Hey! Um, Er, What's New With You?

Illustrations can be tricky things. The story is about cosmetic surgery etiquette. When you notice that someone has had some work done, do you mention it? Do you pretend not to notice? What do you say? What do you dare not say? How do you illustrate that? Tricky.

Unless the story I'm illustrating is a humorous story I don't want to treat the subject in a joking manner. Most of my features illustrations are light-hearted and humorous, but if the illustration is presented as a "joke" then it undermines the breadth of the writer's work.

Here it is, formatted for the website

Despite my (claimed) distaste for said approach and my own caution, there are many examples in my portfolio where I've gotten too silly, and this may be another. The topic is delicate, and the writing is thoughtful and considerate. I believe my effort is restrained in its silliness, but silly it is.

This was my first idea, and you'll get no argument from me; it's goofy, borderline tacky, and a very contrived situation. I kept busy with other assignments and worked this up slowly while I waited for a more inspiring solution, but nothing better came to mind –– well, nothing that I'd try to slip past an editor employed by a respectable newspaper. (Oh, if only I worked for Mad Magazine! Then I'd be in trouble all of the time!)


Original rough. I obviously didn't improve the idea, only the polish. Maybe I like this better.

The story, by the always mighty Angela Hill, can be read here. If you want to run out to your parents' recycle bin to clip and save this for your fridge, the story and art ran on Sunday, September 16 in all the BANG S.F. Bay Area newspapers!

This is the final illustration as sent to the print product.

And, for those of you who do not read newspapers anymore but are slightly curious about what newspapers look like these days, here's the print presentation!

I really like that little spot illo underneath. Not mine, tho.

The End.