The CD cover design & 18 page booklet for SA rock band Van Coke Kartel’s newly released album Wie’s Bang? Is one of Merwe Marchand le Roux’s latest designs. Behind such an astounding product, I'm sure, lies a process with much dedication and detail.
“I started by taking photos around my room and mashing them up into a photo collage of a skull. I incorporated embroidery to make the image of the skull softer for the mass market. I used a spot UV to do the same with the illustration of the skull over the faces.” The photos are by Jaco “Snakehead” Venter.
A series of Van Coke Kartel comic books, entitled “Wie’s Bang?” was also released. “Wie’s Bang?” is part of the launch campaign of Van Coke Kartel’s forthcoming album, and is the brainchild of art director Marais Janse van Rensburg, of interactive advertising agency WonderMutt. “We did a TV commercial with Van Coke Kartel for another advertising agency last year, to be entered into the Loeries Awards, and the band agreed to do it at no charge. I then undertook to contribute to the band’s next album launch campaign if the ad won. The rest is history, and this year we came up with the idea for a comic book centred around Van Coke Kartel, which will lead up to the album’s launch.
The series follows Van Coke Kartel as they get drawn into a deserted bar in the Karoo. Little do they know that the whole place is a hang-out for vampires. After getting very drunk, the guys are attacked and turned into vampires themselves.
They meet the ghost of Kurt Cobain, who tells the band that the only way they can re-capture their souls is to produce Van Coke Kartel’s greatest album ever before the year is up!
The team working on the Wie’s Bang? project comprises Marais Janse van Rensburg and Lohan Grobler from Proud Creations who are responsible for the basic story line, whilst Stefanus Nel and Griff (godfather of Zef from WatKykJy? fame) are the project’s writers. The illustrations are done collectively by Says Who, Merwe Marchand, Louis Minnaar and Proud Creations. “Working with Van Coke Kartel was really humbling, and makes me feel bad about complaining about long working hours,” says Marais. “Their endurance and work ethic is phenomenal. They are the most professional artists I have ever worked with, and it is with good reason that they have reached the top.”