Tim OBrien
September 2008
A Mammoth Problem
The Final Cover
Here is another thing to worry about.  The permafrost in Siberia is melting.
I recently did a cover and opener for Stamford Magazine.  They were really great people to work with.  Hats off to Amy Shroads.
The article was a fascinating mone that detailed the aweful situation in Siberia.  Global warming is effecting and melting the permafrost.  As the permafrost melts, what lies beneath is just starting to decay.  And what is beneath the surface?  Dead animals and most prominently, frozen and rotting Wooly Mammoths.  The stink is sickening because in bogs all over Siberia, methane gas rises and creates a greenhouse effect that traps heat and speeds up he cycle.  One fellow, Sergei Zimov also speculates that the lack of large herbivores such as the mammoths means trees don't get consumed and trampled and these forests are traveling north.  Unlike short grass which is covered by snow in the winter, trees are dark and catch the sun's rays and heat up the area which again keeps the cycle going.  Sergei is trying to use larger animals such as horses to recreate the environment where plants are consumed and the forests are kept in check.
 I am just trying to be an illustrator.  What a slacker.

I did a sketch of a side-view of the earth with a mammoth underground.  This was chosen as in interior and the cover was a more simple and powerful image of a Mammoth. 
I had a blast doing it.  Still, now I have to worry about this?
Think happy thoughts...think happy thoughts.
Rough of mammoth cover
unused sketch
approved sketch
The cover without type
This is the interior sketch. I think it was going to be the cover at first but perhaps it was thought to be gross. That's my hunch.
Detail interior
Detail again. I love the bubbles!
The interior final
The Last 8 years and 4 more?
A close-up of the cover.
Meanwhile back in Washington... Just in case any of you haven't noticed, the last 8 years have been a long steep decline for a majority of Americans. The republicans have had control of the White House and have really wrecked this country. Thousands of new tombstones for young men and woman, devastating injuries to survivors from attacks in a war pitched for one cause then flipped for another are it's legacy. The trickle-down theory was tested on America yet again and guess what?... the rich got richer and jobs did NOT grow and incomes did NOT go up. Did it work as pitched? No. So we must all agree that the Bush years were just awful. I did this cover for Mother Jones about a month ago, out right now. At the time I was absolutely sure that America was sick of the last 8 years. The cover story was about the ways to move past these last 8 years. The award-winning creative director Tim Luddy at Mother Jones called with this fun idea of Bush as the Wicked Witch melting with other characters around him; Barack as Dorothy, McCain as the Cowardly Lion and my favorite, Cheney as a flying monkey. I did wonder if having McCain as a Cowardly Lion would be 'leading with our chin' and offered a sketch of him as the Tin Man, squeaking "Oil, oil" but that one was rejected for the Lion. After seeing the cover I see the two asterisks that reveal on page 2 this funny explanation: **As for you my friend, your a victim of disorganized're confusing courage with wisdom" -The Wizard to the Cowardly Lion. Brilliant! I can't resist here pointing our to anyone still on the fence in this election that the plan that McCain/Palin have for the next 4-8 years is to continue the Bush tax policy, the social agenda perhaps more focused on ending a woman's right to choose, a carbon-based energy policy of drilling everywhere in American and lying that it will end foreign dependency( it won't) and finally, not a single program to help the middle class of any worth. Ding, dong, the Bush years are almost over but as Bush once warned: "fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. It fool me. We can't get fooled again."
Finally this issue is FILLED with great illustration...Steve Brodner, Mark Matcho, Peter Arkle, Ralph Steadman, Yuko Shimizu, Jason Holley, Harry Campbell, John Ueland, Juliette Borda, and Christian Northeast.
The fun cover
Here is my idea of McCain as a Tin know, old rusted seeking oil? In the end the solution they had was brilliant!
I loved doing these little paintings
see the two asterisks?
This one was difficult.
Mark Matcho
As mentioned above, this issue is filled with great illustrations thanks to Tim Luddy and the rest of the art department AND the illustrators...forgive the bad shots, but I thought they should be here...
Peter Arkle
Ralph Steadman
Yuko Shimizu
Serg Bloch
Steve Brodner...sorry for the glare
Jason Holley
Harry Campbell
John Ueland
Juliette Borda
Christian Northeast
Eddie Rosenstein, documentary film maker
Life can be strange and wonderful all at the same time. We've all had these things happen; a great event is oddly intertwined with another. My friend EddieRosenstein is a documentary film maker and screenwriter and this Sunday night at 10 PM on the History Channel, his new series 'Sandhogs' will premier. Also this Sunday evening is the last performance of the musical 'Rent' on Broadway. Here's the story. Eddie was best friends and for years writing partner with the creator of the musical, Jonathan Larson. He watched him toil and craft this piece, a musical based on Puccini's La Bohème and re-imagined taking place in modern New York. Larson's narrator and main character in the piece is a documentary film maker 'Mark', based on Eddie, a guy who won't put the camera down. As most already know, Larson died of an aortic aneurism when it was in previews. It won rave reviews, changed Broadway and won the Tony and Pulitzer Prize. When Jonathan passed, Eddie was there to find his friend. Eddie is an amazing talent. He is wildly curious and has a great eye for where the story is. He is full of ideas and enthusiasm and several years ago Eddie became interested in the fascinating world of the sandhogs. These men are to ones who build tunnels under NY City. For 150 years this close knit but fairly unknown group does dangerous work underground. We travel through their tunnels and survive drinking water through them as well. It is not easy to get underground as a civilian, and there have only been a select few who have had the chance. To be able to be down there for more that one day required some real sacrifice for Eddie. He found out that it would be much more acceptable to the men if he BECAME a sandhog. So, Eddie began waking up in the predawn hours and went to work under Manhattan as a real Sandhog. He joined the union and earned the trust to begin filming. Eddie likes to point out that he is the first Jewish Sandhog. History Channel picked up the work he was doing and offered him a series. It chronicles the lives and dangerous work of these men. This Sunday night Eddie will not be a launch party for the Sandhogs series or at a gathering with the men who are in the piece, he will be at the closing of Rent. Congratulations Eddie and I hope all of you check it out or Tivo it. Morgan Curran; SANDHOG
The late Jonathan Larson
Anthony Rapp played 'Mark' or Eddie on Broadway
One final note, congratulations to the whole Rosenstein/Blanco family.  Randi, Isaiah and August all supported Eddie with love and understanding throughout the entire endeavor.
Endless Summer
Cassius in Eagles Mere Lake. He'll swim in any water, any temperature.
I have spent another wonderful summer in the Endless Mountains and at the Atlantic coast.  I am sure all of you have had great summers too and it is really self indulgent to offer photographs of the summer, but I can't resist.
The summer started with a trip to the Vineyard which I posted about before.  As we have every year, we headed off to the town of Eagles Mere in Pennsylvania.
For a brief period of time we visited Marc and Janice Burkhardt (and Gertie) on Peaks Island in Maine.  That was great and I hope to go back again soon (THANKS MARC!)
Finally I ended the summer with a long period of time back up in Eagles Mere. 

