Archive for the 'Op/Ed Page' Category

…and another one.


Art direction by Josh Cochran


Another Op/Ed for this week—this one on the balancing act between raising taxes and generating government revenue.

For a person who spends an (un)healthy amount of time behind a desk, it feels as though I’ve spent the past few weeks running very, very fast.


Times Roundup


Art direction by Nicholas Blechman

Two for the Times were done this past week. The first (above) for the Book Review is an illustration paired with a critical account of the new tome about the history of Goldman Sachs and how they have miraculously, (or more accurately), suspiciously survived and emerged still resilient through the current economic crisis.





Art direction by Aviva Michaelov


This second one was done for an op/ed calling upon Obama to honor members of the military and government who have stood up to policies permitting torture. The authors posit that since Donald Rumsfeld and George Tenet, having both tacitly approved of enhanced interrogation techniques, have both been awarded honors by the previous president and that Obama should stand to honor the opposing voices. Aviva provided me the rare luxury of sending me the article a short while before midnight the evening before the illustration was due, so I had all night to pull my hair out trying to figure out how to solve the problem. The extra time, in this case, truly was a gift.

Also, for those who are deathly curious: ‘Lux Veritatis’ = ‘Light of Truth.’


Letters – Solving the States’ Deficit Problems


Art direction: Aviva Michaelov


Unless the advent of time travel reveals itself to us in our present time in the next few hours, the final New York Times’ Letters illustration for 2010 is above—and it concerns an issue that’s been brewing enough for the past few years to safely count on it percolating in 2011. On the state level, many of them (Illinois especially) are running on deficits between overdue payments while sponsoring tax cuts. The letters written in response to the Christmas Day editorial are all roundly angry and understandably so.

As our manic, stymieing, never-once-boring-not-even-for-a-second year of 2010 collapses in on itself like a dying star, a crazy thought: maybe 2011 is a good time to resume paying actual taxes?

Provided that those who have them now remain fortunate enough to continue having jobs?

Happy 2011! (I hope)!

Op/Ed – Home Economics


This past Sunday’s Op/Ed in the Times took the form of four different ‘economic postcards’— four writers chronicling four separate slices of life in various parts of the country which share how people have been managing in the wake of the ongoing economic slump. The piece above is perhaps the most optimistic of the four, describing a couple in Boise, Idaho who when faced with a serious gopher problem in their garden, meet a wildlife coordinator who’s exceedingly efficient at solving problems of that kind. This guy is far more capable than, say, Carl Spackler.

This one accompanied a piece about a young woman in Portland, OR who’s found a way to purchase organic produce using food stamps. However resourceful, such shopping is kept in check contextually with a brief detour through comparable markets in Las Cruces, NM.


This one went along with a discourse on the paradoxes of the Dallas real estate market.


Lastly, this one went along with the page’s final piece about a Providence, RI theater owner who’s switched his bills up to all comedies all the time in order to drum up business which has fallen off sharply.

The four of these images went through multiple incarnations and at least one fast last minute change within a very short window of time before locking in to the common pictorial cohesion that we arrived at for the finals. Also worth noting, this was wrapping up at the end of a particularly lengthy week and I was tired. I would credit Aviva ‘Nothing-Is-Over-Until-We-Decide-It-Is’ Michaelov for goading me into digging deep and pulling out a batch of images which ended up in a far better place than they were in when we began.


September Roundup / Yesterday’s News


September’s been a bit of a blur. Amidst the hopscotch of the day job, the night job, Amtrak and the Bolt Bus, I was able to knock out three pieces for three different sections for the Times. Above are two illustrations which accompanied Matt Bai’s piece in the Week In Review a few weeks back which examines the efficacy of Obama’s presidency in a more integrated, global society in which he’s increasingly tethered to the policies of other countries.


Kelly Doe art directed these two with me—and quite gracefully too when considering that these pictures began as a single spot, before it was briefly considered for the cover, before ultimately being relegated to one spot on the front page and the second piece on the interior. Amidst all of the juggling, she’s calm, that one.

If you treat your news in the same way I treat my New Yorker subscription, you can read the article three weeks too late right here.



Next up was a quick Letters spot which collected responses to Paul Krugman’s column about the anger coming from the wealthy upper class directed at Obama on account of his raising taxes. Many of the voices who chimed in on the Letters page felt differently.

This was art directed by the Op/Ed page’s brand new assistant art director Alexandra Zsigmond. Alexandra’s good.


Lastly, this decidedly freakier one above was done for Nicholas Blechman at the Book Review for Laura Kipnis’ book How to Become a Scandal. The book examines the psychological links between the voyeur and the public train wreck and the motives, raging ids and spectacular self deception required to initiate a public scandal. She breaks it down on a case-by-case basis, examining the particulars of Eliot Spitzer, Linda Tripp, James Frey and Lisa Nowack, the diaper-wearing, wig-donning astronaut from a few months back from which the final illustration drew its inspiration.

New projects which were begotten in places besides 620 Eighth Avenue are on the way…

Op/Ed – The Triumphant Decline of the WASP


Last month, it was hornets. This month, it’s the WASPs (mercifully in phonetics only).

The op/ed above explores how Protestants’ latter practice of inclusion and equal opportunity in both academics as well as their broad perception of worldwide religious practices has succeeded so thoroughly that with the presumed confirmation of Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court will contain zero protestants, where it had once held a definitive majority. Professor Noah Feldman, who wrote the article, takes care to stress that it’s a rare bit of good news that religious practices aren’t such a crucial, modern  distinction when determining who would be a good fit for the court of courts.

The illustration above was arrived at after my first five attempts took goose eggs at the editorial desk. A handful of the coulda-shoulda-wouldas are below.





(I was the teeniest bit sorry that this one was relegated to the gallows).




The art direction and negative space virtuosity comes courtesy of Aviva Michaelov.

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