This is an image that has been associated with me or characters I’ve played for the bulk of my career. It’s a still from the first film I produced, Death Fish, which was shot in August, 1997. One of writer/director Carlos Sanchez Lopez‘s influences was Sergio Leone, especially the film A Fistful of Dollars:

Still of Clint Eastwood from A Fistful of Dollars

When I was a kid, A Fistful of Dollars was on television a lot because westerns were still popular and Clint Eastwood was at the height of his superstardom in the 1970‘s. Also, it was only about 100 minutes long without commercials, so it fit perfectly into a two hour prime time TV slot. If Clint had a new movie out in theaters, Fistful of Dollars would be on The Million Dollar Movie all week, so I saw it a lot.

– Carlos Sanchez Lopez, writer/director

For myriad reasons, Death Fish was never really able to be shown in its entirety publicly, let alone get a wide release (aside from some VHS copies that were bootlegged around the turn of the century), so I licensed the still to myself to use as my personal brand. You might be able to see it on the shirt I’m wearing, in character as Bud, in this clip from a 2004 stage performance (NSFW language):

I also used that still as my profile photo across much of social media until around 2016, when I began a greater effort towards transparency and switched to a picture of myself. I have tried to launch merch at various points through the years (check out my Champion jersey), but as depictions of smoking have gone out fashion through said years, getting a line of merch off the ground is still a work in progress. My most recent attempt was at the start of the pandemic,

Be honest, you know want one of these.

but that didn’t get off the ground either. It would be probably be a lot easier to get some merchandise going if I simply changed my logo, and I’m occasionally asked why I don’t, as I generally discourage smoking. I continue to use this image as my logo for a many reasons. For one, even though Carlos feels Death Fish turned out to be a compromised version of his original vision and has reservations about it, I remain proud of the film; given our time, resources and circumstances, I think it turned out reasonably well, and was a good showcase for the actors involved. Another is that, to me, the image represents the spirit of individuality and willingness to rebel against societal repression, and does so in a non-aggressive and relatively inoffensive manner.

Until I get some physical merch going, feel free to grab an NFT of my logo, for free. Did I say it was free? That’s right, I’m distributing the initial run for free! If there’s not one available in the marketplace for free and you’d like one, send me a note and I’ll mint one for you, if they haven’t been all minted already (the initial run is 10,000, so I think it’ll be a while until that happens).

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