The months have flown by and I have been unable to post recent work done for ROLLING STONE. The assignments continue to challenge me, in a good way, to create new ideas on topics frequently re-visited. The economy, the environment, the GOP, Obama, marijuana. Fortunately, the writing is always first rate- and if it's a piece by Matt Taibbi, very funny to boot- and somewhere during the reading of the copy connections are made and images pop to mind. Sometimes the sketches turn out close to perfect and are done with great ease; other times there is real head scratching effort in distilling all the complicated elements of a maze-like story ( the economy pieces often fall into this category, reading like detective novels) into one understanable image. Ultimately what winds up on the pages is very satisfactory to the editors, art director Joe Hutchinson, and me.
Post election round up with James Carville. Interview by Tim Dickinson. What went wrong?? Big business/Monopoly man stunned by the results.
I also made a stab at Rove as a failed magician. The big game hunter concept won out.
Don't know why but Obama as Teddy Roosevelt bagging the big elephant seemed a perfect metaphor. Originally I wanted Karl Rove, of FOX-TV election night meltdown fame, to be the elephant. But it was suggested that Obama be more equal in scale with the pachyderm and to lose Rove's head.
There are enough photos of TR by one of his safari kills to find a suitable pose. The trick here was morphing Obama in TR. This sketch simply flowed and the go ahead came quick.
Reefer gladness or Obama's Pot Problem. Also by Tim Dickinson. Examining the voting results in the states legalizing recreational pot smoking and wondering if the administration would continue its aggressive policy of enforcement. Wac-A-Mole popped into my head on first read. Nothing more needed to be done from editorial's point of view except for tweaking the characters and their positioning.
I was also becoming more aware of the frown element in Obama's expression the longer he's been president and started to stress that here.
Secrets and Lies of the Bailout. A brutal piece of journalism from Matt Taibbi. Essentially examining and following the money. Who gets away with these crimes and who will wind up footing the bill. Here was a case where the sketches were great fun to do even as they frustrated because of the need to make sure the elements of the story worked together. Finally nailed it on this one and Joe agreed. The opener.
The mag needed a couple extra spots for the article. This was a sketch of Larry Summers, who along with Tim Geithner, is portrayed as a calculating fabricator of promises of bank compliance. It was decided to go with an image of Geithner.
Uncle Sam endlessly emptying his own pockets to keep propping up too big to fail banks. Didn't make the final cut.
Hank Paulson scaring the bejeezus out of legislators with predictions of immediate economic collapse if they didn't pony up $800 Billion right away that came with no accountability. Loved this sketch because I happily found some reference of Paulson making very weird expressions.
Obama's Climate Challenge. Originally titled, Is It Time to Save the World, Mr. President?
The notion of time running out for something to be done, Obama's relative inaction his first term, and his opportunity now in his second. The idea of the alarms going off for the planet had me think of this.
Obama as Clark Kent finally, maybe, going into action.
Even as I was playing with the Superman spoof idea, the iconic Harold Lloyd image popped into the back of my head. I've always loved that image and don't believe I've ever really had a chance to play with it in an illustration. This struck a note with everyone at RS. Go to finish.