Rich Lee Draws Marco Simoncelli

11/16/2011 @ 4:01 pm, by Scott Jones33 COMMENTS

In September Asphalt & Rubber suggested you check out the stylized artwork of Rich Lee, and since then he and I have teamed up to create this tribute to the late Marco Simoncelli. While we were already working on the project before Simoncelli died at Sepang, the illustration seems to have a more poignant meaning now that SuperSic has passed.

Based on several of my MotoGP photos from the 2011 MotoGP Championship season, Rich Lee has been able translate them into the latest addition of Rich Lee Draws’ portfolio. Prints of the the illustration are available for sale, and in honor of the late Super Sic, Rich and I are donating a portion of the proceeds to Riders for Health in Simoncelli’s name. To read more about the print or to order a copy, click here.

Illustration: Rich Lee Draws

  • luke


  • Pacasp

    Big frickin whoop. Wow, a “more poignant meaning?” Really? In what way, pray tell? So they somehow add something to the memory of his passing? What a bunch of crap. Seems like you guys could have come up with a better “tribute” to him, than trying to MAKE MONEY off of some stupid cartoon drawings of him.

  • froryde

    I’ll buy one!

  • Jake Fox

    Anything beyond covering your costs should go to charity, otherwise it looks less like a tribute to his memory and more like profiteering. I’m sure that’s not the kind of people you are or the impression you want to create.

  • Angelo Reyes

    Pacasp No need to make that comment,

    Thanks to Mr Scott Jones you get to see all those amazing pictures here on this website along with many others.

    Mr Rich Lee you can clearly see his artistic skills,

    And I think that drawing says more than a photo, extremly exhagerated and to the point, Super Sic loved to slide and always had his rear tire out!!

    Some of the proceeds are going to Riders for Health which had a big support from Simoncelli’s side.

    Each tribute to there own!!

    As for my personal taste! Love it!!! Well doen guys!

  • Pacasp and Jake Fox have got sand in their panties, it would seem… Does that mean that any print of any deceased rider is profiteering?

    If it weren’t for Marco’s tragic passing then none of the proceeds would be going to Riders For Health, only to the two ARTISTS involved. People seem to think that digital images aren’t worth a thing in this day and age.

  • Jimmy Midnight

    Pacrap & Jack-off Fox
    Do you two take turns riding bitch on your electric scooter? Both of you should leave the big words to the adults. I’m sure you’ve heard these ones before….Ignorant & Uneducated.

  • Jake Fox

    First of all, don’t associate my comment with Pacasp. What I said was not an attack on Scott Jones or Rich Lee, in fact I said they were NOT the kind of people who would profiteer over tragedy. Unlike your comments towards me, mine were civil. Secondly, the issue here is not the making or selling of product, but the utilization of his very recent passing in the promotion and marketing of that product. That is the very definition of profiteering.

  • Knowing the countless hours and immense amount of work Scott devotes to Riders for Health (an awesome charity, by the way), it makes me sick to my stomach to read the comments questioning his and Rich’s sincerity.

    Shame on you guys.

  • Jake Fox

    Good and generous people make mistakes sometimes. Making any profit off of tribute work of Marco Simoncelli is something I simply could not do right now. I agree however, that it is wrong to say that an artist should never make money from depictions of tragedy or the deceased. For me, it is simply a matter of timing. Of course, that is completely personal and others are equally justified in feeling differently on the matter.

  • This cartoon is disrespectful to Marco, especially the cheesy powerslide B.S. which in no way pays tribute to such a warrior on the track. I would not hang this in my garage or home!

  • I have a Scott Jone / Sic photo on my desktop back ground.

    marco-simoncelli-motogp-scott-jones1[1].jpg (copy – paste this for some great shots)

    I always liked his work, I hope this cartoon goes away soon.

  • 76

    did someone put a subliminal message in this cartoon causing some to lose all sense of reality or is it me?

  • R-Dog

    To raise money in the memory of a fine man for a worthy cause can only be a good thing, however it is done. Kudos to you for doing such a thing, Jensen, because it couldn’t have been an easy thing to decide to do when idiots were always going to be so keen to jump on the bandwagon of calling “profiteering”. Art means different things to different people, and I would be very happy to have that on my wall – especially so since it is in the name of a charity. I wouldn’t even have to like it because that isn’t really the point. It is about what it represents.

