Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

The New Yorker, Nov. 2

This cover, by the great cartoonist Chris Ware, captures the autumnal magic of Halloween while making wry cultural commentary. It uses light, and the lack thereof, to paint a loving but poignant picture of modern-day parenting. While the kids are on the porch, with their masked faces turned expectantly upward, their too-busy parents dutifully wait, faces turned down toward their BlackBerries and iPhones. They're so immersed in their own worlds of e-mails and schedules that they miss the memories in the making right in front off them. The metaphor is enhanced by the simple graphic style of the artwork; it evokes the golden age of magazines, when titles such as Fortune, Vanity Fair and TIME used illustration — not photography — to create memorable covers. The New Yorker is the last major holdout, and for the mag it's the ultimate form of branding.