Roman Dirge & Steven Daily @ Meltdown in Hollywood

When Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California decided to convert the store's storage room into an art gallery, impresario Francisco Dominguez could not have imagined that their third show would amount to such a coup: Last Friday night, Roman Dirge headlined his first art show in a decade. The tattoo-laden artist/magician was in attendance, sharing the limelight with fellow artist Steven Daily. And CBR News was on the scene.

Dirge, whose credits include a stint as writer on "Invader Zim," is perhaps best known in comic circles as the creator of "Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl" from Slave Labor Graphics. Dirge himself discovered the relative unknown Steven Daily when the latter's portfolio amounted to

little more than images spray painted on public walls. "You need to be doing more than graffiti," Dirge told CBR News he said to Daily.

Drinks were on the house and goth was in the air at Meltdown that night, but the real party was in the parking lot behind the store, where the artists' smoke break became an impromptu autograph session.

Noteworthy pieces included a display of custom-painted floaty bears (including the artist's favorite, Troopy McStorm, sporting the latest in Galactic Empire wear), a plethora of drawings (including some "Lenore" originals), and a Chinese dress creature show piece of "Lenore's" Mr. Taxidermy. Of the life-sized Mr. Taxidermy Dirge said, "It's always awkward to have in your house."

Daily had some 30-odd pieces on display, including paintings from the upcoming book, "It Ate Billy on Christmas," a project on which he and Dirge collaborated.

And to fans' dismay, Dirge did not reprise his Darth Vader milkshake dance that has taken youtube by a storm. If you haven't seen this, do so now. His face suitably obscured by a Darth Vader helmet, it's the artist's tattoos that peek out from underneath his "evil" t-shit that give him away, as he dances to Kelis' "Milkshake" in front of a composited-in starfield.

The Dirge/Daily exhibition continues until November 3rd, and another as yet unannounced exhibition at Meltdown will open on November 8th. Meltdown Comics is hosting a 13th anniversary party on October 21st, and is located at 7522 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.

Roman Dirge (left) and Steven Daily (with Mr. Taxidermy) at Meltdown in Hollywood, October, 2006.

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