Friday, November 2, 2012

Haiku Monday: Covers

This week our Haiku Monday theme has been inspired by our own Blowfish. 
This native New Yorker has  a professional  history as a former NYC executive art director
 for multiple publications owned by McGraw Hill, Macmillan or Medical World News. 
In the early years he also did stints with Look and Venture Magazines.
 After New York he taught Publications Design, Graphic Design, 
Publications Production and Typography.

Blowfish has a facebook page which receives,
 quite literally,
 hundreds of contacts daily from former students. They send images of their latest art, their productions,
 their children, their lives both personal and professional. They send thank you notes regularly. 
Since 2008 there have been so many  which touch our hearts,
 " Hey Prof, here is a picture of my three boys. I can still provide for them because you 
 me to be proficient in skills  which saved my job.
 I hated you then.
 I now say a prayer for you every night." 

Did you read Newsweek is going out of production? 
Mobile media is replacing  print media. 
Blowfish is in favor of progress, what is new, improved, easier, wiser, greener.
 But he does not believe it  is necessary to torch the past in order to embrace the future.
 He thinks there is value, and room for, both.

When we are out and about in antique stores or  collector shows, 
 always looks through the magazines. 
He looks for "his" magazines first. 
 Those with his name on the masthead, some have him listed in the general art department roster, 
then they climb the charts: 
 art associate, 
then assistant art director,
 then art director,
 then executive art director , 
then division executive. 
We all like to have mementos showing we made a contribution to our culture.
 That we matter
 That we are part of history.
 For Blowfish, his affirmation is magazines.

Blowfish never worked for The New Yorker. 
 But he picks up every one of these he ever sees and,
 starts right in telling stories of the covers, the artists, the photographers, the color separators, the printers who all contributed to the  regular production of an extraordinarily  well done magazine.
 The politics of a publication are never part of  his valuation of the publication. 
It's the design, the type, the art, the production.  
The magic
of pulling off an amazing feat week after week.
 For him these are the creative doers who got the job done.

Debuting  in 1925,
  publishing 47 issues annually
 it still is famous for it's cover illustrations.

Our Haiku Monday Theme: The New Yorker  magazine covers.

  Pick one from this post or go online and pick ones which inspire you.
There are hundreds to choose from.
 The relationship between the visuals and the haikus 
will be key factors in the judging.

Our classic 5-7-5 format please

Because every season is well represented by the covers,
 seasonal references (kigo)  will count, 
as will the use of classic Kireji  (the cutting word) to divide, and unite,
 your haiku message.

This publication is famous for it's homage to artists
On their covers
Through their literary reviews
By their inclusion of fiction in every issue
Via the work of great cartoonists

We should aspire
 to honor these standards!
Excellent  haiku
to accompany
excellent covers

you all have
to share

I do have one more criteria:
No political agendas.
Not this week
Some other time

Have fun!
Happy weekend!
I look forward to your contributions!


moi said...

Great theme! Recently, the publisher of a magazine for which I serve as editor nixed the wishes of both myself AND the art director, and chose instead a highly inappropriate cover for the latest issue. I nearly quit because of it. Still smarts.

Like Blowfish, I love magazines. Started when I was young, with Teen Beat and Seventeen, moving on to Creem and all manner of fashion magazines, then into the Atlantic and The New Yorker. I'm still a voracious reader, still thrilled by their physicality and promise, but fear they will soon be gone, baby, gone.

Aunty Belle said...

Will Blowfish judge?

Intriguing theme, Fishy-O.

fishy said...

Mama was a fan of magazines so we all had subscriptions to Jack and Jill by age 5. I still get a little rush when I discover a new magazine in the mailbox.

Glad you like the theme, I will look forward to your entries.

I did not consult Blowfish on the theme and I doubt he has seen this post. I was thinking it would be a fun surprise for him but who knows what will happen between now and judging?

Rebecca said...

great theme and these so remind me of my grandma be back later with my work

Anonymous said...

Intriguing and nostalgic. What is your limit for the number of entries per participant.


czar said...

Great theme. I know the cover I want to use, but an initial search left me stumped. I'll try again.

Sounds like Blowfish needed to have Moi and me and a few others around here in his Rolodex in his day.

Moi! My aunt was a fresh-out-of-college English major and landed an editing gig at Seventeen, but I think it was well before your time.

I do love the New Yorker. I just can't keep up.

Be back soon. Haiku already written.

czar said...


[[and it's not political. in any traditional sense. and you can take it anyway you want.]]

