'zine Buddha

Local artist Brian Brooks watches his work go from sticky barroom floors to flying off international clothing racks

Nevertheless, the sarcastic subtleties and poke fun are lost on most. Paul McCartney for one. A coloring-book series goofing on McCartney earned Brooks a cease-and-desist order from the rock star's management a few years back. It gave Brooks a bit of hope.

"That was the greatest thing ever," Brooks says, and follows with a pause . . . "Although I'm listening to George right now. I don't know, I think Yoko was the best songwriter of the Beatles. But Paul did the best music, hands down. Shit dog!"

The man with the Hasidic ape drape could easily be described as a kid held in thrall by pop culture who turned around and successfully made a career of it. Brooks' saw his ideas go from debris on sticky floors in outhouse-quality rock bars to flying from racks in international chain stores and boutiques. His work continually conveys a duty to the pursuit of theme-driven images with the same elements that made his bedroom line of do-it-yourself coloring books worthy: poetry, style, comedy, defiance, and, of course, ambition.

Is he a sellout? Of course. One sticker image depicts Oopsy Daisy with outstretched arms, upturned palms, and a bewildered expression. The tagline reads: "They're selling me out!"

If you ask him, it's all about his heroes, Paul McCartney, Frank Zappa and the Damned. "That was what I always wanted to do, make cool stuff that came in glossy packages."

What about the punk rock ethics and DIY spirit he once championed?

"Man dog, dude!" he says.

We suspect what he means.

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