Schooled: Chris Ware’s New Yorker Covers


Chris Ware illustrated September’s back-to-school New Yorker cover with a scene of parents turning their backs on their children, immersed in their own digital devices. This week he did another cover that brilliantly reflects how the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings changed the dynamic between parents and children.


On this 2013 cover our point of view is 180 degrees different. It is dark inside the school. We see the children’s dazed expressions. The parents outside are trying to stay connected as long as they can. Ware shares his thought process about these powerful images on the New Yorker’s culture blog.

“In September, I pictured, more or less, my daughter’s teacher and her class on a back to school cover that jokingly pointed to the free time parents would have now that their kids were back in class…something I saw every morning, and I thought it would make a sort of funny picture. In the wake of Newtown, it didn’t seem so funny anymore.”

These covers are © 2012 and 2013 Chris Ware and The New Yorker, used here only for the purpose of reviewing Ware’s extraordinary illustrations and leading more readers to his essay.

5 thoughts on “Schooled: Chris Ware’s New Yorker Covers

  1. Love, love, love Chris Ware. I admire the strength it takes to make art about shattering, painful world events. I’m not good at that. Looking at Ware’s work, I think, gives me a feeling that must have been similar to how van Gogh felt when he first began exploring Japanese prints. Ware’s work is so perfectly spare, but no visual element is ever missing.

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