Archive for March, 2010

Mad As Hell…

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A question surfaced in the wake of all the reactionary threats toward members of Congress who voted in favor of the health care bill last week. That question being: “Will our country now be overrun by a giant, angry, pitchfork-toting mob?”

Benedict Carey, sidestepping much of the specific threats to Congress, takes a broader, more scientific view of that idea in his piece for this week’s Week In Review in the Sunday Times. Depending on how much healthy skepticism you hang on to day by day, Carey’s largely optimistic that angry mobs take considerable more effort to congeal than would be required to start an actual fire.

Art direction by the calm, composed, in-no-way-boiling-over-with-rage, Kelly Doe. Mercifully, she was working late at the office the night before this was due and made herself available to help me figure out whether this matchbook idea for the illustration was even going to work.

When Washington Goes BIG

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The question as to how government’s most ambitious projects (ex. the Moon landing, Iraq and, ahem, health care) fail or succeed gets explored on the front page of the Washington Post’s Outlook section for their Sunday, 3/21 paper. Working with Kristin Lenz, we took the opportunity to make the headline type the actual illustration for the cover of the print edition (above). The type that I drew all of the hands for is the Post’s very own (and very new) Postoni Display Bold, designed by Richard Lipton and Matthew Carter (!!!) I would hope that in the eyes of Postoni’s creators that no heinous offenses were committed in the appropriation of their fine, fine work.
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Op-Ed: Who’s Buried in the History Books?

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Earlier this month, Congressman Patrick McHenry introduced new legislation proposing to place Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill and thereby removing its longtime current resident, Ulysses S. Grant.

Sean Wilentz, a history professor at Princeton and author of a book on Reagan, has a huge problem with this. In his op/ed for the 3/13 Sunday Times, he catalogs an impressive laundry list of Grant’s accomplishments that he feels that popular history has largely neglected.

In building an illustration for this, the thing that was deemed most sensible was to have Grant, larger than life, outsizing his own frame from the 50 dollar bill and growing onward. Kim Bost, in art directing, humorously took it one step further and had the top of Grant’s hair encroaching on the headline itself. However appropriate, that’s just plain funny.

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Moreover, not being the kind of guy who walks around with multiple 50 dollar bills in his wallet, you discover some pretty amazing details up close when you’ve tasked yourself with building a collage from one of them.

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Chuck Palahniuk on Suicide

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Chuck Palahniuk considers it essential to commit suicide every couple of years in order to give himself a more focused perspective on his own state of being. He explains the proper steps towards preparing for a suicide of your very own in the April ’10 issue of Men’s Health that’s out now.

To arrive at the above illustration for the piece, the skull was a relatively safe default in terms of an idea, but I lucked out with a nice experiment when I was messing around painting the thing on paper towels.

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The texture that exposed itself from the pores in the paper towel presented an opportunity to echo Palahniuk’s manner of treating his pre-suicide plans as a checklist (hence the repeated ‘x’).

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Like most anything else the guy writes, the article is droll, very funny and not without its uncomfortable truths. He has a wry manner of explaining that the best way to appreciate what you have is to take active, conscious steps towards 86ing yourself. This gig was appropriately more fun than any extended contemplation of suicide has any right to be.

Art direction by Vikki Nestico.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

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Curious as it may seem, Abraham Lincoln’s moonlighting gig as a fearless vampire killer has gone largely undocumented by western historians until just recently.

Fortunately for us all, there’s now an ever-expanding bevy of resources to explore this vital cross section of his life—and how his dedicated practice of vanquishing the undead by driving wooden stakes through their malevolent, bloodthirsty hearts helped inform the principles and policies that made him the beloved historic figure that we all regard him as today.

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TIME Magazine reports. Andrée Kahlmorgan art directs. I commit the heresy of improperly victimizing Lincoln down below before arriving at the cold, savage final above:

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Business Week – The Power of Shame

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This was another quick one for Business Week. It concerns the likely public humiliation that will arise from the SEC forcing CEOs to disclose their epic salaries and bonuses from the past year. Form fitting as that dunce cap may appear, I don’t think it’s going to save anyone from flying tomatoes or the stockade if the SEC actually follows through on that. To get your public humiliation on, read on here.

Art direction by Laura Renga.

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