Mario Wagner Illustrates the Times' Sunday Book Review
Mario Wagner made two images for Jonathan Lethem's take on "Bleeding Edge" by Thomas Pynchon, which ran in the New York Times' Sunday Book Review.
"Bleeding Edge," set in 2001 New York City between the dot-com collapse and 9/11, follows semi-professional fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow. "She soon finds herself mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler's aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead," according to Penguin.
For Lethem's article, the Times requested illustrations that "show a New York before the big stock market crash – very techy and clean," Wagner explained. He strayed a bit from his vintage aesthetic, resulting in an infographic feel.
Wagner typically comes up with an idea after reading the copy and then applies it to his visuals; however, in this case, his go-to technique wasn't necessarily helpful. "The review is extremely detailed and I could have done 20 illustrations from the info I had," he remarked. "Sometimes I like to have less information – just some keywords so I can create something beyond the text and be less literal."