the career-expanding work I’m currently doing, but it was also a reminder of my roots — the Frazetta paintings, visiting with Worsham who knew me ages ago in my architectural intern days, seeing Michael, Linda, and Rick who were with me at the birth of my book cover career…..good times.

One last word on the Frazetta exhibit — it’s located at 920 Congress Ave. and will be on display until this Saturday, March 21st. I think visiting hours are 12noon to 8pm. Make the time to see this, even if it means taking a day off from work, or driving a long distance to do it. Experiences¬†like this are precious and few. So worth your time.

All proceeds from the admission fee of $10 (such a bargain!) and the limited-edition Frazetta giclees (gorgeous) are dedicated to the preservation of these artworks by the Frazetta family, as well as funding for a potential permanent Frazetta museum down the road.

Hats off to Robert, Nixon, and Troublemaker Studios for a first-class exhibition.

FRIDAY FAB FIVE: Tarot Decks!

I’m not a Tarot devotee, and yet I love Tarot decks. When they’re done well, I can’t get enough of their art, design and aesthetic. I collect my favorites. Tarot lore fascinates me.¬†One of my dream jobs is to be paid good money to illustrate and design a mindblowingly cool Tarot deck that enchants true believers as well as true detectives.

This week, I’ve watched a lot of people commenting that my new Loteria Grande cards feel like Tarot objects in their proportion¬†and design. Now the truth is Loteria Grandes¬†aren’t¬†really Tarot cards¬†in the strict sense (or even oracle cards, if you want to get down to it).

Loteria¬†Grandes are¬†designed not as playing cards, but special-edition collectibles that have a deluxe size that feels good in your hand, with a cool pencil drawing on the back. They won’t be available for long though — and when they go poof and the supply is gone, cardowners¬†will possess something unique that future collectors will covet, as we always¬†do with¬†cherished card¬†decks. My Loteria work will then evolve to the next big stage. More on that next week though.

Today, let’s do a Friday Fab Five, presenting a few¬†of my¬†favorite Tarot decks.

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1) THE VERTIGO TAROT by Rachel Pollack and Dave McKean ‚ÄĘ (DC Comics)

This was the first Tarot deck I ever bought, and it’s still one of the most gorgeous. I bought it when it first released back in the ’90s, and it still holds up as an amazing art object. How can it not be, when Dave McKean is doing the art and design? Lately, I’ve been reading the set’s companion hardcover with¬†Rachel Pollack‘s texts and I still marvel at¬†the way she wove the DC Universe into the constellation of Tarot.

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2) TAROT OF THE ORIGINS by Sergio Toppi ‚ÄĘ (Lo Scarabeo)

Let me just say that Toppi is one of my all-time favorite artists ever. I could do an entire post about how much I love his work. I don’t own this Tarot deck because it’s¬†rather expensive and out-of-print, but I would love to get my hands on one. If someone has an extra, and wants to trade for a nice Loteria drawing plus a stack of¬†Loteria Grande cards, gimme a holler. Instead I own a signed slipcased edition of the Italian monograph¬†Tarocchi Delle Origini that contains the artwork from this deck, and every page is full of¬†‘wow’. Toppi is such a master composer of positive and negative space. When I’m stuck inside my own compositional deadends, I look at Toppi¬†and remember that¬†there are so many beautiful ways to compose infinity¬†within a rectangle.

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3) XIII TAROT by Nekro ‚ÄĘ (Fournier)

I found¬†this set in NYC last fall, and even though I was familiar with Nekro’s art, this is the body of work that made me say “I need to meet this guy someday.” This deck is all about the desaturated color palette and touches of red that are Nekro’s calling card, and the reason that doesn’t get boring over 78 beats¬†is because he’s such an amazing character designer.¬†My only complaint: holy cats¬†— there is so much baroque goodness in Nekro’s art that a tiny card does not show it to its full effect. I wish these cards were bigger. I wish I didn’t feel like I was trying to defuse a bomb every time I open the awkwardly-tight tuck box, lest I rip¬†the packaging and unleash sadness. Bottom line though¬†— hats off to you, Nekro — your¬†stuff blows¬†me away every time, man.

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4) THE ZOMBIE TAROT: AN ORACLE OF THE UNDEAD by Paul Kepple and Stacey Graham ‚ÄĘ (Quirk Books)

If some of you are thinking, “Oyyyy, please not zombies. How are we not¬†over the zombie thing yet?” — hey, I’m with you. Personally, I thought zombies jumped the shark back in 2005 with the Marvel Zombies series. And yet, ten years later, the zombies didn’t go away because instead, the world around us¬†turned into them. (A few of us are still holding out though. Back off, flesheaters…..)

And yet, I find this deck to be a¬†box¬†of undying¬†genius. It’s kitschy, smart, irreverent, and deadly beautiful in its design. Even after the Zombie Apocalypse is over (aim for the brain), this set will be a fave.

