Archive for July, 2009

Steal This Code

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If a programmer working for Goldman Sachs makes a copy of a code that he wrote and posts it elsewhere as an example of his body of work, does it constitute stealing? Former computer programmer Michael Osinski speculates the current Goldman Sachs/Sergey Aleynikov lawsuit on the Times’ op-ed page today.

For the illustration above, Kim Bost gave me the option of providing a single large image for the top of the page or making a slightly smaller one for the top in addition to a small crawlspace for a spot illo just beneath it. With the subject revolving around theft, this second option gave us an opportunity to, in essence, steal a chunk of the image itself to bludgeon the point home. Kim’s good.

Alex Rodriguez: The Patron Saint of FEAR

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The in-the-works third issue of Mammal is devoted to fear.

The art and comics that we’ll be featuring in our newest book revolves around what scares the authors, what they think others should be scared by and also the behavior which often results from actions which have been principally informed by fear. In selecting a patron saint that we considered to be a modern personification of these suggestions we landed on the Yankees’ very own Alex Rodriguez.

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In researching the words (and testimony) of the man himself, we found that it is both what he says as well as what he doesn’t say that reveals a man who, by virtue of his infamy (and occasionally his talent), makes him singularly intimate with modern, everyday fear in a way that few others are.

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From our profile on A-Rod in the forthcoming issue:

Were it only that his natural, exceptional talent was enough.

Were it only that his record-shattering home run efficacy was enough.

Were it only that the teeming idol worship was enough.

Were it only that the astronomical $275 million dollar contract with the most roundly respected modern baseball institution was enough.

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Apparently, it isn’t enough. As all-star Yankees’ 3rd baseman and media fixation Alex Rodriguez habitually demonstrates, even those who appear to have it all cannot escape from the species-spanning phenom known as FEAR. With words and deeds both explicit and implicit, Mr. Rodriguez behaves, as a matter of routine, as if he’s got everything to lose. This is not to say that he lives his life to the fullest, but rather allows his persona, his performance and his words to be governed chiefly by the impulses and reactions brought upon by the domination of fear within his still-searching psyche.

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Be it his remarkable on-field performances upset only by his clockwork habit of choking when it counts, to his public quest to find religion with Madonna, to his tacit admission and peculiar defense of steroid use early in his career, we welcome his insight and gospel within the pages of Mammal.

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Mammal #03: FEAR will be published this year. Further updates as production events warrant!

Unreal Estate

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Art direction: Nicholas Blechman

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This piece for the July 4th Book Review accompanies Tom Vanderbilt’s reviews of two accounts of the current mortgage crisis—one a first-person, memoir-styled retrospective of one such mortgage undoing, the other a more procedural view of the specific actions between the government and the lax real estate business practices that collided to create such an unprecedented state of bankruptcy and foreclosure. Tom’s take on both books is here.

Also of interest in the Book Review this weekend art-wise is a full-tilt insane cover illustration by Henning Wagenbreth about crystal meth that the web simply cannot do justice to. Those who are interested should make a point to seek it out in printed form.