Erik T. Johnson / The New Republic

New cover illustration by a Minneapolis master.


Above: Erik T. Johnson, cover for The New Republic. Hot of the presses and fresh on the newsstands, Erik’s latest work heralds the ghouls of the far-right. How apropos! Even better, Erik has graciously agreed to share his process here. Scroll!


Above: Erik’s first sketch. “This was a great project for me because it was an amazing concept from the art directors and editors (Christine Carr and Joseph Heroun), and (they) knew exactly how they wanted it, and pushed my sketches until they saw it.”


Above: Erik pushes the possibilities with pencil. “There’s a lot of trial and error in these sketches, particularly with the “zombie walk” – it required that very particular kind of foreshortening (esp. in the hands) and contorted stances. We all know this walk when we see it, but I was surprised how much of a learning curve I had drawing it – thus some of the early sketches look a little like Bob Fosse dance numbers.”


Above: An initial test with color, note the hands. Love the idea of Palin’s twisted leg here, keep looking how that evolves.


Above: Trying to nail the walk with marker. Erik continues: “I tend to sketch loose, and really consider myself an ink illustrator, in that I work on likenesses and the finesse of a drawing in the the inks. It all falls apart or comes together in the shadows and brush strokes. Generally my pencils and sketches function as a loose wire frame for the the inks. The tighter my pencils, the more my inks suffer in terms of spontaneity and problem solving, because I’ll find myself tracing a pencil drawing and losing the
charm of both.”


Above: Closer still. Were the boots part of that infamous shopping spree to dress her up in 2008? At least the cash stayed behind here in the Cities. By the way, Christine O’Donnell is not a witch, not a witch, is not a witch! She’s a witch.


Above: The trees take form.


Above: Brrrrrr. I remember what happened the last time these types had a party here. If Obama had a beer with those two from Boston, McCain owes a lot of us a few kegs.


Above: A second color test.


Above: Once again, the final, terrifying piece. A thousand thanks to Erik for sharing this amazing process here. In the wake of Minneapolis’ own recent Zombie Pub crawl, let’s hope November finds many of these ghouls experiencing their own hangover… of defeat! Ist doch klar!

For more on Erik’s work (notice how he also spells his name the right way?), please see his website and blog, Boring Name, Better Art.

2 Responses to “Erik T. Johnson / The New Republic”

The amazing Erik T. Johnson for The New Republic.

Erik Brandt added these words on Oct 17 10 at 4:08 AM

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