December 31, 2009
Resolution for 2010: Don’t Kid Yourself.
Happy new year!
Resolution for 2010: Don’t Kid Yourself.
Happy new year!
Above and below are two in-progress sketches for my contribution to the third issue of Mammal Magazine, which we’re aiming, fingers crossed, to have printed and ready by the fall. The theme for our third issue is ‘FEAR.’
Tying in these images into the context of fear has yet to be done for the final pieces, but I’m working on it (although the clown may be able to hold his own in that arena).
This is a portrait of Pat O’Malley that I recently completed for Cleveland Magazine. Pat O’Malley was, until recently, a county recorder and Democratic Party power broker in Cleveland. Employing a spectacular lack of restraint, the depths of his multi-tasking stretched out further to include additional civic enrichment such as public brawling, an FBI investigation, and one particularly sinister toolbox. Remember how the national media went insane covering the fall of Eliot Spitzer? O’Malley should thank the stars that he didn’t work in New York. His story is, to borrow a phrase, “bonkers.”
Jen Kessen, the art director at Cleveland Mag, did a great job on the feature spread which can be viewed here.
Andrew Bacevich’s new book, The Limits of Power, reviewed this past week in the Times’ Book Review, postulates that modern America’s concept of ‘freedom’ has been slowly and steadily confused with ideas of consumption and gluttony. The argument in the book is tied largely to prime examples from the Bush Administration’s foreign policy of the past 7.5 years. It reads like an obvious but necessary point.
Nicholas Blechman actually volunteered to typeset the page around the illustration of the balloon when this idea proved to be the winner among the batch that I sent him for the accompanying illustration. Nicholas Blechman is freakin’ awesome.
Additional sketches that were submitted are below:
This one required a delicate conversation. The Times’ Science section ran this article a few days ago observing how the field of urology, long dominated by men, has been gaining a more substantial amount of female doctors in recent years. This can make for a somewhat uncomfortable doctor-patient relationship with regards to women touching men’s private parts in a doctor’s office.
Therese Schecter, the art director on this piece, was already close to giggling when she called me to take a crack at it the previous week. It was important to her that it strike just such a balance of humor without heading into pee joke territory or something more substantially gory.
While a stethescope-as-zipper-fly and the modern man’s need for Viagara (pictured below) were considered noble attempts by the brass, nothing quite sold the tragicomic dread of the doctor’s office as the snap of those rubber gloves being befitted by a woman’s hands. Working on this yielded many chortles and cackles, but only because I have been spared the urologist’s waiting room as of late.
This is a piece I recently completed for the DollyPop exhibit at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery in LA. It’s a group show celebrating the mercurial Ms. Parton as a performer, philanthropist, survivor and unlikely champion of the Great American Experiment. My original idea to celebrate her philanthropy was swiftly derailed on the subway one evening when my future wife Jill suggested this knockout idea of having her hair serve as manna from heaven to the poor and disenfranchised children that she’s helped over the years.
This is another piece I recently completed for the New York Times that reflects upon the storied, not-always-so-civil discourse between the now defunct sports radio duo, Mike and the Mad Dog. The reporter, Bryan Curtis, doesn’t exactly liken their professional split to a divorce, but he does make some interesting comments about how their on-air relationship was inevitably headed towards pushing its own self-destruct button. The article, for those who are still lamenting their split, can he read here. Below, are the other two options that I submitted which ultimately did not run.
I’m more than a full month late in discovering this, but the astute (yet anonymous) individuals over at Book Covers Anonymous gave a quick shout out to the cover I designed earlier this year for I Love Dollars. In their compliment, they claim that on account of the wraparound design, their cover jpeg doesn’t do it justice and, by God, they’re RIGHT!
Not that my amateur hack photography can do much better, but anyone who’s remotely curious as to how the design wraps around the spine and back cover can peep the photos below:
Given how lousy, depressed and out-and-out terrifying the housing market is, there’s a substantial amount of guilt attached to how much fun it was to do this piece for the Sunday New York Times. The article, in essence, suggests that the recently approved housing bill (designed to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) is a wretched piece of legislation, but still necessary; Necessary insomuch as that it should be a precursor to ultimately liquidating the two mortgage giants over the long term and letting multiple smaller savings and loan businesses absorb their work.
This illustration was originally spec’d at 6.5″ x 8″ but was clearly, um, augmented. Big ups to Kim Bost at the Times for wrangling the crazy idea of re-working it to wind through the article itself. That’s thinking on your feet.
Included below are two other ideas I submitted before a direction was chosen.
For those who are about as poorly versed as I am with the vernacular of hedge funds, brokerage firms and the language of modern finance, I learned this week that hedge funds don’t get along so well with big firms like Bear Sterns (R.I.P) and Lehman Brothers. This is primarily because hedge funds (which are smaller and in some respects quicker than the big guys) contributed in some small part to Bear Sterns’ bankruptcy earlier this year.
Now, Mr. Mad Money himself, James Cramer, is suggesting that the same fate could become of Lehman Brothers and its CEO Richard Fuld on roughly similar terms. He explains it in depth in New York Magazine this week and I simplified it in the pictorial warning sign above for the magazine.
This spot was just completed for one of Kurt Andersen’s Imperial City articles in New York Magazine dissecting how television news media stands to evolve (or devolve depending on how you look at it) in the wake of Tim Russert’s untimely death. Andersen observes that the void that Russert’s balanced objectivity leaves behind is poised to be replaced with many more opinion-heavy commentators. Truth be told, he can explain it a helluva lot better than I can. That’s why he wrote it & I just made the picture. Additional sketches and proposals that were submitted are down here:
I won’t lie. We’re pretty damn excited about our forthcoming Machismo issue over at Mammal HQ. So much so that we had the fine craftsmen at Kayrock and Crown Prints (respectively) screenprint some beautiful posters for us honoring both the demented spirit of our forthcoming book (above), as well as the raw power of the book’s patron saint, Grace Jones (below). I designed all three of them but the Grace Jones one features a collaborative illustration between myself and Devin Clark, who provided a positively spectacular inkwashed octopus for me to collage and abuse. All 3 posters are 18×24 and will debut for purchase at MoCCA on June 7th & 8th. Online orders will be available immediately afterwards. As an FYI, though the posters do serve as superb wall decoration, we promise no guarantees as to how successfully or unsuccessfully they may serve to harvest thicker chest hair. We’re simply not prepared to make that claim.
Also, for the few who may be deathly curious about the fine print at the bottom of the Grace Jones/octopus poster, here you go:
“If we did not already love Grace Jones for her defiant ferocity, her butch ferocity and the ferocity which she employs to consistently disregard the popular conventions of what it means to be truly macho, we would cower before her and fear her. A lot. As such, like the neolithic early man who seeks to build a wheel, we turn to Grace for guidance and wisdom as we explore the deeper trenches of the masculine soul. As our patron saint, we are humbled before her and we relish her tutelage and her savagery.”