the “dead presidents” controversy

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This is one of the proudest moments in my career as an artist…..

she won't think anything about it

This illustration actually caused some controversy at Sugar Frosted Goodness, an illustration website (of which I am an accepted member and to which I post regularly).
I received the following email from the guy who maintains after I posted this illustration.

“From: Jeff at
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 9:08:59 AM
Subject: SFG!
When you joined SFG I stressed that the entries posted must be clean and in good taste. Your Dead Presidents entry, in my opinion and in the opinion of a number of SFG’ers who’ve e-mailed me, is pushing that envelope on that…Good rule of thumb, if in doubt, don’t post. I left the entry up, but in the future, if I find something questionable, I’m gonna pull it.
Thanks, Jeff”

I LOVE when I get reactions like this to my drawings. That means I am doing my job as an artist!
And here is my reply to him……

“Thank you for the comment, Jeff.
I love participating in SFG and I appreciate the feedback that I have received.
However, I must say that I was taken aback by the reaction to my drawing for “Dead Presidents”. My illustration was based on this lithograph from 1865 published by Currier and Ives. This image has appeared in textbooks for school-age children for over 100 years.
I will happily admit that my illustration style and subject matter could be regarded as questionable at times. But if I had any inkling of the way this drawing would evoke feelings of anything less than good taste, I certainly would not have posted it. As a matter of fact, I have questioned the possible reaction to a few of my past drawings (specifically, THIS ONE). But the sentiment towards my “Dead Presidents” entry never crossed my mind.”

My illustration shows no blood, no bullets, no bullet holes. Even the gun is obscured. I was sent a warning email. I checked the website after I received this warning and I saw submissions that were far more disturbing and graphic than mine, like this one which was posted four days after I posted my illustration.

If I pissed someone off because of my art ….GOOD! That’s what artists are supposed to do!.




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