Lion in the Valley How an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times came together. In approximately 6 hours

Matt Dorfman at The New York Times called one Thursday at noon to see if I could pull together an illustration for the next day’s paper. I was able to clear my schedule the next six hours to meet his 6:30 same-day-deadline and was proud to pull together a reasonably neutral piece on what has been a volatile news topic. The editorial was penned by a professor at Penn State, who despite obviously lamenting the recent travesties to occur there, felt conflicted due of the lack of conversation about the good works that Joe Paterno had accomplished while at PSU. Rather than focus on Paterno as an individual, the stronger ideas looked at ways to get across the notion that football and academics are integrated in the narrative of this (and most) college towns. 

Below are my initial idea sketches which I sent over to Matt after about three hours. We discussed our favorites and he presented the two marked with red squares to the editors, who chose the book as football field concept. After discussing with Matt how I might execute the final version, I wandered over the Housing Works Cafe and stumbled on a $1 copy of Lion in the Valley. Fate, it seemed, wanted me to draw on an actual book. So I drew, people watched, I scanned, retouched, and sent off to my new friend, Matt.