HBO’s Treme is my favorite show, an hour of TV that feels like a visit to New Orleans each Sunday night. There’s not a lot of explanation, you’re just dropped off in some very authentic Crescent City settings and you have to figure stuff out as it happens. There’s language that you only hear in New Orleans, many local musicians play themselves, and the excellent cast just blends right in. Fact and fiction becomes the same thing, the way that reality and legend always blends for me during an actual visit to The City That Care Forgot.
So, when Chris Curry at The New Yorker called to see if I’d do a piece to accompany Emily Nussbaum’s review of Treme’s Season 3, I said yes right away. After one false start and a change in the final printed size we ended up with a piece that shows some of the cast outside LaDonna’s bar. There are skyscrapers in the background to refer to the idea that the recovery in New Orleans is not reaching every neighborhood.
The false start. When she got this Chris asked if I had any other ideas.
"Sure, of course, I'll send something else tomorrow." ...
Beautiful solution, Paul. I love the contrast of the subtle skyline and the moonlit foreground.
Brian StaufferSeptember 24, 2012
I'll second Marc's comment. Great way to add depth as well.
Dale StephanosSeptember 24, 2012
Third. I haven't seen it in print yet. Will this run with the paper showing?
Scott BakalSeptember 25, 2012
Jazz and beautiful art making - a great combination, Paul! Nice job!
Adam McCauleySeptember 25, 2012
Gorgeous image Paul. I love how the texture of the stars silhouettes the background buildings.
Noah WoodsSeptember 25, 2012
The final image rocks, but that so-called "false start" is pretty darn gorgeous too, Paul.
HarrySeptember 25, 2012
Great stuff Paul. So was that false start already a final when they switched gears? I just love your line, always have.
I've seen a few episodes of Treme and like it very much, I think I need to start from the beginning though.
I remember going to New Orleans when I was 16, my brother was at LSU in Baton Rouge. I got the real experience since my brothers friend Malcolm was a real native with deep family roots. We wore old vintage Mardi Gras outfits and went to the parts of town that the tourists missed. I recall parades just materializing out of nowhere in these rundown streets paved with oyster shells. looks like the show is true to that authentic New Orleans culture.
Paul RogersSeptember 25, 2012
Dale, I haven't seen the printed issue yet either, I hope the paper edge shows. This one started as a full-page, but got changed to a two-column, so maybe we lost the edge.
Harry, the false start was pretty close to finish, but we still had some time to think about other options, I'm glad Chris asked if I'd take another swing at it.
Victor JuhaszSeptember 25, 2012
You carry the tradition of great LP art into the present. Wonderful work. Certainly doesn't hurt to have such a strong feeling for the music.
John DykesSeptember 26, 2012
paul, I like the balance you are able to strike between loose / sketchbook quality and a controlled / finished feel.
L. Kasimu Harris September 26, 2012
I love, love and love your work. It's truly an honor to know you.