Often commissioning is about waiting around long enough to use people whose work you love. And, in this case, subverting a job you’ve been given, with a much better end result. At Blueprint I wanted to review a book telling the story of George Herriman’s astonishing cartoon strip, Krazy Kat. Having bored myself rigid trying to sum up what was great about the adventures of Krazy, Ignatz, Kolin and Officer Pupp (!), I was struck by a thought: the best person to review this book would be a cartoonist who had been influenced by Herriman. So I called up the legendary Elwood H. Smith, whose great drawings were gracing the pages of Time and Fortune and asked him to write it. He, quite reasonably, said: Why would I write it? I’ll draw it, and he did, beautifully. As he says, “You are Crazy if you don’t immediately buy this book, and Krazy if you do!”
Elwood’s still out there, doing great work. Visit him at http://www.elwoodsworld.com/
Coming Soon (if I can find the damned magazine!): Matt Groening, Life In Hell and Fedex vs The Lure Of Surfing on Venice Beach.
And working with Geof Kern, Dallas’s answer to Dali.