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One great New Yorker cover…and the three rejects that come with it

The timely cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker celebrates President Obama’s decision to make a very public stand in favor of gay marriage which he believed was important for him to “go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” I think its long been clear which side SUNfiltered falls on this debate, which in my mind shouldn’t even be a debate in the same way interracial marriage is no longer an issue. Bob Staake, the artist who created this cover remarked:

I am honored to be doing this cover. It’s a celebratory moment for our country, and that’s what I tried to capture. (I don’t especially like those rainbow colors, but they are what they are—I had to use them.) I wanted to celebrate the bravery of the President’s statement—a statement long overdue—but all the more appreciated in this political year. We are on the right side of history.”

Cue Bob Marley’s “One Love.”

For every one New Yorker cover, there are more that are rejected for a variety of reasons. In a new book, the magazine’s art editor Françoise Mouly leads a tour through the graveyard of rejected New Yorker covers. One reason that some of them are surprisingly risque is a result of Mouly’s direction to the artists “to not hold anything back in their sketches.” Check on this fascinating Q&A with the editor for an insight into the process of selecting the covers as well as examples of past rejected concepts and illustrations. Here are a few:


“When The New Yorker passed on this Art Spiegelman sketch from 1993, he and Mouly used it as their Christmas card instead.”


“Barry Blitt drew candidate Palin brushing up on her political reading.”


“In the wake of the 1997 assault of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, by white NYPD officers, Harry Bliss sketched then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s paranoid psyche.”