This is the cover for today's New York Times Week in Review, full article here. The story is linked to the President's State of the Union speech this week. The main thrust of the story is whether Obama's complex political narrative will work in a media environment that demands simple themes and slogans. Here's an excerpt:
"On this much, President Obama’s friends and foes could agree: He eludes simple labels. Yes, he’s a liberal, except when he’s not. He’s antiwar, except for the one he’s escalating. He’s for bailouts, but wants to rein in the banks. He’s concentrating ever-more power in the West Wing, except when he’s being overly deferential to Congress. He’s cool, except when he’s fighting-hot. In a world that presents so many fast-moving and intractable problems, nuance, flexibility, pragmatism — even a full range of human emotions — are no doubt good things. But as Mr. Obama wrapped up his State of the Union address on Wednesday night with an appeal to transcend partisan gamesmanship, he was plaintively testing a broader proposition: Is it possible to embrace complexity in a political and media culture that demands simple themes and promotes conflict?
The president, whose hallmark has been ideological eclecticism, would clearly like to think the answer is yes. But a year into his presidency, Mr. Obama has lost control of his political narrative, his ability to define the story of his presidency on his own terms. And the main reason is that his story is no longer so simple or easy to tell."
My friend Peter Brown has a new book out called The Purple Kangaroo, written by Michael Ian Black. They shot a little video that shows the author/illustrator relationship, it's on Funny or Die here and below. There's a reason editors usually keep the author and illustrator apart on book projects.
This is a full page image for an article in the Harvard Law Bulletin, which is art directed by the great Ronn Campisi. The story proposes a new model for intelligence gathering in the fight against terrorism: That the government should establish "the world's best noncoercive interrogation body by bringing together top interrogators from the FBI, CIA and the military and follow the standards set forth in Obama's executive order and the Army Field Manual.
"A Man of the People" is part of the series of covers I've been working on for the re-issues of Chinua Achebe's books. The story is about corruption and violence within the Nigerian political establishment. I've been doing the hand lettering for the series as well. Working with John Gall and Helen Yentus at Random House/ Anchor Books. More sketches below.
"In Chinua Achebe's novel, A Man of the People, two contrasting groups of people from a political and social aspect based in West Africa.The groups are the old and the new generations of politics and two characters represent them.Odili, the narrator, represents the new intellectual generation, while Chief Nanga, Odili’s former teacher, represents the old style of bush politicians.The conflict between the old and new ways is portrayed through the two characters as they not only disagree and quarrel over political views but also women.The story ends with a military coup that foreshadows the Nigerian Revolution of 1966."Chinua Achebe proved to be a better prophet than any of the political scientists"(K.W.J. Post, xiii).Achebe captures the inside reality of the lives of the contrasting characters as he demonstrates energy and brightness as well as violence and corruption."
I did this cover for this week's international edition of Newsweek. The story is titled "Clash of the Titans—How the Democratic Republic of Google is testing China's appetite for democracy itself". Google's questionable relationship with China met it's end when Google caught Chinese agents hacking into Gmail accounts to get information about dissident groups. I worked with Adolfo Valle on this cover. I've done a few covers for him and he's always been great to work with.
From the story: "Google CEO Eric Schmidt pointed out to me last week. It is the only major country with an elaborate, formal system of censorship that all information-oriented companies must accept. That's why in China, if you type the words "Tiananmen Square" or "Dalai Lama" into Google (or Baidu, the country's leading search engine), you will find mostly blocked sites. At the same time, China has been busily developing the world's most elaborate apparatus devoted to cyber-spying and cyberattacks. Chinese hacking has ramped up over the past few years, directed not only at human-rights organizations, but, importantly, at foreign businesses and governments. Many, if not most, such attacks originate from China; former National Security Agency director William Studeman has called them the "biggest single problem" facing the U.S. national-security establishment."
This is a cover for The Deal. The topic is the new set of financial reform regulations put into place by the Obama administration. They are so complex that some are not sure how they will work. "Financial reform legislation addresses some problems well, some not so well, and some not at all. How it will all work will only become apparent arount the time of the next meltdown".
The art director for The Deal is Larry Gendron. Larry has been doing some great work with illustration on his covers, I always enjoy checking them out.
I also did the opener full page image for the cover package. Obama as the new sheriff watching over Wall Street.
I did this a few weeks ago for Businessweek. The story is about Best Buy's business practices, how they loom large over their suppliers and stifle competition. I got the call at the end of the day and it was due the next morning. I had fun drawing it. Worked with Patty Alvarez on this one.
This was a cover that came out last week, about Wall Street telling politicians how to legislate financial reform. Andrew Horton, art director.