Kongress Street

This, without Kong, was one of the earliest drawings I did of Portsmouth, in 1979 or 1980, as maybe you can tell by that car in the foreground. Heck, it was one of my earliest big pen and ink drawings. I was selling prints of it locally, but it was never a big hit.

In about 1982 or so, while I was publishing re:Ports. Magazine (with Phillip Augusta), just for fun I did a quick sketch for the cover with King Kong up there. I shamelessly cribbed him from an old movie poster, and added an FB-111 in his grasp, because at the time people were talking about closing the local Pease Air Force base, (out of which flew FB-111s) and re:Ports. was a weekly that had commentary on local events. See this illustration I did of Pease’s entrance.

The magazine cover was a big hit so I did a proper drawing and made a print and it sold very well. For the print I put a female figure into his hand, instead of the airplane, figuring it would have more general appeal. This print was the first of my Famous Monsters of Portsmouth series, which includes the Piscatasquid and a giant lobster attacking Wentworth-by-the-Sea. Those prints have been hanging in Ceres Bakery — yes, in the bathrooms, but hey — since the mid-1980’s. Which gives me some kind of claim on the longest running art show in town. See all three of them at my website here.

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