Releasing the Drawger Annual is always a bit bitter-sweet for me. For a while, it's like having my own private gallery. Nobody else is allowed in until I decide to open up the doors.
Well, the doors are open and I've left some cheese and wine by the fire escape! Welcome to the show.
The great BILL MAYER did this years poster at the last possible minute. I asked him to think about it three days ago, and yesterday he sent me five (count em) options. Who says the days of 'can do spirit' are in the past? Not Mr. Mayer, I tell ya!
I've always been inspired by Bill's series of Letters to Lee, so I sort of begged him to do something similar for the good people of Drawger.
Below are the stupendous options Bill sent in!
Why the cat won one, I have no idea. I had to pick one, that's all I can say about it.
Something tells me this isn't exactly poultry
As anyone who knows anything knows, antlers are just in.
Sometimes I really do wonder about Bill...
I like this one because he used a picture of my lips!
And nine scruffy kids.
Does it get any better?
I seriously doubt it.
Every year, since I don't even know when, illoz has sponsored a baseball team in the fall.
This year, please stand up and do the wave for the illoz Volunteers.
Take a look at this kid to the left (not the big ugly guy....the shorter one). If I had a poster kid for why I do this every year, he's my man!
These kids don't know it yet, but the illoz logo on every one of their shirts was designed by Leo Espinosa. Thanks Leo! One day they will all grow up to love baseball and illustration, which goes without saying. But most of all they will sing the praises of Leo Espinosa. And who can blame them?
The illoz Volunteers play the great game of T-Ball.
For those who don't know what T-Ball is, it's the only sport that isn't included in the Olympics that should be.
I mean, come on! Is Syncronized Swimming better than THIS? No way!
Hold on just a minute...
I might be changing my poster kid to this guy! He put on his sunglasses for the ladies, and two of them are on his team. I approve!
You go player! illoz has your back, but look out because one of those girls is hitting clean-up!.
I rarely post or comment here, but I'm always lurking at the edges and enjoying the site everyone here has made happen.
This post is to thank the people who made 2012 at Drawger go over the top for me. Every word, every image posted here makes me insanely happy, but there were a few that really sent me soaring.
In no particular order...here they are:
The Uphill Climb
From Robert Hunt
In which Brian Stauffer and Robert Hunt decide it's a fine idea to climb Mount Everest and do some art along the way. Hello up there? Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!
The Embed in the Stan
From Victor Juhasz
Victor determines that it's an excellent plan to go to Afganistan and embed with troops to do art. Compelling to the point of no return. I have no words to describe how meaningful this is to me and others I have shared this remarkable story with.
from Marcos Chin
I dearly love how Marcos can devine an image, but his prose is perhaps even more sublime. I've read this post from him dozens of times and always walked away better for it. I'm glad he persued illustration, but if he ever decides to write, I'll follow him there any time.
What I did on my summer vacation...
from Bill Mayer
Bill has astounded me over and over in 2012, but his deft writing and images surrounding a simple family vacation with this one really stuck with me, Not many people commented on it at the time, but I enjoyed it a lot and continue to do so. Posted to his The Lab area, which I follow like a hungry dog looking for treats.
Mitt Romney for GQ
from Tim O'Brien
Tim posts some of my favorite articles here. They're always full of unexpected detail and reliable fun. I loved this one so much because he delivered up something somehow exactly right for the long days of a presidential campaign summer. I'm not a political person at all, but he captured all my personal misgivings about a popular candidate with one shot, one image. Also from Tim in 2012 was Illustrations from my students 2011-2012, which Robert Neubecker rightly commented was 'a very humble and honest summation of the teaching experience'. Enjoyed this look at his students work a lot as well.
The Obama Conquest
from Roberto Parada
One of the last Newsweek covers we'll see in print, hateful comments that Roberto allowed as part of the conversation, this post had a lot to offer, wrapped neatly and with care like a perfect gift. I for one am so happy I got to open and enjoy it. As with many posts here, the comment area was just as powerful as the article.
My first piece for The New Yorker
from Leo Espinosa
I always imagined a community that supports and encourages it's own. I love this post for the comment thread that follows it so much. It's exactly what I hoped for when I started this crazy joint.
There were many many more favorites for me, but I'll stop here. Have admittedly left out Kroniger's sublime series under A Box of Magazines, which I looked at again and again and enjoyed so much, along with many others who make this place amazing.
Have a lucky and prosperous 13. Many thanks to all who are here and inspire and to those who are watching and care about this crazy illustration racket.