Wall Street's Third Party

FEBRUARY 13, 2012

Days before heading out on our cruise at the end of December I received an inquiry from Mary Parsons at THE AMERICAN PROSPECT about work that would need to be done by later in January; when the calendar was examined it would be a few days after returning from the vacation.   My only concern was being able to send sketches while floating in the Pacific and once it was confirmed that the Holland America had effective wireless, it seemed like a great way to work and play at the same time.  Mary was game and the hard work was done during that time away.  I’d work up sketches, photograph them with my Canon, feed the pix into the laptop, Photoshop them and email them out. It all worked out well and fit in nicely with the other work I was doing on the cruise ship. 


When Mary called she was looking for a cover and inside illustration dealing with a story about Americans Elect, a grouping of wealthy Wall Streeters financing a third party to run a presidential candidate in the November elections.  A party that could potentially take the wind out of the sails of both the Democrats and Republicans.  The article deals a lot with the intricacies and machinations behind the building of such a power base not to mention the curious purposes and cross purposes of the organization.  Copy wasn’t tight and I essentially worked off the editor’s notes. 


The initial suggestion from the editors was of a character- maybe one of my iconic pigs in suits pushing his way between the usual argument between the jackass and the elephant. 

That seemed appropriate and with the right gestures could look good.  So I played with variations on that theme.  But I also had in mind something of a third fighter/boxer entering a ring.  I liked what I saw with my early sketches and secretly hoped that it would be the cover image.  As it turned out, the editors opted to run the boxing image inside and the wedging image on the cover. 


Both cover and inside pieces work beautifully with the layout and copy.  Another fun job with Mary and the folks at TAP.  It’s always a pleasure to work for people who enjoy working with illustrators. If what I am working on is making me chuckle it’s going to be a good time at the drawing board regardless of the deadline. 

Early concept of maybe incorporating a spoof of the Monopoly man.

The right idea but there's lack of clarity in what the pig is doing. I also made an error in trying to morph Monopoly Man's mustache with the pig. Too confusing. Out.

Attitude is better but Mary wanted more of the 3/4 point of view. Plus the arms weren't working for me on the jackass.

Pig is just a bit bigger and the arm problem is resolved with the jackass and elephant along with an unintended type of symmetry in the fists that looked good.

Original version. Loved the expression and gesture of the pig- made me think of a Robert Clampett Warner Bros. cartoon.

Mary opted for the figure using the other leg. Attitudes were very funny and now the challenge would be to replicate that freshness.

I've turned to scanning a number of my finished drawings before applying watercolors because a) they satisfy as drawings and b) if I screw up I can always print and color a new one.