The Pen vs. the Sword: Artists Against War

An exhibit of images protesting the invasion of Iraq.
The Pen vs. the Sword: Artists Against War

In January of 2008, while I was working with illustrator Owen Smith on our March/April cover image ("Torture Hits Home"), he mentioned a painting that he'd created for a show of images by working illustrators who questioned our rush to war. That show, "Artists Against the War," echoed a 1973 exhibit protesting the Vietnam War. The 2008 show ran from January 3-26 at the Society of Illustrators gallery in New York City.

This January, the collection became available in book form, with an introduction by illustrator Steve Brodner. And on February 10th, a panel discussion featuring Brodner, Frances JetterPeter Kuper, and Wendy Popp drew a capacity crowd at the Society of Illustrators. The power of the artwork remains undiminished, as, sadly, does the need for work that reminds us of the horrors of war.

Some of these 57 pieces were created for commercial assignments; two of them were done for Mother Jones. The book's cover image by Tomer Hanuka was done for the story "Thrown to the Assassins," in our March/April 2007 issue, and the image "Lone Rider," by Tim O'Brien, was the cover of our February 2003 issue. —Tim J Luddy