Are you a Pinball Degenerate? We sure are. Which is why we're super excited to offer this limited edition pinball sticker drop from the man behind the Pinball Degenerates Facebook group, Joe Ciaravino.
As part of this sticker drop you'll receive a unique set of 10 custom designed pinball stickers (plus one additional bonus sticker), featuring original artwork from artists like David DeGrand, Hexilon Aunzo, Tomas Nahuel Stefanich, Brad Albirght, and the debut of Able Carnage.
$10 from every set sold will be donated to Project Pinball. Plus, to celebrate this first drop, Kineticist will be adding an additional $5 per set sold, for a total of $15/set going to Project Pinball.
We only have a limited number of sets available for this initial run, and one in particular (The Rip-Off Artist) will never be printed again!
Read on to learn about each of the designs in the set.
The Artists and Their Work
David DeGrand (@daviddegrand) is an avid cartoonist living in Texas that enjoys drawing pictures that make people laugh or barf (preferably both). Starting with illustrating for high school and college newspapers David has since then written and drawn for MAD Magazine, SpongeBob Comics, The Simpsons, Garfield, and Uncle Grandpa among others. He has also illustrated numerous children’s books and designed the animated series Death Hacks. Most recently David illustrated the graphic novel Snot Goblins for First Second Books which is expected to be released in July 2023.
This was David’s first Pinball Degenerates illustration that I commissioned. I immediately gravitated toward his pulpy, grimy, halftone comic book illustration style and I asked him to start with a sort of gross Ed "Big Daddy" Roth inspired monster character who was also a 1950s greaser. I love how David drew the pinball machine all broken and cracked and patched up with duct tape.
As sort of an unofficial companion piece I asked David to draw a female character with an equally retro-inspired look. I found the Marge Simpson-esque beehive haircut and the Olive Oyl style spaghetti arms really amusing. But I didn’t want her to be a goody-two-shoes, I definitely wanted her to have a bad-girl edge; hence the addition of the cigarette and arm tattoos I think gave it the perfect Degenerate characterization.
I love the old wind-up metallic retro-1950s robot toys and so David created this crazy pinball-playing robot/alien brain hybrid (possibly inspired by the classic B Movie “The Brain from Planet Arous” (1957). It definitely was really fun collaborating with David and hope to work on more pinball Degenerate art with him.
Pinball Degenerates Logo 2.0
I really loved David’s take on the classic spray paint “Pinball Degenerates” logo which I originally started with. I think the colours really pop and I love the pulp comic book halftone shading!
Tomas Nahuel Stefanich
Tomas Nahuel Stefanich is a freelance artist from Córdoba, Argentina. I discovered his work on Instagram (@tomas_inkwell) when I was searching for vintage animation/illustration styles. I was looking for a look similar to the Max Fleischer cartoons of the 1930s which was brought back into popularity by the video game Cuphead. Much to my surprise not only did Tomas draw like the 1930s Cuphead style, he actually illustrated animated segments and characters for the Cuphead games! Working with him was incredibly fun and easy and I really look forward to collaborating with him again!
Billy P. Ball
Billy P. Ball has become the official mascot of Pinball Degenerates and so I wanted to have his image rendered as a cartoon character from the 1930s. Originally the sketches of him were very happy-go-lucky and simplified, but I insisted that the artist give him a rougher, mobster-like appearance with a lit cigar, gold tooth, a bowler hat and two-tone shoes. The result was better than I imagined!
Jimmy is a new character and the best buddy in the fictional 1930s cartoon world of Billy P. Ball. Jimmy is modeled after a flipper bat and so has a uniquely different shape to the Billy character, but is just as much as a degenerate! He also has two-tone shoes and a fedora and is sipping on a frosty mug of beer (while smoking!). I’d love to see what crazy adventures these two degenerates wind up having.
Hexilon Aunzo (@hexyeah) is a fantastic illustrator from Cebu City in the Philippines. He was a bit hesitant at first to work on pinball art because he had not seen a pinball machine since he was a small child. Luckily, I was able to encourage him with a bit of explanation and description of how the game mechanics of a pinball worked and we were able to collaborate on some amazing pinball art!
Originally the “degenerate” portraits were just going to be this group of four portraits of all four characters being gruesomely killed or maimed by pinball parts. The concept was so incredibly popular it soon became the largest Pinball Degenerates art project to date as the artist created over 72 incredible, unique, personalized portraits for myself and members of the group based on this original concept!
The TIMA Zone
This is my own personal addition to the sticker set. I took the keychain plastic art which originally was packaged with Bally’s Twilight Zone and was intended for operators to keep or give away as a promotional item for the game. I photoshopped out key areas, added Billy P. Ball and rephrased the famous line “You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone”. For those who were wondering, T.I.M.A. is an initialism for “Thematically Integrated Mechanical Action” which is a term I invented to describe one of pinball’s unique qualities (if not its most defining quality) which puts it apart from other games. It has become a running gag in the group that I am the only person who uses this term.
Brad Albright (@bradalbright) is a prolific illustrator and 3D artist who hails from Dallas, Texas. He has done some fantastic poster art for Texas Pinball Festival, Stern Pinball and Marco Pinball and IFPA sanctioned events. He’s a pop culture junkie and a diehard pinball fanatic, so his work was a perfect fit for Pinball Degenerates.
Originally conceived as a 3D poster, I wanted Brad to render the playfield of a pinball machine from a “worm’s eye view”. I originally wanted the mouth of the player to be the center drain and was literally flipping at the pinball with his fingers. I think what we got was a decent compromise and I appreciate the inclusion of Billy P. Ball on the drop targets. I think this will really look awesome in person as a holographic sticker.
Able Carnage (aka Abel Barriga)
Abel Barriga is an artist from Quito, Ecuador. I found him on Instagram and thought his work was extraordinary and would be a perfect fit for the Pinball Degenerates. Unfortunately, he was only able to accept payment via Western Union (which is basically like handing over cash with no insurance). I paid him upfront the entire artist fee of $500 CAD and for months and months afterwards I would never get any communication more than, “I need more time” or “I’ll have it done in 2 weeks”. After 6 months of excuses and delays and just straight up lies, I realized that the artwork that I paid for was never going to happen. My pleas for a refund were ignored, I tried getting my money back and even tried to press charges with the local police in Quito. Nothing could be done to recover the money this artist stole from me. It was a painful learning experience and I eventually took matters into my own hands to recoup some of my losses, and Able Carnage was born.
The Rip-Off Artist (one printing only)
And now we come to the most controversial piece of sticker art in the entire set. I 100% straight up jacked this artwork from Abel Barriga’s website and re-touched it in Photoshop to make it more pinball relevant. Originally this was intended as a portrait of Norwegian chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. Because the artist ripped me off and never made the artwork I paid $500 for, I figure that I should be able to use some of his previous artwork to make back a bit of the money that was stolen from me. This is what I would call “Degenerate Justice”. You’ll notice the flames on the back of the character’s jacket burning up money as a reference to this deal gone bad.