    To those that have plumbed the particular depths of criticising these efforts, I ask you – what have YOU done in Marco Simoncelli’s memory? Enlighten us, because I’m sure we’re all desperate to hear how much more respectful, tasteful, artistic and altruistic you are than the author.

  • Jake Fox

    @Jensen Beeler, Scott Jones, and Rich Lee – My reservations over personal gain in the wake of tragedy and the conditions of the sale of this artwork have never been far from my thoughts today. I have come to the conclusion that my comments, though well-intentioned, were misguided. I apologize for any offense that was taken and I truly do appreciate and respect Scott Jones’ contributions and commitment to Riders for Health. I am well-aware of all the work he does for the organization.

  • Oh my, what a lot of opinions while I was away. I do enjoy these lively discussions!

    First of all, thanks very much to Angelo, Richard, Jensen and R-Dog for coming to our defense. Your comments are sincerely appreciated. Next, thanks to Jake for reconsidering his position and apologizing, both are likewise sincerely appreciated.

    The decision to proceed with this piece was not an easy one for either Rich or for me. Even though Rich had been working on this for some time before the accident, when we learned of the tragedy we both stopped to wonder what we should, precisely because we did not wish to benefit from Simoncelli’s death. I called Rich to see what he thought and heard from him the very same concerns I’d been having. We agreed to take some time to consider how to proceed.

    I spoke to my wife and several friends about it, and they very helpfully pointed out a few things. One was that Steve Jobs had just passed away shortly before Walter Isaacson’s biography was released, and that it would be unrealistic for anyone to ask the author to return his advance and forfeit all proceeds from that book due to the unfortunate timing of Jobs’ passing. Isaacson had worked for years on the book and deserved to be paid for that work. I considered Rich’s situation in a similar, though obviously not identical, way and saw a similarity: Rich had already put many hours into this drawing, and it seemed unreasonable to me to ask him to forfeit all that time because of the accident. That we’d lost a member of the inner MotoGP circle was bad enough. That this loss should extend to others would make the tragedy even worse by taking away the time and efforts of someone who earns his living by creating art for others to enjoy.

    Another friend pointed out that Simoncelli’s fans would appreciate having something unique with which to remember him by. As we have seen, Rich’s interpretation of Sic’s on track magic does not appeal to everyone, just as no work of art does. But as an artist, you create what you create for the people who DO like your work, knowing that you can never please everyone, and if you do manage to find an audience, pleasing those people makes the artist’s lifestyle worthwhile.

    I therefore encouraged Rich to proceed with bringing this (to me at least) amazing illustration to the public and let it find its way into the hands of those who appreciate it. It did not occur to us to raise the price above that of a normal print and take advantage of Sic’s death. Instead we agreed to donate a portion of the profit to Riders for Health in Sic’s name. To Rich’s credit, he asked that my suggestion for the Riders donation amount be increased, which we have done, aiming to allow me to cover my costs for my own very modest contribution to the creation and marketing of this drawing, to give Rich some compensation for the many many hours of work he put into it, and to honor Marco with a contribution to a deserving, motorcycle-centric charity that he supported so graciously.

    I realize that certain folks who haunt these pages will still find cause to object and criticize how we have handled this, but as with illustration and photography, one can’t please all the folks all the time. In a tough spot such as the one Rich and I found ourselves in, we can only do the best according to the values we hold and hope those whose good will we count on will approve of our actions and continue to support us.

    Again, thanks to all who have shown that support here at Asphalt and Rubber.

  • M

    The illustration isn’t extraordinary. Plenty of artists out there would do as good of one as that as free lance job.

    You made/are making money off a dead man.

  • M is right, I also thought a great deal about this issue since my last post. Putting the Steve Jobs justification and all the name dropping aside. I thought about how I would feel if this was my son who died, then seeing this cartoon. It is simple common sence to put Marco’s family first.

    Scott spoke to alot of people to justify the decision, but I did not read anywhere that he spoke to Sic’s family first. If you were truely struggling with the decision, wouldnt it have been best to speak to his faimily first? then proceed forward with their blessing vs. the blessing from others.

  • That’s a good idea, John, wish I’d thought of it. Perhaps I can get in touch with him via the Gresini press officer. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • R-Dog

    I don’t think there is anybody who is involved in this who has any questions to answer in respect of propriety and/or protocol, and I’ll tell you why I think this.

