A few weeks ago Vanity Fair art director David Harris called.
"Hi David," I said, "Great to hear from you. What's new?"
"I want you to come up with some ideas for this year's VF Christmas card." he replied. "Something funny and brilliant".
The words sent a chill down my spine. Nevertheless, choking back tears, I swore to do my best to feign humor and brilliance.
My first ideas - one was an image of Santa's sleigh flying over a picturesque neighborhood of snow-covered houses, each decorated with a foreclosure sign out front - were deemed "too depressing" by the editors, and I had to agree. Not wanting to be responsible for a rash of Christmas suicides, I went back to the drawing board. Bathed in a fine mist of flop sweat I did a few more doodles, each less funny and brilliant than the next.
I was desperate. Backed into a corner and out of ideas, I lashed out in anger and frustration at the only thing more miserable and pitiful than myself - the Tea Party. Thinking about their tiny bleats of impotent rage, a smile began to play about my cracked lips. Then it all came rushing back - the moronic blatherers on Fox, the paranoid fantasists, the crackpot conspiracy theory spinners, the ponzi-scheme lawyer leaders... I was beginning to cheer up! Then I remembered the millions in anonymous corporate funding, the career politicians spouting 'the people have spoken', the hypocricy on a scale hitherto unimagined - and the crowds of angry shouting white guys eating it up with a spoon - frickin hilarious!
You can't make this stuff up!! If you tried to, no one would believe it!!!
Bile-sacs brimming once again, I went to work with renewed vigor and fired off a new sketch. And they liked it. Liked it so much they didn't want to use it for their Christmas card! Wait... what? David reported that Graydon would LOVE to use it as the art to accompany Christopher Hitchens' essay in the January issue, which was about to ship. Was I cool with that? Oh.... I suppose...
The essay, titled TEA'D OFF, is a must read. Brilliant. And Funny. My New Years resolution? To try, somehow, some day, to achieve the same. I can dream, can't I?
Happy Holidays everyone.
Read Christopher Hitchen's piece here: