[via The Stranger]
Of the four covers for New Yorker‘s 85th Anniversary Issue, my favorite (while I appreciate all of them) is Chris Ware’s. He has a way of condensing large amounts of narrative into small hints or incidents; this is what I enjoy most about Ware: the visual riddles in his work. Eustace Tilley, as implicated by his top hat and green shirt — just a sliver, see it? — resting on his stool, is seen in a sort of aesthetic Darwinian tussle, unknowing of the prophetic butterfly outside his window, a lateral view which places us at the shared “fly’s butterfly’s eye” view. Check out the arc of evolution starting from from the wall: insects to arthropods to aves to primates, to eventually, Eustace himself. Ware’s sense of visual space is simply genius, his empathy abound. We see a pudgy Eustace in sock garters, cutting off his self-portrait just above the belly. And there on the floor rests the butterfly’s shadow, evoking a distance between our orientation as invited voyeurs outside the window and the space inside the artist’s studio. What looks like a self-assured “thumbs up” is, if we are to assume common draftsmen techniques, really just Eustace blocking out the affixed subjects with his thumb, still tentative, despite the cultivated naturalism of this wonderful scene, about what he will select.