    Unfortunately, I can recount a similar experience of loss, which is relevent to this debate. When my closest friend was killed in a motorcycle accident some 5 years ago, I also took a decision to donate money to a charity. In his case, it was to the North-West Air Ambulance Service in the UK. They were involved and sadly couldn’t save him, but I raised around £900 for them with the help of my friends and relatives.

    At no stage did I for even a moment consider asking permission from his family. The reasoning was three-fold. Firstly, I wanted to give them privacy at a time when the very last thing they would want to do is be repeatedly reminded of their loss. Secondly, I knew that they are the sort of people to approve of giving to charity, especially to the one mentioned. Thirdly, and perhaps the most paramount, is that is was MY PREROGATIVE. I had then, and have now, the right to decide what I think is appropriate to do with MY TIME AND MONEY and so did those who did or didn’t donate. Nobody else had this right, his family included – they were, of course, happy when I told them a few months later. But if they hadn’t liked it, I wouldn’t have regretted doing it because I believed it was the right thing to do, though I would have been sorry had they felt that it wasn’t.

    Addressing the issue of money – the illustrator of this is sacrificing income in financial terms through making this gesture. It could very possibly have been better a better business move for Rich Lee to have NOT done this because his reduced profit margins and he could have been drawing something else whilst charging his usual higher mark-up. Some say “making money” – but you are thinking backwards. It is more realistic to say “risking losses”.

    Those involved had a similar decision to make to mine. It’s not easy and risks offence, but only to those looking to take it. I think it should be at least respected, certainly not questioned and that support should or should not be shown by buying or not buying the picture. It certainly should not boil down to a spurious investigation of personal ethics and morality, which it sadly has and to an offensive extent. Again I say to those that are carrying on with this, tell us what YOU are doing in Marco’s name, if anything.

  • S.A.L.T

    @ John Walker

    I just clicked on your link and it looks like you are a claims adjuster. A claims adjuster who just endorsed a post by M saying “You made/are making money off a dead man”.

    A claims adjuster.

    That is all.

  • Steve Lang

    Marco was a warrior that is for sure and he was also a clown and a fun loving guy who I think, if he saw the picture, would have liked it with a laugh. Put it out there for sale and give the money to the racer safety foundation or a worthwile charity or better yet, throw a huge party in Marco’s honor. I don’t really care but don’t get your pannties in a bunch over this. There is no disrespect here….. period. Make some money, buy many bottles of Marco’s favorite Italian wine and let’s all sit around and watch re-runs of him while toasting to Marco. I’ll be there with two glasses “CHEERS” Marco!

  • M

    I don’t have my panties in a bunch and probably at least some of the others of same opinion aren’t bunched either. But spinning it any otherway is nothing but bullshit. This is money made off a dead man, and… off Marco Simoncelli of all people.
    It’s just not right. Whether you wanna react to that fact one way or another – that’s a separate thing.

    The illustration bit wasn’t a snipe. I just don’t see how this piece of drawing is extraordinary. Is it good enough for a fan to remember Marco by? I’d be satisfied with it.

  • Jimmy Midnight

    Are funeral’s free? Or is that money made off a dead man? What about life insurance? Is his family profiting from his death by collecting on it? Your spliting hairs and clearly have no idea what the concept of a tribute means. If they erect a statue in his honor should it be free? Or will somone be comissioned to sculpt it? Should he be paid for his work? Not according to you.

    Can’t you just let somone pay tribute to a fallen hero in their own way and leave it at that instead of pretending to be an art critic? Let it go.

    You admitted your wearing panties therefore yes they are definitely in a bunch. You and your friends should stick to the bikes with pedals as your no where near being ready for anything motorized.

    Scott & Rich please keep up the excellent work!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please draw M & Jake Fox on a bicycle built for two with their panties in a bunch…and then profit from it!!!!

  • S.A.L.T

    Ah, M. I think I’ve got the measure of your personality now.

    You’re obviously suffering delusions of grandure because you’re now passing off your own opinions as “fact”. Added to that, using the phrase “money off a dead man” twice in consecutive posts in an effort to sway opinions of people who don’t agree with you (apart from Mr Walker who is probably nothing more than a hypocrite and others who made their case earlier and rightly left it alone) and without adding anything else to your reasoning other than an emphatic use of the term “bullshit” suggests that you are suffering from a psychological dogma.

