Obituary - Martin Emond 1969 - 2004
Author: Mike Weston
Expressions of shock and sadness echoed throughout NZ and global music, comic, and art worlds when word came that painter and cartoon illustrator Martin Emond died in Los Angeles on Sunday March 14. He was 34.
In the international world of comic illustration and hard rock artwork Martin F. Emond was revered as an artist, and valued as a friend.
Marty became well known in international comic circles for his outstanding illustrated novel hit 'White Trash', created with Gordon Rennie, the success of which led him to other high profile comic work which included Accident Man, Lobo, work in Heavy Metal, and Verotik magazines. His album covers for heavy metaller Glenn Danzig are among his numerous dark masterpieces. His Shihad tour poster is a collectors' classic.
For all who knew him and his art, "Martyfuck" won love and respect for his brilliant, prolific creative output . Gifted as a painter and illustrator, he was also a writer of humorous and endearing stories, and clever satirical lyrics for his band Flamejob.
On stage as a performer his irreverent and rascal nature found its element. His incendiary performances fronting Flamejob were unique and unforgettable.
Late 1999 Marty moved from Wellington to K Rd, Auckland, directing his creative output into work for Illicit clothing, 'the unofficial street-wear uniform in New Zealand'. His infectious energy and enthusiasm infected the local street art and comic scene and his technical achievement set a tough new standard.
During his time on K Rd, he completed the Rolling Red Knuckles cartoon series, which gained him a huge cult following in Japan when produced as a Piratenet (US) animation.
He worked tirelessly at his personal pet project Switchblade, increasingly his passion. Early Switchblade cartoons appeared published in Selector magazine and their popularity stimulated a flood of commissions for album covers, advertising and pop culture work. This included the dancing girls created for OB1's Club Lovely dance party, Channel Z characters, album cover designs for 'The Rhythm' R'n'B compilations and the G-Force advert animations currently airing.
In recent years he spent periods of increasing length in the US, in pursuit of his goal to find the financial backing that would have Switchblade brought to life on the screen.
Tragically, Marty's death occurred only days after finally closing a deal with US company Interscope to produce Switchblade as an animated series.
When he was in town, Marty and I met late most mornings over coffee. His brunch table at Alleluyah cafe was a welcome place, full of laughter.
In his life and art Marty was funny as fuck, but never in an unkind way. His fun was innocent. He had a sensitive soul, a giant heart and a naughty kid's sense of mischief.
I will always remember the identifying swagger of his walk and the click of his boots as he walked through St Kevin's Arcade.
I'll never fully believe that he won't be returning.