Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eddie Thomas Assaults My Eyes

It's hard to compare with Pioneer Press illustrator Kirk Lyttle. It appears I've written about him 11 times since I started this blog. As a reminder, here's one of his pieces from today's paper:

Character, charm, color, composition -- all of the Cs in one page. And humor -- did you catch the Wisconsin-shaped thought balloon behind the cheese wedge?

Maybe the Star Tribune's Eddie Thomas could call and ask for lessons. I started shooting photos of Thomas's "art" a few months ago when I saw this piece:

Misshapen bodies (with no redeeming charm), boring composition, blah colors. Painfully hideous. And every time I look at it, I think the boomerang is the primary character's legs. Or something. I have to read the headline to understand what the illustration is trying to portray.

Then there was this:

What 12-year-old drew this? Clogged and confusing in the center, once again charmless, and while it's more colorful, it's just so... ugly.

And most recently this:


If Thomas were a photographer with equivalently bad work, there's no way he'd be working at a daily paper. It's not that I expect every illustrator to be Kirk Lyttle; work of minimally professional quality would be acceptable.

1 comment:

David Steinlicht said...

It can't be said too many times. Kirk Lyttle is a treasure.

Some insider background info: I was part of the Pioneer Press art department from the mid-00s until a couple years ago -- leaving the paper altogether a year and a half ago.

In the glory days, there were five artists working on maps charts and illustrations. Kirk Lyttle, Alex Leary, Steve Thomas, May Lee and -- me.

First to leave the department in its endless rounds of cutbacks was May -- she went to the photo department to work on color correction and preparing photos for print.

Then Steve went to the online department where he did lots of code stuff and some graphics projects.

Then I went to page layout for 1A, Local, Sports and etc. (I still got to continue my weekly cartoon, but I mostly had to do it on my own time.)

And most recently -- a year and a half ago, Steve, Alex and I left the paper altogether, a move that I'm sure saves The Pioneer Press lots of money.

Kirk is the last artist standing. And you know what? That's fine with me. Because he truly is a wonderful artist.

Hang in there, Kirk!