Skip to content

The Walrus, April 2013

Paul Kim, Senior Designer at The Walrus asked me to create this image for a review of Anne Carson’s book “Red Doc” by Sarah Liss. The book is a poetic take on the relationship between Hercules and the mythological monster Geryon, updated  to the present day and re-imagined as a torturous gay love story. Paul asked if I would use the gouache-on-coloured-paper style of some Christmas cards I made last December, which I was excited to do with the aim of getting more samples of this style out into the world.

The art director also asked me to come up with more than one sketch for consideration and here is another approach we eventually discarded. In her piece, Sarah Liss talks about her personal associations with the story of Hercules, specifically the 1960s animated Saturday morning cartoon series she grew up with called “The Mighty Hercules”. Of course, being a certain age, (ahem) I knew this cartoon very well from my childhood. Looking at it again on Youtube, I felt it’s cheapness opening up a weird realm where, because of its almost transcendent awfulness, it becomes almost abstractly open for interpretation. I thought an illustration in this style might work for the piece and sketched characters based on designs from the series. The ad preferred my more original sketch and the colour piece up top was the final result. (I liked this one best too.) Thanks, Paul, for thinking of me for this challenging assignment!