Monday, November 26, 2007

SI 50

Three of my images were selected to appear in the Society of Illustrators 50th Annual Exhibition. They have been up on the blog before, but here they are again.

"Greetings From Nowhere" -Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

"Doomsday" -Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

"Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek" -Schwartz & Wade Books

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Border War!

Slavery-hatin' John Brown (my beloved hero and star of an upcoming picture book I'm working on at this very moment) has been in the news this week. Missouri and Kansas play a tackle football game this weekend. It happens to be a very important one because Kansas is nationally ranked No. 2 and Missouri No. 4. Repeat: Football, not basketball.

On the telecast, I'm sure you will see some John Brown/Quantrill's Raid references. Don't let the anti-abolitionist media fool you into feeling sorry for the Bushwackers. Savages who kill Free-Staters! Border Ruffians! Marauding mercenaries! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jack & John Drawing In Church 11-18

A father son collaboration from this morning. (Also, I forgot my sketchbook so this one involves a bit of contextual ephemera.)Look at those searching contours! Sweeping gestures! Kinesthetic mark-making! His third solo show opens in the spring.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Then and Now

An MFA Illustration Alumni show will be opening next Tuesday at the SVA Gallery in New York. I have two images in the show from my graduate thesis along with a few books I've done since. The show is opening in conjunction with the 1st year MFA Book Show. If you are in the city, it would be a good one to see. Plus the SVA Gallery balcony space is amazing. Other former students showing work include Andy Rash, Stephen Savage, Sara Varon, Lauren Redniss, Yunmee Kyong, Victor Koen and many others.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Illo Fire Drill

From last week:
During my visit to the New York Times Op-Ed page last friday, there was an abrupt death. An illustration that was supposed to run on the letters page was killed at 6pm. Yikes. Since I was the only illustrator in the room not occupied by art direction and page proofing, Brian Rea and Sam Weber pulled out a chair and said "Want to take a crack at this one?" It was like getting the call to pinch hit from the bench in the bottom of the ninth! Pick me out a winner, Bobby. I rolled up my sleeves and with my uni-ball micro and some copy paper, came up with this quick solution.

It had been a few years since I felt the delightful rush of completing a drawing from idea to finish in a half hour. The experience fully confirmed my oft-referred to statement that the NYT Op-Ed page is illustration's greatest "Extreme Sport." This one ran on Monday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Sketchbook 11/11

A few drawings from the Illustration Symposium "Illustration in the Age of Anxiety."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The New New York Times

On Friday afternoon, I stopped by The New York Times, to see some old friends I worked with at the Op-Ed page and check out the brand new building. I hopped into the elevator, only to notice there were no floor buttons of any kind inside the car. Realizing I had entered the world of GATTACA, I figured I would slowly starve to death in this elevator. A kind soul entered moments later and told me it was a 'smart elevator' (leaving the conclusion that I must be the 'dumb passenger'). He explained that you have to push the floor button on the panel outside of the elevator and then it routes you to car that is going to nearby floors of other passengers. "Hal" got me to the correct floor.

The new building is really beautiful, the lobby is gargantuan. The giant signage outside the new building on the 8th Avenue side is amazing. The enormity of the space actually made me reflect on just how influential the New York Times is today. The other building wasn't even part of the visible New York Skyline. Finally, the paper seems to be physically living up to its reputation. But, it is hard to match the well-worn, daily-planet ethos of 229 W. 43rd, the building the NYT had been in for 80 years. One foot inside and you were greeted with the ghosts of clicking typewriters. Millions of words written by thousands of reporters were around every corner. The building sat on top of the giant presses that printed the paper for years... ink and newsprint and hot lead type in every crevice. Going to work, I walked under that humble little sign that held the word TIMES above and the time below. It made me feel special and small all at once.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I'm dusting off my black sweaters and hoping a plane to New York for the weekend. I'll be attending the American Illustration opening, as well as the FUSE Gallery show with my a drawing of mine hanging on the wall. On Saturday, the Illustration Symposium at Parsons is on the schedule. Hopefully I'll have a few sketchbook pages to post on Sunday. If you can find me this weekend, I have buttons to give you.

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


A hand drawn type assignment from The New York Times Magazine. I've always wanted to illustrate William Safire's column on etymology. Who can define a Retronym (without Google)?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Alt Pick Award

My drawing of "Doomsday" was voted 3rd place in the juried vote of the 4th annual Alternative Pick Awards.

It has been a while since I have updated with new work as I've been in the foxhole for a few weeks. Plenty to post very soon.