December 15, 2007

"I'm biased, sure, but I think that the illos I did brought a little something extra to the column..."

Rob Ullman tells how he lost his long-time gig illustrating Dan Savage's "Savage Love" column:
Anyway, if you're one of the people who likes your seedy sex advice served with a little graphic blandishment, you should make your voice heard, and contact [the Washington City Paper] here.

(Via Drawn!)

Are we experiencing a decline in the appreciation of illustration? Have you noticed, as you click around on line, how nearly all of the pictures are photographs?

ADDED: Here's a story (about internet advertising) that has a very nice illustration to go with it. But the illustration is displayed so poorly that it hardly seems worth it. You can click to enlarge it, but then it's disembodied and so small that I felt defrauded by the term "full image."

AND: Ullman's "illos" transformed Savage's column, making it seem unsleazy and rather cheerful. They helped us see Savage's humor and basic decency and kept us from feeling too put off by the often-ugly subject matter.

17 comments:

George said...

One hundred years ago, newspapers ran funnies like Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland across full pages.

And back in the '50s and '60s, Rockwell wasn't the only illustrator who was a household name. Jon Whitcomb became famous for painting silverware ads, among other subjects. (You can see his influence on Bruce McCall's "Bulgemobiles.")

By the mid- to late-1950s, with the advent of TV and high-quality color photo reproduction in magazines, illustrators knew that their gigs were coming to an end.

The website Today's Inspiration does a great job celebrating what was—and with daily updates.

One stellar modern illustrator is Anita Kunz. She did this fabulous illo of "Saint" Hillary Clinton.

Paddy O. said...

Not all the photographs, however, are direct from the camera pictures. With the rise of digital cameras and Photoshop photographs themselves can become illustrations more than depictions of reality.

There is a huge appreciation for photoshopped images these days.

John Burgess said...

Photos--particularly 'stock' photos and amateur photos--are far, far cheaper than made-to-order illustrations. That's sufficient reason for the demise of illustrations and illustrators.

former law student said...

"Creative Loafing" bites the big one. They are currently turning the Reader into a pile of suck.

christopher said...

I've been banned, but I thought I'd just drop in anyway to annoy the Miss Havisham of Wingnuttia.

It's fun!!!!!

ABD said...

She'll be hard to annoy today -- she got to say "seedy sex advise" in a blog post!!!

You cannot imagine how good that makes her feel!!!

Oh, legal scholarship must really be envious today!!!

christopher said...

Still here.

Hi, Ann!!!!

Freeman Hunt said...

Still here.

Hi, Ann!!!!


What a dork.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The Village Voice never ran the illos, and I'm peeved because they look great!

Illustration (and representational art in general) has been frowned upon for at least 40 years.

My favorite example of the hypocrisy of this is the fact that the novel "Vanity Fair" is usually reprinted without the original illustrations- despite the fact that they were all done by Thackeray himself. If the author of one of the greatest novels of the Victorian period thought that his illustrations were an organic part of his novel, who are we to argue?

christopher said...

Freeman Hunt said...

Still here.

Hi, Ann!!!!

What a dork.


That's the best you've got?

Sheesh...

Hey Ann, still sitting alone in your room, a mouldering wedding cake in the corner, waiting for Glenn Reynolds to link to you?

Andy said...

Out of curiosity, how do you illustrate "santorum" (the Savage Love definition, not the former senator)?

Stephen Snell said...

"Hey Ann, still sitting alone in your room, a mouldering wedding cake in the corner, waiting for Glenn Reynolds to link to you?"

Christopher -- you're the one who's alone, so very alone. Your projection is as transparent as it is pathetic.

You're sad, and alone, and a loser. And you know it. Trolling blog comments... what, did Jame Gumb stop answering your emails?

Ann Althouse said...

Getting banned is his biggest achievement in life so far, so he has to keep coming back to brag about it. And the fact that he read a book that one time.

Ann Althouse said...

It was always fun to turn to the page in The Onion with Ullman's illustration and then to read Savage's writing to find out what it was about. There was real synergy between the drawing and the writing. Can't The Onion rehire the guy?

Roost on the Moon said...

Ann,

I believe the illustrations you are used to will continue. I'm pretty sure they are not done by Ullman, but Misako Takashima.

Chris said...

It's a question of money. My boyfriend an I run an illustration company and the phone never stops ringing with work offers - from magazine and book publishers. The internet is still the low-rent trailer park end of the publishing neighborhood. Why commission an illustration for 1500 Euros that takes a week to produce when you can just download a stock photograph for a couple of bucks from a site like Dreamstime.com?

Unfortunately, I don't expect that combination of low budgets and impatience to change in the future, so when magazines are gone, we'll have to find another way to make a living.

Chris said...

It's a question of money. My boyfriend an I run an illustration company and the phone never stops ringing with work offers - from magazine and book publishers. The internet is still the low-rent trailer park end of the publishing neighborhood. Why commission an illustration for 1500 Euros that takes a week to produce when you can just download a stock photograph for a couple of bucks from a site like Dreamstime.com?

Unfortunately, I don't expect that combination of low budgets and impatience to change in the future, so when magazines are gone, we'll have to find another way to make a living.