EDITOR’S NOTE: This post was part of our It’s Mice That takeover on April Fools’ Day 2014. You can read our explanation post here or peruse the mice archive here.
Stanley Mouse is arguably one of the biggest names in psychedelic graphic design. His posters for The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Van Morrison and Quicksilver Messenger Service defined the look and feel of California’s psych scene in the mid 1960s.
Stanley learnt his trade under Ed Roth, airbrushing T-shirts and cars with Weirdo Hot Rod art, a movement which developed a cult following in his hometown of Detroit. By the time he landed in San Francisco in 1965 he was ready to try something else and began producing posters for Chet Helms, a promoter at the area’s famous Avalon Ballroom. Working with Alton Kelley, Stanley produced gig posters that blended the decorative elements of Art Nouveau and hallucinatory graphics with an avant-garde vision.
After his aesthetic became less fashionable, Stanley made a career out of drawing monsters and once tried to sue Pixar for allegedly lifting his character designs for the film Monsters Inc.