Today I am back in the studio doing jobs, planning my teaching and hearing about Cash's first day of school.  A great summer.  I hope for a great Fall!
Great vista of World's End State park at Canyon Vista.
The lake at Eagles Mere is an amazing place. Around it is a path. The lake does not allow motor boats or building on the lake. There are some structures but all are old and are grandfathered in. This is a view of the path around the lake...
on the path...
on the path again...
This is a place called 'Lover's Leap' on the path.
There is a boat on the lake that is allowed a motor. It's an old one that is called the Hardly Able. It takes you around the lake so cars are not needed to get around...Elizabeth and Luka on the Hardly Able.
Vacationing is exhausting.
In the woods kids (and big kids) build these tiny structures called fairy houses.  Here are a few...
We decided to build a tree fairy house...
Cassius working hard
It's a two bedroom with a great view.
I taught Cash the joys of walking in corn fields.
Leaving every week was hard...
We then went to Maine's Peaks Island.  The O'Briens make quite a splash...
Marc and Cassius on the rocks
Gertie was regal and wonderful
Great landscapes everywhere you look...
Rocky coastlines and stark white birch trees are quite a sight.
With views everywhere I looked, it was hard to draw; better to photograph it.
saw a full moon rise the night before we left...
My hair is wilder than usual by the sea.
Cassius will swim in any water.
The Burkhardts and the sea. Cassius liked calling Marc 'Captain Marc'
Peaks Island has their own kind of Fairy houses and people use the unique, flat rocks to leave structures. The effect is lovely.
We returned to Eagles Mere and saw the green with fresh eyes.  There is a smell to being there.  Pine and clean wind.
The beach on the lake
I drew the Hardly Able on some tree fungus. The next day the line rises up and the effect is that of an embossed print.
The Democratic Convention was view via laptop to projector.
We went to Knoebles Amusement Park. You have to see it to believe it.
In the final few days, the weather was rainy and as usual we went to the Forksville Fair in drizzle.  I like it that way.
the day I was there was the 4H livestock auction. This is Sam
I saw this and thought I knew just the guy who would look just right sitting at this booth.
He's eating Freedom Fries.
These are my favorite images I shot that day.  The sad and tired Republican Headquarters at the Forksville Fair...
Come's warm and welcoming in here!
I searched for the Democrats' Headquarters...none exists. The only thing there was an unmanned booth in a barn with canned peaches and needle point. I sat there ready to move the electorate to vote in their own best interest.
The last day at the lake was glorious. I got married right here at the lake's edge in a clearing called Gypsy's Landing.
a watercolor of the end of summer.
Thanks for scrolling through all of these images.  I think I needed to post them in order to get into the fall.

See you all at Politics 08!
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