    Only an idiot could expect a different result from the repeat of an identical action, does this apply to you? Do you think that people listen if you shout the same thing again but louder? Because aside from your unhealthy and macabre obsession with dead men and money, you’ve also been rabbiting on twice about the drawing “not being extraordinary” as if this opinion is somehow infallible. It isn’t, some are disagreeing with you – the shock! the horror!

    Explain to me this; how is it that after posting the same thing twice you can claim not to have your “panties in a bunch” when it is obvious to anybody reading your posts that your agenda is as plain as the nose on your face? You want your ill-thought opinions to be considered and it mortally pains you that there are people that don’t agree. Well as it happens, I don’t either. I’m not alone, and I’m not going to think again if this is all you have to contribute; nor will anyone reading.

    Go and waste your time and efforts on some other argument for-the-sake-of-it, because you’re doing really poorly here.

  • @ S.A.L.T.

    All knowing master of clever words, had you really looked up my link as you said you did, you would have realized I am an appraiser not an adjuster. I DO NOT do injury or fatality claims, I am a independant damage and value appraiser of vehicles and motorcycles. I do not work for an insurance company. Got that?

    Thanks for your harsh idiotic egomaniacal comments

    I think you are alone….

  • S.A.L.T

    Claim to be what you wish, John Walker Senior. Or is it Junior?

    Whatever it is that your job description entails exactly, people can see what the company name is that appears on your link, as well as finding out what it does. Your name is listed beneath it, I assume by consent. And you expect anybody to believe you aren’t implicated by association, or by financial arrangements? You say “independant” (sic), but is there really such a thing in any economy?

    It isn’t so “black and white”, is it? This “money from dead men” business, which you evidently find so distasteful? It happens, we all know it happens and accept it. Directly, or via third parties, finances filter down and permeate into all. It’s a necessary evil. It is far from being unique to anything allegedly going on in these pages.

    Most don’t feel in denial about this concept. But you have chosen to be sanctimonious about it and if you think I’m being harsh and egotistical then perhaps that’s because it’s exactly the same thing that motivated you yourself to write. I saw in it your letter and have simply treated you as I found you. From wanton criticism, expect criticism.

  • R-Dog

    Yes, 76 got it absolutely right the first time! I think if I buy one of these it might be best never to show it to anyone without distributing the sedatives first. Tell you what though, it’s definitely doing the job of making people think about Marco. In that respect, it’s a masterpiece.

  • M

    What… Are you saying that they’re not making money off his death? Is that not a fact? I must’ve missed something.

    Next.. The art is nothing extraordinary. If you look into this, you’ll see that’s true for yourself.

    Next.. I don’t give a rat’s if I convince anyone. Compare with your post. Ten times too long. I’ve said everything I have to say.

  • Jimmy Midnight

    Oh you’ve missed something alright…the point, the boat, etc, etc!
    Thank God you said everything you have to say! Is that a promise, I hope so.

  • Steve Lang

    M… I don’t think it’s right that everybody on here is picking on you. I beleive you when you say your panties are not in a bunch and you don’t wear panties anyway. I think it’s wrong of people here to make fun of you for wearing panties. They are just narrow minded small thinkers. Just ignore them.

    So….. How are those water pills working out for you? From what I hear, you should notice a big change in the overall bloating and they say those mood swings are just a part of the aging process and not the hormones like you thought. Just give it some time. By the way, I really liked your idea of making a chess set out of your used perscription bottles as a way to help the environment. See…. You are a forward thinker!

  • I am well with the debate and exchanges closed. Everone have a Joyfull Peaceful Safe Holiday weekend!

  • Steve Lang

    On a serious note and after all the fun and games here, I decieded to take a look at Rich Lee’s web page and was very impressed. So much so, that I called him and we had about a 30 min conversation about his background and his his work. I found him to be very fluent in the area of Moto GP and World Superbike which was refreshing in itself and he was extreamely humble, had a great attitude, and was easy and interesting to talk to. I would invite all of you to take a look at what he has done so far and I think you’ll be impressed. His prices for his stuff is very resonable and there were several drawings ( Stoner, Rossi, and Simoncelli) that I would like to buy and display in my home. This is a young talented artist that you just might be seeing alot of in the future, I sure hope so. Take a look and see what you think. Hope everybody had a great holiday.