Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lookout for Asteroids

Aviva from the New York Times must have had a hunch that I love drawing asteroids when she called me to create an illustration for this Op Ed calling for more government money dedicated to early detection of deadly meteorites.

Undead, Yet Funded*

I was lucky enough to get the call from Christine Carr and Joseph Hueron about creating a cover illustration that depicts the current (pre-Halloween) GOP news makers as zombies. It was a terrific assignment and they pushed my sketches until we had the concept locked up. My friend Erik Brandt saw some of my sketches and covered the process on his excellent blog GEOTYPOGRAPHIKA.

*thx to Thomas Fuchs for the headline!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shanghai Jammies

Created for NY Times about a recent crackdown on pajamas worn in public (a Shanghai tradition) in preparation for the upcoming World Expo. Link

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Haiti Poster Project

Last week, I silkscreen printed this poster with the generous technical help of friends Lucas Richards MouseSaw and Jeff Johnson Spunk Design Machine. It is my contribution to The Haiti Poster Project, organized by a group of dedicated designers who organized the amazing Hurricane Poster Project, a few years ago.

THE HAITI POSTER PROJECT seeks limited edition sets of posters from artists, designers and design firms from around the world. The donated posters will be sold online to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. As designers, we have the collective ability to do what we love, AND to create a difference. THE HAITI POSTER PROJECT has been conceived as a collective effort by the design community to unite and effect change through our work. In order for this project to be successful, we are counting on designer participation. Our goal is to raise at least $1,000,000.

Thay are receiving numerous designs from designers around the world with the intention of selling the posters on-line beginning March 15, 2010.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Union Atlantic... Drawing (?)

My previous illustration for Ordinary Thunderstorms did not run in the NY Times Book Review due to a crossed-line communication error, on my part, with the amazing art director Nicholas Blechman (tight deadline and lost e-mail!) That assignment had come to me at the end of several back-to-back and more detail-oriented magazine illustrations– so actually, I was happy to get a loose, expressive drawing that I really liked out of all the scramble.

A few days later, Nicholas was more than generous and extended me this Union Atlantic assignment and I thought I'd continue with the same loose drawing approach. Although self-editing is no strength of mine, the further I got into the drawing, the more I realized that some of the preliminary reference photos I took, when assembled in the composition, were much more dynamic than the artwork I was preparing– illustration fatigue maybe? Nicholas agreed so this is the one we ran.

It is terrific to have an art director who entertains your instincts, even when you present him/her with something that is 180° from what they might expect of you. This wouldn't fly in many situations (and in this industry, having one categorically defined style seems to make good business sense) but part of my joy in working with Nicholas over the years- at the New York Times and on Nozone- is that I always feel compelled to try something new while staying on topic. Based on the trust he extends me, I think he enjoys (expects?) the occasional surprise! Whew.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ordinary Thunderstorms

A new illustration for New York Times Book Review: "Ordinary Thunderstorms" a crime novel by William Boyd.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ghosts of Old New England

With a short over-night deadline, it's nice to have an art directer who trusts you! NY Times Book Review-- “Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town” (thanks Nicholas).

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Sometimes, I really do like working in black and white. This is a really funny NY Times story about getting more men into museums. Thank you to Jennifer Daniels- another great illustrator and art director (common names unite!)- for bringing me in on this one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Standard Exposure

The High Line park opened earlier this year in NYC, and I've been lucky enough to visit it a few times, once in summer and more recently on a blustery, rainy November morning. A close friend of mine worked on it's landscape architecture, so it has been amazing to follow the park's historic development through his inside stories, as well as through the press. As a big fan of Modernist architecture, I've also been taken by the Standard Hotel, which was built as a landmark to tower over the southern end of the raised parkway.

A strange thing started happening though, the High Line news stories began to reference complaints made by neighbors regarding the goings-ons behind the highly visible, floor-to ceiling, picture windows of the Standard. Many guests seemed to be parading around nude, as if on stage. My friend confirmed the stories, and said the Standard is rumored to be encouraging the notoriety for their marketing.

On that blustery November morning, my (probably too) unfiltered imagination thought there might be a funny drawing in it-- of contrast between the quiet wintery park landscape below, a lively nudist colony above.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pynchon’s Hippy Noir

This was drawn for the NY Times Book Review about Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, “Inherent Vice.” It’s a hippie era twist of a detective novel set in LA in the early 70's. His private eye, Doc Sportello, unravels a crime without missing any opportunity to smoke dope and have long trippy conversations about the universe.