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5) TAROT OF THE IMAGINATION by Ferenc Pinter ‚ÄĘ (L0 Scarabeo)

Thank you, Lo Scarabeo! Without you creating this set, I might not have known about the Italian painting master Ferenc Pinter. These cards are the first works I ever saw of his, and like Toppi, he’s such a master of composition and color. Simple shapes. Complex ideas. I love that the Minor Arcana images are so non-traditional. He realizes that Tarot is a a fabulously pliable¬†form that can absorb¬†an immense amount of reinvention, and still be just as potent as the established formats — maybe even moreso. That inspires me to no end….

My first eleven Loteria Grande Cards are now available from Lone Boy, while supplies last! Free shipping within the US.

Next week: THE LOTERIA MATCH GAME¬†(AKA “Which one of my pals is El Diablito? El Valiente? And the burning question, Who Is El Borracho?”)

Grandes On The Way!

The first Loteria Grande Card Sets are here and ready for shipping. :)

The first Loteria Grande Card Sets are here and ready for shipping. ūüôā

Update: Good News! All Loteria Grande Card orders received by 11:59pm CST tonight (Thursday / Jan. 29) will ship out this weekend. That means if you order before then, you will receive your Grande Cards by the end of next week if you live in the US (barring Snowpocalypses), and international orders should arrive shortly thereafter.

To all who have already placed orders for the Grande¬†Cards¬†— THANK YOU! Your Grandes will be in that first wave of shipping. For the rest of you — what are you waiting for? Jump¬†aboard and get some of these special-edition cards for yourself!

The Look of Loteria

When I was a kid, I played Loteria (AKA ‘Mexican Bingo’) with my family. If you know how to play traditional¬†Bingo, then you know how to play the game. Bingo is played with random selections of letters and numbers, but with Loteria, it’s the shuffle of a fifty-four card picture deck that creates the agony and the ecstasy. These cards can do so many fun things. Curanderas (fortune tellers) use them as a personal ‘tarot’ to tell fortunes. My grandma used Loteria cards¬†to play concentration games. She would pick a few random cards, show them to me, turn them over and then I’d have to remember which cards were where. All of¬†those old-school cards are¬†packed with memory and nostalgia.

Many of you have played¬†Loteria with me at large assemblies and featured events when I make my convention road appearances — some of you for the first time ever –and the energy from those games is fantastic and contagious. I love doing it. For those that haven’t played yet, here’s what all fifty-four of the traditional Loteria cards look like, courtesy of the classic set produced by Don Clemente / Pasatiempos Gallo. These cards are beloved by millions, and they’ve been around for more than¬†a century, while the game of Loteria itself is much¬†older than that.

The classic Loteria cards. TM & © Don Clemente / Pasatiempos Gallo, Inc.

The classic Loteria cards. TM & © Don Clemente / Pasatiempos Gallo, Inc.

I’m currently attempting to create my own¬†series of iconic Loterias¬†— a set of artworks that can honor the rich tradition of the game while inviting the world to collect, play, celebrate, and enjoy.

This series is¬†a labor of love and I’m hard at work on it. As with all endeavors, it doesn’t arrive out of a vacuum. Here are eleven of my Loteria artworks featured as special-edition Grande Cards from Lone Boy¬†(pictured at¬†the right in each grouping),¬†juxtaposed with classic Loterias and inspirations from other artists and creators.

If you have your own favorite Loteria cards, artworks, or memories — let’s hear about ’em! And for those of you that want some of my Loteria Grande cards for your very own, you can purchase them here while supplies last.

My art for 'El Venado' was inspired by the phenomenal YA novels of Leigh Bardugo.

My ‘El Venado’ art was inspired by the phenomenal YA novels of Leigh Bardugo.

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‘El Corazon’ has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming annual, INFECTED BY ART.

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‘El Mundo’ is a love letter to my daughter, postmarked from the future.

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‘La Escalera’: Do you ever have days like this? Yeah. Me too.

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I love when people cosplay as my ‘La Calavera’ art. If you do — send me photos! ūüôā

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My ‘La Sirena’ art won the 2012 Chesley Award for Best Product Illustration.

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‘El Pescado’: There’s more going on here than first meets the eye. ūüėČ

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This was the very first Loteria card I did, inspired by an illustration I created for Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

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My Loteria work turned a corner after ‘El Arpa’ — one of my favorite works I’ve created in the last few years.

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The Loteria icons are gateways. I’m walking through them — writing down the stories, while creating the pictures.

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The classic version of ‘La Luna’ (upper left) was always one of my favorite cards when I was a kid. I’m proud that my art for ‘La Luna’ and ‘El Arpa’ were selected for inclusion in the forthcoming INSPIRED Art Annual, via theartorder.com.

My first¬†eleven Loteria Grande Cards are available right now from Lone Boy. Free shipping in the US! ūüôā