From 1994-1998, I did illustrations for articles in the now-defunct New York Press. It was a free weekly paper in the city for several years and a contender for The Village Voice's throne, often taking contributors from each other. One thing that made it stand out was that it didn't have photographs, all articles were illustrated. It only paid $40 to most of its cartoonists and illustators, a little more over time or if the artist was able to negotiate, but the trade for low wages was that no preliminary sketches were required. We would be faxed (Fax machines. Remember those?) the text a few days in advance with a blank box to show what the proportions would be, or if the copy wasn't ready in time, be told what the story was over the phone. Since this was also before everyone had a computer, we would also have to hand in our pieces in person. The paper came out on a Tuesday, so all illustrations were due on Sunday. The building's elevators had operators. Since it was on the weekend, we couldn't use the front elevator, we'd often have to use the back elevator and go through rooms that usually had wedding receptions in a T-shirt.
Most of the illustrations I did were for a column by Mistress Ruby, a professional dominatrix whose column was part sex advice and part work diaries. I was a weird choice having never been in a dungeon and not familiar with the BDSM lifestyle, but I must have faked it well having done the column from beginning to end.
I only met Mistress Ruby once at a Press party. We found out we went to the same college at the same time and new some of the same people. All I remember was her saying I didn't make her attractive enough. I didn't make her the same every time either, but that didn't seem to matter. She later had a book collection of her columns but didn't include my illustrations. I've had the criticism before of not drawing attractive women, and I apologize for not doing drawings people can masturbate to.
From a column about, I'm guessing, small penises.
Working girl by day, dominatrix by night.
“Best of” issue pick about kevlar (bullet-proof material), and the best place to get it.
Article about going home for Thanksgiving.
I'm not sure what this was for, I guess an article about blaxpoitation.
Mistress Ruby column about different kinds of fetishism of her clients.
Listing about klezmer festival.
I don't remember what this article was either, but it was probably written by Jim Knipfel, who the person on the right resembles.
Column about breast-feeding in public.
More to come next time I have room.
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