If you asked Warthog vocalist Chris Hansell exactly what the skulleted mascot of his band is, he might respond with Jennifer Lopez. Or a swiss army knife. Or maybe even Bo Jackson. “You know how God’s not just some guy with a big white beard sitting upstairs? Larry can be a multitude of things,” says Chris Hansell. “He’s our spirit guide, our dad, our grim reaper, our muse. He’s so many things.”

Alex Heir's Warthog artwork for the cover of their 2018 self-titled EP.
Alex Heir's album artwork for Warthog's 2018 self-titled EP.

Larry, short for Lawrence W. Arthög (the W. clearly stands for “Warthog”), has become synonymous with the band, arguably more recognizable than any individual member. He appears on their releases, merch, and show fliers, even on stage and in the crowd, with friends and fans of the band stepping in to play the character live at shows. “Larry is this thing that people can get involved with in a weird way, or even be fucking Larry. You know, there’s a number of people that have been Larry at shows,” says Warthog guitarist Mike Goo. “There’s that element that’s kind of playful, that you can kind of be a part of.”

Alex Heir, a New York punk who owns the Death/Traitors clothing label, does art for a slew of bands in the New York punk scene, and drew the first Larry for a t-shirt. “I’m known for drawing skulls and skeletons. It’s kinda been my thing. And I had the concept of a skeleton tearing the world apart,” says Heir, who first drew Larry pulling a knife across the world with the words “Exterminate Me,” the title of Warthog’s first EP. “The defining things of Larry are the skullet haircut, the crack down the center of his forehead, and the backwards vampire fangs. I remember with the skullet, I’m really into Japanese traditional art, and they have these cool Noh and Hannya masks with this long hair that swoops around sometimes. So I’d been really into that concept. I wanted to incorporate that into the drawing, and I figured instead of having him have this all-over hair, let’s just give him this weird long balding thing that was pretty unique. And it just took off from there.”

Alex Heir poses with the original artwork for Warthog's 'Exterminate Me' EP.
Photo by Reed Dunlea
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