Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Extremist Roulette

Hey team,
this week for the venerable Marshall Arisman, we were asked to do a real-life working illustration scenario: the op-ed page of the New York Times. 6 x 9 inches, black and white, editorial. Simple and distilled.
We were given this article to illustrate, and the results are going to be seen by the relevant art directors and editors at the Times, and the possibility of real work may result from it.
So no pressure or anything.
To me, I felt that the crystallized idea to this article is the writer's belief that the Taliban and al Qaeda are natural enemies, and in his opinion, if U.S.-led forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban would be fighting al Qaeda instead of fighting us. The Taliban, being our enemy's enemy, should be our friend.
I wanted to express an image that would show the idea of reversal, and of turning those two groups against each other (and away from us). After my original sketches were critiqued, this is what I did:I don't love it. The original sketch was just an al Qaeda and a Taliban turned on each other, one upside down, reflecting each other. The 'mates and Marshall thought it needed an element of gaming or risk to illustrate the gamble being taken. Could have done poker, could have done just dice, but I chose to do a roulette wheel, which I see now is kinda too busy. The guns get lost in all the business.
And there's another problem with it. As I was finishing up the inking on it last night, I looked down and saw that the roulette wheel and the guns were coming together in such a way that they almost formed a . . .so . . . I think I have another idea that I'm going to try to execute before the boss bundles these up and sends them to the Times.

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