The Building Stories writer/artist shares his thoughts on how he arrived at his cover design for the new issue.
Source: The New Yorker
December 14 was a pretty shocking day for just about everyone in this country. That was the day a gunman made his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and opened fire, killing children and faculty members alike. The news was, needless to say, horrifying.
Yesterday, the children of Newtown returned to school, and the post-holiday bliss faded away into a sharp return to what we felt when we watched the news in mid-December. Chris Ware, inspired by his feelings about the Sandy Hook massacre, provided a cover for The New Yorker that somewhat reflects not only what parents in Newtown are most likely feeling, but what every parent in the country has on their minds now, as their children return to school from holiday break.
Ware, the creator of last fall's formalist triumph Building Stories, also shared his thoughts on The New Yorker website.
On December 14th, I helped chaperone my daughter’s second-grade-class field trip to a local production of “The Nutcracker,” where I spent most of my time not watching the ballet but marvelling at the calm efforts of the teacher to keep the yelling, excited class quieted down. Teaching was not, I concluded at one point, a profession in which I could survive for even one day. Our buses came back to the school at midafternoon, and I and the other volunteer parents left our children for another hour of wind-down time (for us, not them) before returning for the regular 3-P.M. pickup. I came home, however, not to any wind-down but to the unfolding coverage of the Newtown shooting. Shaken to the core, I returned to the school, where a grim quiet bound myself and the other parents together, the literally unspeakable news sealing our smiles while, at a lower strata, our happy, screaming children ran out of the building into our arms still frothed up by sparkling visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
In addition, Ware also has some pointed words about the NRA and the government's handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations. He also points out the fact that the cover is something of a reverse of a cover he drew for a September issue of the magazine:
In September, I pictured, more or less, my daughter’s teacher and her class on a “back to school” cover [...] that jokingly pointed to the free time that parents would have now that their kids were back in class; it was something I saw every morning, and I thought it would make a sort of funny picture. In the wake of Newtown, it didn’t seem so funny anymore.
Click over to The New Yorker's website to read the entire article.