I’ve spent so much of the last few months building websites (plural? you ask; well, I’ll tell you all about it next week) that I’m experiencing minor turbulence in getting back into the swing of straight-up creating. But, we’re getting there. And speaking of turbulence, how ’bout those geese and that airplane?? Around Jeopardy time last night, all the networks were still interrupting programming to cover what was soon dubbed the Miracle on the Hudson. Come on, networks. Miracle? Can we call this what it is, which is people doing their jobs very well? A pilot making an impeccable water landing in the middle of a crowded river, and then ferry captains and dispatchers immediately rushing to folks who were obviously in need? Can we not bring God into this? If the Tough Guy did anything here, it was to put a flock of geese in the way of an airplane, not to rescue all 155 people on board, right?
How do you like this string of rhetorical questions? Is it obvious I’m enjoying writing a blog post again? And have you been wondering what else I’ve been doing other than messing around with WordPress and learning snatches of CSS and PHP as I go along for all these months? The answer is mostly doing illustration work for TheBigMoney.com. The Big Money is owned by Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive which has a pretty restrictive contract wherein I can’t publish my illustrations for them until three months after they do. However! As far as I can tell, I still own the sketches. I’d like to show them to you. (The first three will all be on PB dot C in the next week and a half. Since the second one was published a month before the first, it already is.)
First, an unpublished first draft for my first Big Money piece ever (and so far the only one I’ve done for an article by BFF Chad), “The War on Endowments.” I was still getting used to the flexibility of doing a drawing for a website, where I can sorta do whatever size I want, and this was much too big and would shrink down to an indecipherable blob. This was also the one time I had more than a day to illustrate, so I had the chance to start over.
And here we have the ink drawing for the one illustration that was online more than three months ago, about the way advertising is creeping into content on TV. I’m letting the whole universe in on a secret here: I did this one completely at my internet cafe place of part-time business. I had to run to Utrecht and buy pencils and Microns, and drew on a scrap piece of laser copier paper.
Next is a sketch for an article about who has the next big idea for tax policy.
Then a digi sketch for a story about Windows Vista not being all that bad. Here I discovered that a monitor can be a lightbox. Having traced the basic composition of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People with my Wacom, I was all, Shit, how am I gonna get the final on paper lickety-split? Then I taped my Bristol board onto the plastic frame around my screen, et voila! I reeeally hoped the headline would be “Vivre la Vista,” but it was “Vista Rules.”
This is a concept that came from Big Mon editorial, of lawyer vultures circling over dying businesses, but having slim pickings. I stuck ‘em in a tree. I did the final with the fake silkscreen texture of that The Wire drawing I posted previously, and soon realized that this fanciness makes my files ten times bigger than they used to be. Woopsos! I had to send a substantially lower-res final than I had been, but oh well, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
And finally, the New Year feature about the five worst days (economically speaking) of 2008. Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson are crying in the New Year hoping things can’t get any worse. Well here’s hoping…and speaking of which we only have four days to go before a certain terrorist fist jabber takes office!