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Fiction for The New Yorker
posted: August 23, 2012

When The New Yorker calls you should pick up the phone. Art Director Chris Curry asked if I’d do an illustration to accompany a story by Alice Munro. She had the idea that a train in the snow would be the right image for a short story that takes place in Canada during World War 2. Train rides bookend the story, so Chris’s request made a lot of sense.
I did some research into what type of electric trains saw service in Ontario during the war years and made a sketch that has a vintage train poster vibe with a bleakness that fit the story. Munro’s writing is full of quiet closely-observed moments that suggested many ideas for illustration and I thought I’d also send over a drawing that was a different way of approaching the piece.  Turned out that Chris was right and everyone liked the train image best, and it’s in the current issue. It’s always cool to see an illustration you did alongside that distinctive New Yorker typography.
Pencil sketch...

Alternate idea...


16 comments
Jim Paillot August 23, 2012
Man, this is a beauty.
josh cochran August 23, 2012
just saw this! amazing
Victor Juhasz August 23, 2012
Great mood to the illustration, Paul. Even with all those hard lines, the somber tone softens the image.
flaherty August 23, 2012
Great work Paul!
Steve Brodner August 24, 2012
Paul: Very elegant and cool solution. And flawlessly done. Harkens back to the great A.M. Cassandre. But with a delicate touch.
Owen Freeman August 24, 2012
Beautifully done Paul! It looks brilliant on the page.
Marcellus Hall August 24, 2012
brilliant
Alex Nabaum August 24, 2012
Wow!
Matthew Hollister August 24, 2012
What Alex said.
Dave Wittekind August 26, 2012
Beautiful! Love that blown-out highlight on the side of the train.
Robert Hunt August 27, 2012
Solid!
Marc August 28, 2012
That's a knockout, Paul.
john cuneo August 28, 2012
Yes, alongside that typography, and Alice Munro's name. That's big time. Great job Paul.
verliejean August 29, 2012
It has that art deco poster feeling. And a distinctly Canadian ambience. Congratulations Paul! Nice piece.
Roger Perry August 30, 2012
Get The New Yorker to let you sell it as a poster. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Douglas Fraser September 3, 2012
Late on commenting, but I enjoy both. The chosen image is very classic modern. The alternate possesses a certain humanity.
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