Ross MacDonald
Norman Rockwell, still spinning in his grave
I did this piece ten years ago for the cover of the Holiday Films section of the November 1999 New York Times. It accompanied a couple of articles about Hollywood's latest batch of "Norman Rockwell-like" holiday movies, full of schmaltz and false cheer.  
I can only offer - as a lame excuse - the Time's rush deadlines as an explanation for the slap-dash execution of this send-up of Rockwell's famous Thanksgiving piece. I had always joked that I hoped someday some scientist would clone a cockroach and a turkey so we could finally have 6 drumsticks - HAAWWW!
I do remember that the Times was in such a rush that they said I could do anything I wanted for this - anything! I'm sure that art director (like so many I've worked with) had plenty of time to regret uttering those words. I sure gave him plenty of reason to, lord knows.
The horrible thing, or - in this case - the GREAT thing about working for newspapers (you remember newspapers, right?) is that the day after they came out, they were fishwrap.

However, today this piece rose zombie-like from it's eternal and well deserved rest to offend the eye once more.  The next ish of Vanity Fair has a great piece on Norman Rockwell by VF contributing editor David Kamp. He celebrates Rockwell and his work, and discusses a fascinating new book that talks about his almost obsessive working method and shows a lot of the reference photos Rockwell shot for each of his illustrations.The article is on the VF website, and there you can also see a short slideshow of Rockwell images and photos, with accompanying audio by David Kamp and myself. And yes, this illo appears in the slide show - I'm so very sorry.

It's here:

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