Thanks AD: Kim Bost

I generally like to sketch in brush and ink, and occasionally if one of those sketches works out, it makes it to the final art, and found it kind of funny drawing of a hand holding a doobie for the esteemed pages of the Grey Lady.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Short and Pulpy

I think this taught little crime story kicks off the NY Times Summer Fiction Series on the Sunday Op-Ed page. A pleasure working with multi-talented AD Leanne Shapton, who I first worked with a few years ago for Canada's National Post.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Johnson & Johnson at the Howard Johnsons

This is the art I did for the NY Times book review of Denis Johnson’s (Tree of Smoke) new novel
Nobody Move. It's supposedly great- and since I'm Johnson illustrating Johnson, this is probably some Californian road-side Howard Johnson's.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Kirby Machine / Story Motel zine exhibit

I am showing in a gallery exhibition at the Owl & Lion gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 14 - June 12.

The show is titled Story Motel, and 50 artist from around the world were asked to create a "zine" in an edition of 25 copies of their zine to sell, produced just for the exhibition.

My piece is titled The Kirby Machine, and is a 2-sided fold-out poster, screen printed in an intentionally streaky punk style. And as a "fanzine" should be, its a throwback to my high school obsessions; Jack Kirby, comic books, cosmic technology and Zipatone shading film.

The artwork is screen printed on both sides with a random split-fountain technique. I had 2 editions printed; the folded text weight booklet version for sale at the show and a flat, heavyweight paper poster version (available for sale
on my web site

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All Bonds

This illustration is running in Newsweek's business section this week with a story about the elevated value of bonds in the current stock market crisis. I went down several expected routes in depicting such a dry business subject (I got stuck on the idea of battling eagles) -- when at some point the editor, maxed out on months of endless financial stories, came up with this concept. I think it's a great one, and it sure was fun to draw! (Psychedelic vers was the first, but the yellow looked better on the page.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Say “Uncle” - sketches

A few weeks ago, Newsweek asked me to do an illustration for their business page. The topic was American business leaders who, during the Great Depression, did the right thing by accepted only $1 a year in pay. It is almost impossible to imaging the same thing happening now, but who knows.

Anyway, the final illustration has not run yet (shuffled by other stories), but I really like these other sketches based on an Uncle Sam theme that we moved away from. (They certainly allowed allowed me a therapeutic opportunity to vent on the topic- I also like that the first one kinda looks like Eisner's Spirit)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rearranged Perception

I usually avoid open-call design competitions but I saw on Facebook that my friend Erik Brandt was following an autism poster competition, a great cause, with some great judges. I became intrigued, and while I was reading my 3-1/2 year old was rearranging a wooden rainbow toy into the shape of a little person. I thought this was an apt metaphor for the way all children - but especially autistic children - perceive the world differently (plus, rainbows are made of perception, sunlight and rain.)

FaceBook Poster Design Contest _ Autism

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tinkering with Flying

A new one for the New York Times Book Review’s piece on Flying by Eric Kraft.

Extreme Survival

5280 is Denver's city magazine that, due to it's remarkable location, runs a lot of stories on outdoor sports. They have given me several great assignments including this one titled “Survival Stories,” which is a series of first-hand accounts of near-death experiences. I proposed we handle it with drawings in the 2-color style of the old Boy’s Life magazine testimonial comics.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


A few weeks before the election, and just for fun, I quickly drew Obama in the style of the great comic book artist Jack Kirby (another hero of mine). My friends at the New York Times used the drawing in a small art show, which came to the attention of the editors of OBAMA The Historic Journey (a coffee table book published to commemorates the election/inauguration).

The drawing found a home next to an opinion piece by Bob Herbert, and it also humbly resides along side the work of great illustrators like Barry Blitt, Phillip Burke and Stephen Savage who were also included.

(My previous post on this art): Guess I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about this whole election thing - at least enough to draw Mr. Obama in action... Kirby-style! (Bear with me: it just puts a few of my heroes together in one place).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

“What Was I Thinking” Book Out - Cover on Today Show

Today Show link

Big congrats to Barbara Davilman and Liz Dubelman for their Today Show appearance this AM in support of their book “What Was I Thinking?”!!!

(Who knew Billy Bush was such an enthusiast on dating stories!? He kind of man-handled my cover art, but it was nice to see it spin - TV news style - across the screen!)