Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vegetables Illustrated

If you blinked on December 13 and therefore missed the McSweeney's newspaper the San Francisco Panorama as it sold out of its first print run, then you'll be happy to learn that it is back in S.F. Bay Area bookstores, and allegedly outside of the Bay Area nation-state bubble as well. My artistically inclined veggie mate, Aron Bothman, created the above paint & ink vegetables to accompany my article on unusual fall-into-winter produce and the origins of San Francisco farmers' markets and alternative markets. Both pieces were chopped up a bit in the final edition due to limited space (inevitably), but the end result is nevertheless beautiful to behold.

Above is Aron's original composition, which you can view on his website too. The characters are, clockwise from top right: hachiya persimmon, Jerusalem artichoke, sorrel, blue potato, singua, chanterelle mushrooms, long beans, fuyu persimmon, ong choy, stinging nettles, long eggplant, bitter melon, yu choy, red giant mustard greens, and rosa bianca eggplant.

The inspiration came from our illustrious food section editor, Chris Ying, who envisioned a take on the back cover illustrations of Cook's Illustrated, but at a racier tilt, more fever dream than quaint reverie. Aron also illustrated the facing page article on chicha, the Peruvian corn spit beer. He's looking for more work, so send your illustration requests and bags of money his way!

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