MISSION ACCOMPLISHED by Christopher Cerf and Victor S. Navasky
Simon & Schuster Art Director Michael Accordino asked me to create this cover featuring some of the great minds of our generation, He asked that Bush be represented in his flight suit and for him to be surrounded by a cast of characters. These characters were never set in stone and there was a lot of tweaking on the piece until the final lineup was in place. We worked on the bulk of it over the summer. It was completed in early February and sent out to bookstores last week.
Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq: The Experts Speak
From the back cover: Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq, the definitive, footnoted, hilarious but depressing compilation of experts who were in error about the Iraq War.
From MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
-- President George W. Bush, May 2, 2003
"[Insurgents] pose no strategic threat to the United States or to the Coalition Forces."
-- L. Paul Bremer III, Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, November 17, 2003
"Military action will not last more than a week."
-- Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, January 23, 2003
"I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah."
President George W. Bush, at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, December 10, 2001
In the beginning was the photograph. I was fortunate to have the Corbis files at my disposal and was able to search through hundreds of photographs to find the perfect ones. This Bush face sums up my take on the last eight years. It set the tone for the entire piece. I wasn’t sure that S&S would go for it. It’s so extreme that it’s practically a drawing in itself but Michael Accordino and I were in perfect sync with our shared vision for the jacket throughout the entire project.
This is what I sent too Michael as the first sketch. Fortunately Michael trusted me to figure out where to place the Bush Mob. At this point I had no idea where they were going to go.
I was given a list of names of the people who needed to appear on the cover. The challenge was to fit them all into an interesting and quickly readable composition. People were added and subtracted as we went along. In this early sketch I have Cheney sitting on Bush’s shoulder. In this update, Bush's flight suit is complete. The flight suit alone is 61 layers.
This is the first complete Bush mob. As you'll see, Wolfowitz didn't make it to the final piece, Rumsfeld and Powell would be repositioned.
A new flag to fit Michael's updated layout.
The flag was blurred for the finish to echo this famous photo. The handmade type in the first two sketch images was made by blowing up the type on this original banner, cutting it out and filling it in. It was extra work that I knew wouldn't see print but I needed it to balance the
image for myself.
This is the final image as it would appear on the cover. Wolfowitz out, Anne Coulter in. Also added is the whimpering pup pose for Rumsfeld.
The finished jacket is up top. The final is 132 layers.
David Bamundo requested some Sad Sack and I couldn't refuse a fellow George Baker fan.
The book is Copyright 1944 and collects 115 of George Baker's SAD SACK cartoons from YANK Magazine. I scanned a few here. Hope you enjoy them as much as Dave and I do.
A modified Simon and Schuster logo embossed on the front cover.
Title Page. I love how the superior officers always have these jagged, wild animal teeth.
“America lost one of its leading graphic satirists when Robert Osborn passed on in Dec. 1994 at the age of 90. For almost 50 years, the devout moralist used his cartoons, caricatures and visual essays to change the world. However, Osborn felt that he never succeeded in this effort. In his later years, he confided to a friend that his one regret in life was that he had failed in transforming the world even after almost half a century of critiquing it.”---Steven Heller, PRINT, January 1995.
Here’s a collection of images selected from Robert Osborn books that I’ve picked up over the years. For anyone unfamiliar with his work, Osborn was a giant. You’ll notice that many of his images have been echoed in the illustrations of others who’ve followed. That’s a greater tribute to his brilliance than I could ever put in words.
Although much of Osborn’s work accompanies text, his own and by other authors, I felt it best to pretty much allow the art to speak for itself. Here and there I’ll add a short caption of my own to identify an issue or an individual. Beyond that, it’s pure Osborn.
HOW TO SHOOT DUCKS, Coward-McCann, 1941 Osborn’s first published book. It was followed by HOW TO SHOOT QUAIL and HOW TO CATCH TROUT.
ACRES AND PAINS by S. J. Perelman, Reynal and Hitchock, 1947
LOW AND INSIDE, Farrah, Strauss and Young, 1953
Full Flight With The Assistance of Alcohol (Low and Inside)
"The Matador of Death (Low and Inside)
OSBORN ON LEISURE, Simon & Schuster, 1957
THE DECLINE OF THE AMERICAN MALE by the Editors of Look, Random House, 1958
From: SUBVERSE by Marya Mannes, Braziller, 1959
The poem below provides the text for the image above.
MIDDLE EAST by Marya Mannes (1952)
Petroleum, petroleum, With Power so accursed, Thou art no longer lubricant But bringeth out the worst.
Cupidity and violence Gush with from a soil Where few are there who benefit From any drop of oil.
THE VULGARIANS, New York Graphic Society, 1960
"A Culture of Foaming Nonsense"---Osborn (The Vulgarians)
"We Pretend To Be Vigorous."---Osborn (The Vulgarians)
"...Conforming, unthreatening, median, massive mediocrity."---Osborn (The Vulgarians)
Endpapers (The Vulgarians)
A MODERN DEMONOLOGY by Frank Getlein, Clarkson N. Potter Inc, 1961
DYING TO SMOKE by Fred W. Benton, M.D., Houghton Mifflin Company, 1964
From: NOT SO RICH AS YOU THINK by George R. Stewart, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1967
MISSILE MADNESS by Herbert Scoville, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1970
Endpapers (Missile Madness)
Senator Joseph McCarthy (Originally published in LIFE Magazine, republished in OSBORN ON OSBORN, Tichnor & Fields, 1982)
Vietnam: We Burn Their Children. (OSBORN ON OSBORN, Tichnor & Fields, 1982)