The Odd Couple Part 2

FEBRUARY 5, 2012
It's happened very rarely in my career where an illustration I've done for one publication hits the stands and looks uncannily like another illustration from a different artist for a different publication.  I remember one, a cover, done for BUSINESS WEEK decades ago of a bull jumping over the moon published the same time as a cover for FORTUNE of the same theme, but a different approach.  Still it caught enough attention that NEW YORK Magazine ran a small story on it. 
Steve Brodner called me Friday to say that he had posted his Odd Couple for NATIONAL JOURNAL on Drawger only to get a quick message from someone informing him that my Odd Couple for ROLLING STONE had just come out that day as well. And they looked like kissing cousins.   We had a good laugh about it and frankly I felt a curious type of pride in the unintended unison of concept here.  What I found most remarkable was that we had both adjusted, for different reasons, our images from the original movie poster composition, by flopping the positioning of the Oscar/Felx characters. 
Steve used the basic theme as a takeoff point for some improvisation on the character attitudes.  Our intention at RS was to spoof the movie poster as much as possible, with some additional props/side gags mushed into the image to make it relate more to Newt and Mitt.  I was very fortunate to find some less than robotic expressions of Mitt in photo searching that matched very closely Jack Lemmon's in the poster.  This was an illustration that was improvised on even in the finished stages. 
Now that Perry has disappeared my only hope is that Newt carries this fight for as long as he can because he too is a special gift to satirists and caricaturists. 
Once again, a great working assignment with RS and Steve Charny. 
Were it not for the uniqueness of this situation I would have held off posting this till my other one got off the front page.  So apologies in advance.
One of the early sketches, sticking pretty close to the poster. I wasn't entirely sure even then about what Felix's ladle had to do with Romney. Also it became clear that Newt didn't need Oscar's cigar as much as a pencil or pen and rather than reading the sports pages be involved with writing for posterity his great thoughts.

For the sake of the layout of the page Steve Charny suggested the flop. Which was no problem. When reference is good anything is possible. I thought a silver spoon would serve better than a ladle for Mitt. A turned around hat, like Jack Klugman's portrayal was suggested by the gamng at RS.

On the fast track to finish when it became apparent to me that Newt's Oscar clothing wasn't meshing with the theme as much as it could. He was South Carolina, was definitely playing the mean spirit Southern strategy card. This was too urbane.

Found reference on Confederate t-shirts and sweatshirts to make the changes. Didn't follow my intuition and went with the black and flag look. Changed color of the pants to blue jeans. A note here about good bond paper. When it is dry mounted on heavier paper, or board, and corrections need to be done, it accommodates a lot of abuse. Bond paper doesn't totally absorb watercolors and can be water lifted almost 85%. Erasing what's left over after drying the paper allows for a pretty successful reapplication of colors. All that's required is patience so as not to rough the paper up too much during the lifting.

Suggestions from Charny. Classic grey sweatshirt with flag. As Newt's appeal was to the reddest of red state voters it seemed appropriate to change his hat and sneaker colors to red as well. Some other minor adjustments to book title and more strewn notes and we were all satisfied.