Jeffrey Smith
The Coldest Case-Foreign Policy Magazine
This is the story of the murder of Dr. Eugene Mallove, cold fusion pioneer. Dr. Mallove was beaten to death in an act of senseless, and random violence. The case went cold for 8 years, until a new investigator, Detective James Curtis finally solved the case.
Dr. Eugene Mallove

Cold Blooded Murder

2014 Editorial Illustration Portfolio
Here is a portfolio of editorial illustrations from 2014. All of the work is hand drawn, and painted with FW acrylic inks on BFK Rives printmaking paper. Also, I've been using quite a bit of watercolor pencil lately.  Most of this work, weirdly, has something to do with survival. Hmmm.
Asset International Magazine

GQ Magazine

GQ Magazine

Maxim Magazine

Car & Driver Magazine

Maxim Magazine

Maxim Magazine

Maxim Magazine

NY Times, Op-Ed Page

Five Fiction Assignments
A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts for the L.A.Times, 2010. A.D. Judith Pryor

Big Zelig for PaknTreger Magazine, The Yiddish Book Center, 2012. A.D. Alex Isley

What it Was by George Pelecanos for Playboy magazine, 2012. A.D. Rob Wilson.

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane for Playboy magazine, 2012. A.D. Rob Wilson.

Under the Mistletoe Last Night by Mark Billingham, for Reader's Digest, London, 2011. A.D. Martin Coyler.

Office Machines

I got a call from David Bamundo at The Wall Street Journal.  He needed an illustration for an article about Thomas Pynchon’s new book, “Inherent Vice.”

The deadline was short, and there wasn’t much text to refer to.  I was asked to do the assignment because I am known in some circles as a “Noir” illustrator.

David wanted a portrait of Pynchon.  But the portrait had to be somewhat obscure.

Evidently, the media has not seen Pynchon in a very long time. This fact added to the mystique and allure of the author and his new book.

I decided to focus my pictorial sights on mirrors and reflections. Mirrors are often used as a psychological force in the narrative design of Film Noir imagery.  This was my way into the assignment since I didn’t have the story. 


As an illustrator who works on very short deadlines, I am often forced to photograph myself for reference. In other words, I am my own model. I donned one of my many fedoras, a Sam Spade trench coat, and a.45 caliber, U.S. army issue, Hell-fire handgun.  I also tried using a cigar.  I set 2 large mirrors next to me, one on either side.  I set my Omni light low to the ground and behind me, and I shined it upwards.  I shined it over my shoulder and across my face.  I was hoping for rim light.  Rim light is to Noir what heavenly light is to Giambattista Tiepolo.  I set my camera on a tripod, well below eve-level.  The eyes of the devil, or the dying, were upon me.


Mirrors. I think, create ambiguity and distortion.  And you don’t need a mirror to know what the mind creates. Eh? In this picture, the mirror might be a doorway, and the reflection of the main subject might be a dead guy. Or not.

As for the story, well, I guess I blew that.  No palm trees, or California surf culture represented here.  But hell! If Raymond Chandler in Los Angeles, and Dashiell Hammett in San Francisco can skip that stuff, so can I.


I decided to add several illustrations to this blog that seemed connected in some way. The subjects are mostly sitting, the viewer is engaged, and pictures are dark, all artificially lit. Everyone is trapped, aberration everywhere and so seemingly, all is perfectly Noir.  And in the air there is the tap, tap, tapping of keys.


Illustration for the New York Times, Week in Review, secretly, a portrait based on Stephen King
Fiction illustration For Playboy Magazine
One of 22 illustrations for The New York Times Magazine, The Funny Pages, a story by Elmore Leonard titled, Comfort to the enemy, inspired by Fred MacMurray's, Walter Neff in Billy Wilder's, Double Indemnity.
For Time magazine, a story about True Crime Writers; secretly, a portrait of a young Truman Capote.
Cover illustration for The New York Times, Week in Review; a story about Cyber War.
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