Artist John G. Compiling His Melt Bar & Grilled Posters into New Book

click to enlarge Artist John G. Compiling His Melt Bar & Grilled Posters into New Book (2)
Laura Wimbels
Although it’s still months away, plans for this year’s Halloween just got a hell of a lot more awesome. Cleveland-based 1984 Publishing has announced a Halloween release date for Sandwich Anarchy, the first book showcasing more than 200 of Cleveland-based illustrator John G.’s Melt Bar & Grilled sandwich posters.

Sandwich Anarchy collects ten years’ worth of Melt sandwich posters. The hardbound book features 208 full-color pages. John G. estimates he has created more than 1,000 concept sketches for Melt since its founding in 2006.

"Initially, I made one poster for one restaurant for one month," says John G. "And now, I've created 250 posters for Melt's 11 locations over 10 years. Surreal.”

Although fans of Melt are extremely familiar with these posters, the concept of sandwich gig posters is unique to Melt and possible thanks in large part to the efforts of John G. Maintaining a punk rock atmosphere in his restaurants, founder Matt Fish has played in several local rock bands before and during his time with Melt, including: Ohio Civil War, Chargers Street Gang and Lives of the Saints. Over the past ten years, Melt has received national acclaim from TV programs such as Man vs Food and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

"Watching our crazy grilled cheese creations come to life each month in the eyes of John G. is nothing short of awesome," Fish says.

Perhaps best known for his sandwich posters for Melt Bar & Grilled, John G. has made an impactful contribution to the local art and music scenes through his concert posters, his Lake Erie Monster comic book with collaborator and fellow Clevelander Jake Kelly, his work for Cleveland Cinemas and of course his covers of Scene (pick up this week's issue to see another).

In 2016, John G. was a recipient of the highly-coveted Creative Workforce Fellowships from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, along with fellow cartoonists Derf and Nathan Ward. Last year, John G. helped select winners of the Melt (Art) Challenge at PopEye Gallery at 78th Street Studios, a juried competition of 30 local artists’ Melt-inspired artwork in honor of the restaurant’s 10th anniversary. Additionally, each year, John G. organizes Genghis Con the weekend after Thanksgiving. The convention continues to grow each year, showcasing dozens of regional artists, illustrators, writers and small press publishers.

Pre-orders are available now through Sandwich Anarchy retails for $29.95, and all books ordered through 1984 Publishing’s website come signed with a Blu-Ray copy of TurnStyle Film’s Draw Hard documentary. For just $49.95, a Sketch Edition of the book comes with a drawing by John G. After Halloween, copies of Sandwich Anarchy will be available through local bookstores, Amazon and all Melt locations.

"I've been a fan of John G's work since Melt opened, plus have been with The Lake Erie Monster since the first issue,” says 1984 Publishing owner Matthew Chojnacki. “John's a great guy. A year ago, he heard through the grapevine that I had cancer and he sent over a sketch, which meant a lot to me. Everyone should check out his doc 'Draw Hard' (see Amazon Prime) to get inspired."

Details on the book’s Halloween launch party haven’t been announced yet, but stay tuned for all the details in October.

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