Amid Capeci 1961-2012
FEBRUARY 29, 2012
Maybe I'm the wrong person to be posting a tribute as there are probably any number of fellow Drawgerites who were on closer terms with Amid Capeci. I didn't do that many illustrations for him in the course of our association. But the news of his death today truly shook me as yet another example of cosmic malevolence.
I have only known Amid on a professional level; as an illustrator working for an art director, but never once did I get the feeling from Amid that it was strictly a professional relationship. He had an incredibly natural and relaxed way of making you feel like a friend and colleague. He was so good natured and good humored and possessed a playful enthusiasm when collaborating on an idea and the sketching process.
I thank him for that call in 2006 on a relatively quick turnaround illustration for ROLLING STONE's 'National Affairs' column that turned out to be my big foot in the door and has led to one of the most satisfying working relationships in my career. He didn't remain long with RS after that first assignment, moving over to NEWSWEEK. He called me in on a nice handful of assignments, including one cover, and as much fun as they all were, the ease and pleasure of working for this true gentleman and class act was what made the illustrations such a joy. Even the pieces that never made it to print were mitigated by the reality of yet another opportunity of having worked with Amid. We kept in a casual contact via emails and not much more. And when a call came it was with a casual warmth that made you feel you had gone out for a couple beers just the other day.
I can't say much more, other than Amid's death rattled me in ways I did not expect. Maybe because he was way too young. Maybe because he was way too human and accessible. Maybe it's that the older we get the more we become aware of our sorrow when good people pass away.
I don't consider this just my post. I invite the Drawger community to send me some of your favorite assignments and recollections and I'll add them to this thread. I would also like to know who did the photo portrait of Amid so I can give credit.
Sincerest condolences to Amid's family.
That great photo above that so captures Amid's spirit is by Glenn Glasser.
My foot in the door piece for RS on domestic spying.
Putin as Potemkin.
And two that got away. This one on Matt Drudge and his growing irrelevance.
And this one on the FOX naysayers.
Amid was a kind of person we see rarely in our field, someone who could understand the value of what we do, actually advocate for it and even, if need be, fight for an illustration. In retrospect now I only see how rare that is. He had power in his office; a trust in him by editors to be an editor in his own right. His track record bore this out. But non of this can inform you of how decent and kind he was. His was an understanding and encouraging voice on the phone and in person. And beneath that sweetness was the toughness of a hard-nosed journalist.
Here are some things we did together.
I am very unaccustomed to having a designer ask for stronger work. But that was Amid.
A wise man/warrior/philosopher-prince of graphic art, in a place where he could really make a difference. And one of the ways he did that was with illustration. Peace Amid. We carry on better for knowing you.
Here are a couple of pieces from my days as the movie guy. Going to the movies with Peter Travers, we didn't really see a good flick in the 2 years I did this. But there was Clint East'wood in Absolute Power.
Then Madonna in Evita. Warren Beatty liked this so much (and her) that he asked me to do the poster for his last good film: Bulworth. I credit Amid with this even though he didn't make a dime. - SB
Here's Bush as grill man, selling filthy junk food to America in the Iraq War run-up. - Steve Brodner
My last piece for him at Newsweek. Paul Krugman watching as Obama taps Wall Street to regulate itself. Steve Brodner
Here's a story that I think tells a lot about him. For National Affairs the story was on how Bush was trying to ex-out Public Broadcasting. Here are my funny, but tapered ideas: Big Bird as a turkey. SB
Bush spying on Bert and Ernie. SB
Then Amid said, "How about Abu Graib?" I asked, "Are you serious?" He said, "Let's just see how far we can push this." Am I hearing correctly???? When do you hear art directors speak like this? Anyway, here's his idea!! -Steve Brodner
Steve Brodner- We all settled on the jail cell, with Bush as the idiotic morally bankrupt Lynndie England.