The Escapist Tie

Detail

I was commissioned to create a tie based on the character The Escapist from the Pulitzer Prize Winning book: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.
Introduced in Chabon’s novel in 2000, the Escapist is said to be the creation of the book’s protagonistsJoe Kavalier and Sam Clay, a pair of Jewish comic book creators in the 1930s and ’40’s. The character’s modus operandi is part of a recurring theme of escapism in the novel, representing the imaginative escapist nature of superherocomics as well as Kavalier and Clay’s attempts to escape from the troubles of their past. Joe Kavalier has fled to America from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in Europe, while Sam Clay wants to escape from himself — both his polio-stricken body and repressed homosexuality.
Within the story, the Escapist makes his first appearance in Amazing Midget Radio Comics#1, published by Empire Comics, a former novelty device company. He provides Kavalier and Clay with a measure of success and fame. However, having signed the rights to the character to the publisher, they made comparatively little from the massively successful character.

 
The final piece

The Sketches
I presented the client with two sketches.
The live area of the wooden ties are very small so I love the challenge of trying to fit in as much punch and possible. Ironically, with this piece the client wanted The Escapist PUNCHING Adolph Hitler but there simply wasn’t enough room for a physical punch – and have it be visually clear from a comfortable distance. So with sketch #1 I played with the “Playing card” look, counter balancing the symbols of oppression (swastika) and freedom (The Escapist’s golden key emblem).
With sketch #2 I took a more symbolic approach, having The Escapist’s hand freeing himself from the fiery hell and shackles of oppression with his trusty (symbolic) key of freedom.
The client loved the top and bottom of each design but suggested a burning Nazi flag in the middle, that inevitably led to the accepted final.

The progression from sketches to final tie.

See full post here: The World of Brian Demeter2013-12-16.