April 23, 2014
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

DeBlasio in Clover

BdB Cropped700

For my first cover for the redesigned NY Observer, art director Lauren Draper asked for a portrait of the mayor of NY, Bill DeBlasio, feeling triumphant after his signature agenda item, pre-kindergarten for all NY children, passed the legislature. Thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is running THIS year (and maybe again next) this will be done without a tax hike. It is a moment to savor for the new mayor . . . and for our kids.

Here is the genesis of this cover.

Many thanks to Lauren, who would take every sketch and try it in layout for me. There was a rare back-and-forth that resulted in good communication all round.

Also great fun to be on board with David Heasty and Stephanie Wagner of Triboro Design who took the peachy paper and re-imagined it as a mag. This is the third one since the re-D. What they have kept is their appreciation of illustration. Ken Kurson EIC, and Jared Kushner Publisher very responsible for that and so much else.

DeBlaz

The first idea was to have BDB huge behind a small desk. Not quite right.

BDB Bust

Then there was the BDB rearing back with a big smile and a blackboard with my bit of copy on it. This was approved and then edited. The copy would be more straightforward and have my line in at the end.

Bdb fsk

Then there was this finished sketch sent to Lauren via cell phone camera.

Near final in layout700

Later on, I sent a more finished image. Thanks to Lauren this is the first sense I had of how this might look.

BeB;as NY O Cover700

Here, then, is the cover that will be on stands tomorrow. Illustration is a hardwork/greatfun thing.

The Click-Through

Here’s a tribute to the use of illustration as infographic; communicating information about an issue or a character directly and powerfully through drawings and paintings. In my recent travels I have been working at this in different ways. 5BoehnerCaughtFinal Here’s a nicely handled click-through by The Washington Post. See it HERE. On the first Debt Ceiling Crisis. The art moves easily (no video commercials to disrupt the flow).  Not very much opinion expressed here actually. It’s mostly illustrated reportage via the Post staff.

GUN SHOW 2 14

This chart on gun-influenced members of Congress for The American Prospect. It was a spread that linked portraiture and data.

Hatch

King Duffy and Gibson

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Here’s a limited scroll down. A larger project: the story of the first Jews in New Amsterdam, for Tablet.

2014 Oscars 8 Woody

A recent piece for the LA Times on the Oscars. HERE’s how it looks online.

Mad Men final w type150

The Mad Men of Climate Change Denial took the meme of the TV show, added these galoots and then data.

Mad Men 2

Cost of Revolution layout croppedsm

Last July’s NY Times OpEd page (here was the working layout) on signers of the Declaration of Independence. I did the research and the drawing. Matt Dorfman helped tremendously in organizing the page. Then the famous Times fact checkers came in. Hail to the Chiefs.  Here’s the online slide show.

finalfip

Here’s Mitt Romney delivering his acceptance speech at the 2012 GOP Convention. I covered both conventions live for The Nation, sending in a drawing every 15 minutes or so. By the end of the week we had posted about 156 pieces of illustration: HERE

Hey, it’s Oscar Time!

No, no don’t run away. I’m here to help.

Our annual collision between large screen fantasy and small screen fiction is about to commence. And nobody can explain what it means. That might be because it is profoundly without meaning. With that in mind I offer my annual take on the future of Hollywood. This is all certifiably correct. Mock my words.

Thanks to the perfect team of Susan Brenneman and Wes Bausmith at the LA Times who made this page of Sunday funnies possible.

2014 Oscars 1

 

2014 Oscars Wolf 2

 

2014 Oscars 3 Cruz

 

2014 Oscars 5 Brown

 

2014 Oscars 4 Christie

Oscars Koch 1

Grandpas Type1 Grandpas type 2

 

2014 Oscars 6 Birdseye

 

2014 Oscars 8 Woody

 

2014 Oscars 9 Hillary

 

To Al Goldstein

Goldstein

Thinking today about Al Goldstein, founder and editor of Screw, absurd (and absurdist) public figure and icon of a brief age when sex was a really big show. Much better than today’s obit in the Times is this 2006 recollection by Steven Heller. To me Goldstein’s greatest legacy is the work of Heller and Brad Holland who, incredibly, began in the pages of Screw before inventing the Op Ed page at the Times and becoming major influences on American newspaper graphic art. Here’s to publishing; being brave, being crazy and Al.

 

 

5 Drawings of James Hansen

Hansen 1

Hansen 2

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Hansen 4

Hansen 5