I guess there's
a time for hard-hitting and scathing, a time for decorative and
non-commital -- at least when it comes to a New Yorker
When asked in mid-September
by Françoise Mouly to submit ideas for the big Politics
2008 issue scheduled to run a month later in October, it became
immediately apparent to me that creating a clever cover based
on the some timely nuance within the campaign was going to be
impossible. Trying to predict where things would be politically
in October would have also been unwise -- and too risky to incorporate
into a cover image. You almost had to a approach the challenge
like a politician -- fence-straddling the entire way.
Still, it seemed
to me that I might be able to create a compelling graphic employing
the traditional anamorphic for both political parties -- the
republican elephant and the democratic donkey. I worked up a
color sketch in which the two characters were locked in stern
stares -- and image that had the weird effect of looking almost
like a singular, Picassoesque beast.
The 'Face Off' cover
was what I first submitted to Françoise, but then I started
thinking about other concepts that might work as covers. I worked
up an image of a husband and wife in bed -- split by their party
affliation and their research material (she The New York Times,
he FOX News), a pumpkin-centric design showing Obama and McCain
on a basketball court, and even a pretty cyncial design showing
a racist red state voter in a booth. These and other designs
were rejected -- and probably rightfully so -- though I did think
the image of the Alaskan eskimo unable to cast his vote for Palin
due to global warming (the title of the image was 'The North
my 'Face Off' image would be the cover of the Politics 2008 issue
of The New Yorker, only a couple minor changes were requested.
While both Françoise and I liked the yellow striped motif
in the background because it gave the image a carnival sensibility,
others did not -- so I was asked to alter that somehow. It was
suggested that the "strap" -- the vertical left side
bar that traditionally always appear on the cover of the magazine
-- be changed to red, white and blue like the masthead type.
Finally, a couple New Yorker editors also felt the elephant's
ear looked as if it belonged instead on a pig.
The ear was
changed and made to "look floppier" -- not unlike McCain's
video and see this New Yorker cover develop before your
eyes. For more, please visit this link
it in Quicktime
smattering of other Election 2008 cover ideas that were submitted
-- and rejected.
1: Full Gourd Press, 2: Isolation Booth, 3: The North Poll, 4: