Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nice Art: Twenty Years of Conan Bumps by Kevin Frank

Conan O'Brien, by Conan O'Brien
For about two weeks now Conan O'Brien has been celebrating twenty years on the air, showing best-of clips from all three iterations of Conan's long-running late night franchise. Through next week on they are also hosting a slew of classic Conan clips, including a significant amount of material from his many years at NBC. As a huge Conan fan from almost the beginning, watching these clips again has been a genuine thrill; so many memories, so many feels, as the kids say.

One of the niftier things currently up is a full gallery of bumps (title cards) from the entire history of the show by artist and designer Kevin Frank. Over the course of the series, Frank designed hundreds of clever, funny, and even striking images that weave the peculiar Conan iconography into well-known pieces of art, historical images and pop culture memes before meme was a word.

Some of the best, of course, were Frank's use of popular and obscure comic imagery. Here are four of his killer comic inspired Conan designs:

I love the more obscure Chris Ware references, especially in the final image. If you weren't familiar with Ware's work, it would be just a cute little sequential drawing of Conan and guests; knowing Ware's work and styles adds a distinct punch to the image.

Frank created hundreds of these images, showing a chameleon like ability to seamlessly absorb and subvert dozens of different artists', photographers' and designers' styles. Many, many more Frank-designed bumps are online at through November 15. For more on Kevin Frank, visit

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for acknowledging and appreciating the freshness and fun along with the artistic ability and intelligence of Conan's bumpers on Conan's late show. They added a lot of color and humor and definitely enhanced the show.