Thursday, May 24, 2012


by Drew Martin
Pictured here, is a detail of Mark Ulriksen's illustration Adrift, which is on this week's cover (May 28, 2012) of The New Yorker. I think this one of my all-time favorite New Yorker covers. The king of covers is Saul Steinberg's infamous drawing of a New Yorker's world view. Seen from 9th Avenue, looking west, "Jersey" is a scrap of land on the banks of the Hudson River. The landscape recedes into a patch of dirt about the size of a football field representing America with a few odd rocks and a handful of scribbled cities and states. A dotted line to the left and right, represent Mexico and Canada, respectively. The Pacific Ocean, merely a few times wider than the Hudson River, separates this abridged version of North America from three bland island lumps labeled, China, Japan and Russia. I also really like the cover Jiří Slíva did of a New York skyline where he replaced the old water towers with oversized coffee mugs feeding into the buildings. Ulriksen's new cover is a far cry New York, but I love the connection between a perilous global warming environment and a difficult climate for today's graduates who stand about here, flightless, like penguins. Although neither of these situations is humorous, Ulriksen brilliantly delivers a cool image of globalization and capitalizes on the stillness of the single image to convey a sense of idle waiting.