Sunday, January 6, 2008

Here are the two latest
illustrations completed to close out 2007.

I have gone through various versions of
Meyer Lansky (left), considered the grand poobah of Jewish hoodlums.

Former featherweight boxing champion
Abe Attell (top) is an interesting supporting character in the annals of Jewish Gangsters. Attell served time as Arnold Rothstein's personal bodyguard and gambling partner. He was also a key player involved in the infamous fix of the 1919 World Series scandal involving the Chicago White Sox, of which Rothstein will always be historically affixed to despite being aquitted of the charges against him and his supposed participation.

As time creeps along, I have modified and changed some of the older, initial illustrations, feeling the earlier attempts were not strong enough (ie: like earlier Meyer Lansky versions). This has kind of a two pronged effect which sometimes leaves you in a semi-dangerous loop of creativity. The key is knowing when its time to stop, pull away and leave things be, but that's not always easy. Most artists will tell you that they are never completely satisfied with their finished work, that things could always be changed or altered, and in the end, better. But it is the constant craving of reaching for that artistic state of grace, which in the end generally never really comes, that drives the individual to pursue what they do in their chosen field.


Anonymous said...


I love your illustrations. Really, really cool. Just wondering whether or not you had considered adding gangsters from outside NYC, such as Detroit's Purple Gang or Mickey Cohen from Los Angeles? Either way, there are plenty to draw from in NYC alone.

Keep up the great work, and I look forward to seeing this in print.


BTW - Have you seen this site, It's not all gangsters but all tough Jews.

Pat Hamou said...

I had considered at one point to include figures and characters from outside of NYC like Mickey Cohen, The Purple Gang, Bobo Huff and others, but chose in the end to keep it focused on NYC as so much of it overlaps and is so tied into the core and growth of the city. Who knows down the line however.
Thanks for the j-gitlink - looks mighty interesting and also for you nice comments....

Anonymous said...

Awesome, yeah, if you are ever in NYC, consider visiting the NY City Archives. There are tons of photos of murder scenes, gangsters, etc. that you may not find elsewhere.

Pat Hamou said...

I spent a fascinating afternoon at the NYC Municipal Archives awhile back while on a trip to Manhattan. The staff there was most helpful and I hope I can get back there soon...