Smoldering island's
Ashen past; dreams wintering,

visual at:

czar said...

And, hell, I'm the biggest liberal around these parts. Who else is gonna get mad?

Well, except the gracious host, of course.

chickory said...

great theme and really enjoyable post. I loved reading the history of blowfish. does he have friends and people affected by SandyStorm?

I can remember this one cover Id like to haiku - like Czar havent found it yet. they still are the KINGPINS of comics.

back later.

fishy said...

no limit really. Have fun with this. I am eager to see which cover art grabs your heart!

Blowfish might be older than your Grandma.

Very good. The cover of the bearded one was so very clever. As is your haiku. Nice start.

Delighted you like the direction of the theme!

Thanks for asking about Blowfish/Sandy. He has been saddened by the visions from Staten Island, his birthplace and home for the first 40 years.

There was a day or two of worry because of his inability to reach his cousins still on the island but they are all good. Their children, pets, homes are all fine. There is a generator, fuel for said generator, and a stocked basement. But one cousin patrols his property at night because the desperados are out.

Jenny said...

Guess what? I'm up!
Do you want the Haiku here also?

fishy said...

Yippee! Boxer is back on the blogs.
I will be right over to have a looksee.

You are all welcome to post your haiku here but it will be necessary for us to make the rounds to see the various covers and haiku together.

Rebecca said...

aw i doubt that Blowfish is that old my grandma was 98 when she passed on a few years back but she loved these magazines for the artwork.

Now for my entries I wrote 4 total as these covers re inspiring but choosing two was hard so here are my choices but please come red them all.

unobstructed view
empty land lays barren cold
shadows of once was

fashion on runways
all sizes bloom in color
beauty isn't numbered

fishy said...

Uh .... where are they posted?

Anonymous said...


There are SOOOO many choices. I could have done dozens. I have posted mine, with accompanying covers at

Since they are keyed to the covers, I am inviting you to stop by, rather than placing a bundle of haiku-only here.

This should be a very interesting competition. I, too, am looking forward to seeing all the entries. Judging is going to be tough from the look of it so far.

Thanks for a great theme.


Buzz Kill said...

Look at me - I had time to play today.

Over at the Buzzkill.

Rebecca said...

trying this again here is a re-post of my comment
aw i doubt that Blowfish is that old my grandma was 98 when she passed on a few years back but she loved these magazines for the artwork.

Now for my entries I wrote 4 total as these covers re inspiring but choosing two was hard so here are my choices but please come red them all.

unobstructed view
empty land lays barren cold
shadows of once was

fashion on runways
all sizes bloom in color
beauty isn't numbered

Fleurdeleo said...

Congrats to Fishy! Fantastic theme and entries already.

Here is mine, visual up.

Winter's jealous heart.
lissome limbs of spring blossom;
a late frost sparkles.

fishy said...

To see Beccas entries:

thanks for the e-mail, one of your covers is the same as Boxer's. I did wonder if anyone would do the MonicaLisa

I sure am glad to see you have power and time to play with us! The images of the Sandy rampage is sad.

LOL your cover story!
In the dead of Winter, when I need a thermal insulated coat, the stores are chock full of sun dresses and bathing suits. They call it "resort wear". I call it seasonal tyranny!

moi said...

I'm up!

Summer’s beauty shed,
a pointillist scrim subdues.
Even high noon’s light.

Karl said...

Good evening Fishy,

Until I stop by here I have only seen the text of your post. I find it interesting that blowfish and I chose alike cover.

I'd like to say thanks to all our friends who schedules have keep them away, for their offerings this week.

I'm up

Magazine read not
But this Halloween honey
She's kinda hot

chickory said...

I chose #4 for my haiku (the one with the fatcats on the lifeboat as the proles sink on their derivatives)

cream of the corrupt
afloat on a rigged game;
many Titanics

Jenny said...

Moi's made me swoon just a little.

fishy said...

You certainly captured the seasonal!

did you notice the date on that cover? November 6th.

too many titanics!

All: This is exciting! Thank you all for participating. I am off to Savannah tomorrow. I'll do my best to have a winner announced by Wednesday evening.

Please vote.
It is one of the most important things we do.

czar said...

One more . . . and I'll put them both up at the blog.

Enjoy Savannah.

czar said...

Oh, I guess I should put the text here.

Seasons go and stop—
In the black strip ’tween Mom’s grin
And child’s pigtailed angst

Aunty Belle said...

sliding in to say--I'se up--Ether Capacious.

fishy said...

You make great bookends!

Sliding in for a grand finale :-)

Thanks all.