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Jesse Marinoff Reyes:

Potpourri feature spread
Guitar World
January 1993 issue
Photographs: Jay Blakesberg, Larry DiMarzio, Lorinda Sullivan, Ann Summa (2)
Illustrations: Steven Cerio, David Cowles, Danny Hellman, Eric Palma, Mark Marek, Jeff Wong
Design Director: Jesse Marinoff Reyes

---It should be noted, that the above feature was six full-pages long, and used 20 spot illustrations (!), utilizing the six illustrators noted above. The rest of the issue used six (four letters-page spots by Marek; the lead record review, by Stan Shaw; and a full-color spot for one of the tech columns, by Steve Blickenstaff), plus using an illustrator to draw the typography for a feature opener (J. D. King).---

One of the pleasures I enjoyed while art directing Guitar World magazine in the early-1990s was finding ever more opportunities to use illustration in a (rightfully so) photography-heavy publication. When I came on board, illustration was limited to letters-page spot-illustrations (by Mark Marek), a lead-record review column, and perhaps one other occasional spot in the back-of-the magazine tech columns (and a monthly cartoon strip by the wonderful Jim Ryan).

By the time I left in 1993, that expanded to numerous placements for illustration including using spot-illustration frequently in the Tune-Ups section (3-4 pages of “newsy bits” and photo-plus-caption featurettes that preceded the regular columns and features), periodic use of illustration in feature spreads (especially useful as the editors wanted to do more conceptual stories), and including some oddball spaces in the magazine: GW ran a pull-out centerfold, a la a “girlie” magazine, of beautiful, collectible or famous musician-owned guitars, “Collector’s Choice.” I talked them into making the back side of the pull-out a celebrity poster, “Wall of Fame,” which was a good way to use some of the outtake photography, from the covers for example, but also dramatic, live concert photography. And also, yes—illustration! Though, I don’t recall us doing it that often, but once I hired Stephen Kroninger to do a mashup, as a gag image, of the “perfect guitarist,” in which Kroninger collaged together a cartoon image Frankensteined from photos of various guitarists (Eddie Van Halen’s pinkie, Clapton’s “slow” hand, you get the idea).

For the ever-popular year-end lists and features (the January issue hit the stands in December) we put together a month-by-month overview of “The Year In Guitar World.” This proved a bonanza to utilize both photography and illustration, some of it “pick up” (running spots that had run for those stories previously), but also to commission original work to go with stories that had not used illustration initially.

I truly miss that phase of my career, when working with illustrators was frequent and only limited by circumstance. Today’s penurious atmosphere in publications would frustrate me to no end by limiting the ability to practice that aspect of the craft of art direction. Currently, 18 years later, Guitar World uses NO illustration.


…In this feature, Danny Hellman also did spots on Eddie Van Halen (swapping brain surgery lessons for guitar lessons with a Boston neurosurgeon) and Sonic Youth (Thurston Moore complaining of the rising cost of the suddenly renewed popularity of the Les Paul guitar because of Guns N’ Roses)….Thurston and Kim Gordon. She, poking a screwdriver into a Les Paul (labeled “cheap guitar”), he, taking a hammer and screwdriver-as-chisel to a TV (with Slash on screen)….

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