Amid was a kind of person we see rarely in our field, someone who could understand the value of what we do, actually advocate for it and even, if need be, fight for an illustration. In retrospect now I only see how rare that is. He had power in his office; a trust in him by editors to be an editor in his own right. His track record bore this out. But non of this can inform you of how decent and kind he was. His was an understanding and encouraging voice on the phone and in person. And beneath that sweetness was the toughness of a hard-nosed journalist.
Here are some things we did together.
Here are a couple of pieces from my days as the movie guy. Going to the movies with Peter Travers, we didn’t really see a good flick in the 2 years I did this. But there was Clint Eastwood in Absolute Power.
Then Madonna in Evita.
Warren Beatty liked this so much (and her) that he asked me to do the poster for his last good film: Bulworth. I credit Amid with this even though he didn’t make a dime.
Here’s Bush as grill man, selling filthy junk food to America in the Iraq War run-up.
My last piece for him at Newsweek. Paul Krugman watching as Obama taps Wall Street to regulate itself.
Here’s a story that I think tells a lot about him. For National Affairs the story was on how Bush was trying to ex-out Public Broadcasting. Here are my funny, but tapered ideas:
Big Bird as a turkey.
Bush spying on Bert and Ernie.
Then Amid said, “How about Abu Graib?” I asked, “Are you serious?” He said, “Let’s just see how far we can push this.” Am I hearing correctly???? When do you hear art directors speak like this?
Anyway, here’s his idea!!
We all settled on the jail cell, with Bush as the idiotic, depraved Lynndie England.
I am very unaccustomed to having a designer ask for stronger work. But that was Amid.
A wise man/warrior/philosopher-prince of graphic art, in a place where he could really make a difference. And one of the ways he did that was with illustration. Peace Amid. We carry on better for knowing you.