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Mother Jones

JANUARY 7, 2009
I guess it’s okay for me to piggyback on Harry Campbell’s post here.

Over the last year or so I’ve become a big fan of Mother Jones magazine. Sure, they have groundbreaking reportage and all around good writing, but as a guy who enjoys looking at pictures I’ve been impressed with just how much illustration they use. So when creative director Tim Luddy called and asked if I had time to do a cover for their inauguration issue I felt like I had just been given a winning lottery ticket.

Tim had the idea of quoting a 1935 Saturday Evening Post cover, which was painted by the legendary J.C. Leyendecker.  We tried a couple of different approaches to the baby new year theme – top hat, no top hat, different expressions, but I think keeping it simple was important. After working on this for a while I started to relate to the image itself – you walk a fine line between satire and ridicule doing what I do. I generally don’t like when the former turns into the latter, which can easily happen when  you get some momentum going. Still, it’s not often that a man can look back on his day of work and proudly say that he was paid to draw the president of the United States in a diaper.

As is often the case, this issue of mother Jones is full of top notch illustration ( and photography, but that’s not my tribe), and I’m thankful to Tim Luddy for seeing the value in what we do. It’s obvious that many of us bring our A game when Tim calls. I’m honored to share the same spot on the newssstand with many of my favorite fellow artists. I’ve included many below, but if I missed you, it’s only because it was time to go shovel.