Twenty years of working on comic books and graphic novels is bound to color the way a person interprets the world. For Archie Comics’ past art-director and the proprietor of Pepitone Creative Services, Joe Pepitone—or as he’s known to his friends and to the art world, Joe Pep (written “JoepeP”)—this has influenced his illustrations with bold, bright colors, careful yet whimsical detailing, and in his beloved automotive portraits, an overriding knowledge of and passion for his four-wheeled subjects.
While he works today under the pen name he created to circumvent confusion springing from an identically named major league ballplayer, Beacon Falls, Connecticut, resident JoepeP was a car enthusiast from his earliest days. “When I was a good kid, my parents would let me stay up to watch the television program The Untouchables, 1959-1963. My grandfather
understood that I wanted to see the ‘old time’ cars. I don’t know what it was about them, but I thought they were the neatest things. I also had a book that I loved called Those Wonderful Old Automobiles, filled with original advertisements for Brass Era cars and manufacturers that don’t exist anymore. Those things started it all for me.”
An early career as an account executive selling typography for a leading typography house in New York City in 1981, he worked with the top graphic designers, plus schooling in art, graphic design and electronic publishing cumulated to allow JoepeP to take on his position in 1989. Through his work at Archie Comics, he became proficient in Adobe Illustrator, the computer-based drawing and design program that would form the basis for his private work, as well as logo design, editorial and fine art illustrations that he creates for Pepitone Creative Services. Interestingly, though, he didn’t turn his creative skills towards automotive subjects until the owner of an auto body and restoration shop near Archie Comics’ Mamaroneck, New York, office, asked if he could draw a car for one of his clients. “As an artist, you never say no. The car, a 1957 Corvette, was in the shop for repair. Its owner wanted the car to be illustrated, and although I’d never done an automobile before, I gave it a shot. I fell in love with it, and that’s how I started creating automotive portraits.
In July 2012 JoepeP was commissioned by Chris Purdum, President of the Intermountain Concours d’Elegance to illustrate Carroll Shelby’s CSX2128 for their event honoring Carroll Shelby on September 21, 2012. To date, this has to be one of his favorite illustrations.
- Hemmings Classic Car /JoepeP Auto Art / October 2009
- Hemmings Classic Car /Archie’s Cool Rides /September 2009
- Hemmings Classic Car /JoepeP and the Garden State / May 2010
- Hemmings Classic Car / JoepeP Strikes Again /August 2010
- Garage Style Magazine SPRING 2012
- NEW YORK POST “NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW” Editorial on Joepep Automotive Portraits.
- Examiner.com Editorial Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina meets her biggest fan