Friday, February 29, 2008
Happy Leap Day, everybody! I was looking around for a good leap image, but this will do. Technically, as the name of this post reveals, this horse is not leaping, but rather being chopper-lifted in an equine harness. I haven't worked for the New York Times Book Review in a little while, and remembering jobs like this really makes me miss it. Have a good weekend, people.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
You just never know what people will like. This was a very small illustration I did for the New York Times a while back about the United States changing their barcodes in order to comply with some kind of international barcode standard. But people kept contacting me about this image more than a year after it ran. Were there posters and mugs and things like that? People asked me often enough that I set up a store on Cafepress to fill the need. Here's a link:
I'm assuming the people who reacted to this image saw in it a much more powerful political message than the original article would suggest, and that's just fine by me.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I think Hammerhead Sharks are really cool. The main reason is their hammer heads. I had shark-shaped erasers when I was about 4, and the only ones I can even remember are the Great White and the Hammerhead. There was probably an eraser Mako and a Bull and a Tiger Shark. (A what?) Anyway, this is a transforming amphibious car I drew for that animation project a while back.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
It's President's Day! And today we remember Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States! Harding was notorious for mutilating the English language.
"I would like the government to do all it can to mitigate, then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved."
Harding is remembered for the Teapot Dome Scandal, in which his cabinet accepted bribes from private firms in exchange for no-bid contracts for the leasing of oil rights formerly in the control of the U. S. military. Offices were ransacked and wires tapped in an attempt to thwart the investigation. As a result, national intelligence gathering had to be completely rejiggered. Thank goodness nothing like that goes on these days! As Harding, in a rare moment of eloquence, said himself, "I am not fit for this office and never should have been here."
The illustration was for the New York Times Op/Ed Page.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Stephen Savage is a good friend of mine and a fellow illustrator. He works in magazines and newspapers like I do, and also illustrated a very popular book called Polar Bear Night. He has a great, very geometric style, and I thought his polar bear would make a good paper model.
I designed this paper model on my computer today and printed it out on a piece of construction paper. I assembled it with scissors and double stick tape with the intention of giving it to Steve tonight at his birthday party. Unfortunately the birthday party was cancelled because everyone has the flu. So there is a chance Steve will see this thing in the blog here before he receives it in real life. Oh well. I realized (and this was not intentional) that if I give this to Steve as a gift, I will achieve a new personal low in intrinsic value of a gift given, as this bear's raw materials don't quite add up to two cents. Happy Birthday, Steve.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
When I was in the 7th and 8th grade, I drew comics for my middle school paper, The Robinson Review. The Far Side was a very popular comic then, and especially spoke to my sensibilities, so I imitated it the best I could. In my defense, my comics were original jokes as far as I knew, but many of them had to do with archeology and cavemen. The comic above is not one I did for the Review. I drew it a couple of days ago. But it sure reminds me of those things I did in middle school.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Here is an illustration I did for the New York Times Op/Ed Section. Sometimes the imagery in an essay is so strange and interesting that I have to illustrate it rather than creating a metaphor for the overall idea. This one was about a young Russian immigrant whose favorite toy was a limping clockwork rooster he claimed was injured in the "Great Patriotic War." The name of this entry is the name of the rooster.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Well! It seems that Lego isn't willing to show one of my models in their web site gallery. Fine! I'll just take my creativity elsewhere! I guess they think a snubnose revolver isn't appropriate for a children's web site. Must we coddle our children so? Sooner or later, children will have to learn about concealed weapons. I guess I was hoping the quality and accuracy of this model would transcend any moral obligations the Lego webmasters hold so dear. I'll show them! I have it on good authority that several kids visit this blog regularly. Hi kids!
Fun fact: An optical illusion is happening in this picture. The angled grid makes the bottom right corner look lower than the bottom left! See? Told you it was educational! Or if I didn't, I meant to.
Friday, February 8, 2008
With Austin Powers, Maxwell Smart and MAD Magazine's Spy vs. Spy as his muses, Rash (The Robots are Coming) sends Agent A on a mission through the alphabet to find a mole. "Every spy who is official/ uses words with his initial," the spymaster (who bears a striking resemblance to Edward G. Robinson) tells the hero. Accordingly, Agent A tails Agent E, who "did not Expect/ what happened when he pressed Eject." and eventually enters the Bond-like lair of comely Agent S, who "Subdues a Spy/ by letting her Stiletto fly." It's a cool concept, especially for children who believe they've outgrown ABC books, but find espionage enthralling. Rash's deadpan cartoons slyly spoof the undercover world as a place where the sun seldom shines and agents always dress in black and sport the same steely demeanor. At the same time, Rash celebrates the aura of menace, the top secret intrigue, the neat-o equipment (a jet pack, a tranquilizing dart). There's good fun here for any aspiring spy who's looking for a reason to come in from the cold.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Andy, you're clearly very busy with your children's books, editorial illustration, animated television projects, pipe cleaners, and virtual legos, but what do you do for fun?
Thanks for asking. I redesign state flags.
This is the Wisconsin state flag. It stinks, but it is not alone in this regard. It is one of 20 state flags which consist of the state seal plopped down in the middle of a blue field. At a distance, this flag is indistinguishable from those others. That's why they came up with the brilliant idea of writing the name of the state on the flag. Many other states do this as well, but once a flag has writing on it, it's just a poster. Also, what's all that crap crammed in the center? I'll tell you, because nobody could possibly make out all that junk flapping at the top of a pole. We have a plow, an anchor, a baking soda logo, a shovel, two pickaxes, a guy with a weird beard, a guy with a weirder hat, two shields, a cornucopia, a badger, a "forward" banner, three ropes, a lead pyramid(?), and a belt which is clearly both buckled and tied. What does this say about Wisconsin? We do all the same things all the other states do, badgers live here, and we really don't want our pants to fall down.
May I humbly suggest an alternative?
Here we have a green field representing agriculture bordered on the top and bottom by blue stripes representing Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and the many lakes and rivers in Wisconsin. I've also included a reference to DAIRY, for crying out loud. The five cheese wedges have the angular proportions of a five pointed star and create in their negative space a bold "Packers Green" W. This is a flag any Wisconsinite could fly with pride or recognize from about 40 miles away. Write your congressman.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Hello folks. Here's another one of those insect anagrams I did a while back. I was going to collect them into a project called Butterfly Flutter By, but I couldn't come up with enough of them. Also, that title is probably taken. If you have any good anagrams of animal names send them over, won't you? Thanks.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Here's why I really like recurring jobs like these weekly maps I did for the New York Times Travel Section. Freelance jobs are appealing because you can quickly dive into an unusual subject, create the illustration, and clear your mind of all that info as soon as the work is accepted (usually within a week). These maps were like that: I'd learn the geography of somewhere and what the buildings look like and draw it and be done with it. But since I had another one coming next week, I could build on my mapping technique. This map of Dubrovnik (a place in Croatia I had never heard of) was assigned pretty early on in these maps. Compare it to the later Monaco Map below. See how the compass rose for Monaco is a lot slicker? Also I hadn't figured out that I wanted that neatline border (which I'm using just as a design element). When I started doing these maps, I hadn't even come up with the label flags. I was writing names on rooftops and streets. So by the time I had done about 20 of these things, I really felt like I had my mapping down cold. Then the job ended and I had to clear my mind again.