The blog of Richard Thompson, caricaturist, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Your Unnecessary Magazine Illustration for Today

I drew this for the New Yorker during the investigation into the Enron scandal (which today seems quaint) and it was such a crummy experience that I realized subconsciously, inchoately*, that the bloom was off the rose and it was time to quit the illustration game. Briefly, from l. to r. there's Fastow, Lay and Skilling, the chief perpetrators.

I remember more about the drama behind the drawing. The sketch was okayed, but then came back to me for revisions. They FedExed it overnight to me for Saturday delivery. I waited on the front step for the package. The FedEx truck came and did not deliver anything, but parked next door. The driver was blaring opera (why do I remember that?). Just before he pulled away I ran down the hill and hammered on his door. It turned out that he had almost misdelivered the package and was quite upset by it (he kept saying "Oh Lordy!" like it was a major crime). I was just glad to get the package. The changes were all minor. They said Ken Lay looked like he had a black eye so I fixed that with some gouache (I actually rather like fixing boo-boos; it appeals to my fussy side), and had it in the mail the next Monday.

It was going to be a full page illustration so I was disappointed when the issue came out - it had shrunk to spot size. By then I was starting not to care. The things you can do in Photoshop allow an editor or art director to tinker endlessly with your work or force you to tinker endlessly with your work, and deadlines are mutable.

So like I said, the bloom was off the rose and it was about time to change careers. But gradually. Gimme, like, 4 or 5 years.

*"Inchoately" is a $25 word.


Mister Fweem said...

Who'd a thunk it that the Enron scandal would seem "quaint" these scant few years down the road . . .

jsutliff said...

"Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate." - Thoreau

gilda92 said...

Here's a another breathtaking story from a fellow artist, Greg Manchess. Perhaps you've read it already?

(PS:I like your story better.)

pq said...

Re: inchoate. The check is in the mail.

mlester101 said...

Not sure if I miss this stuff more or the restaurant closings. I think the latter given the risk of food poisoning. You provided a service no gov. entity could. Thank you for that. -ML