Our Spring 2008 issue is winging its way to mailboxes and appearing on newsstands everywhere now. The first thing you’ll notice is the cover, which is jarringly unlike our normal covers. That’s courtesy of contributor Art Spiegelman, who reimagined our logo and header, in addition to rendering the cover illustration. (Astute readers will note that this is temporarily the new normal, given that our winter issue was given the same treatment at the hands of Chris Ware.) Spiegelman allowed this exception to his lifelong refusal to draw superheroes, although looking at this “hero,” it’s not clear how super he really is. Tom Bissell, George Singleton and Scott Synder have all created superheroes for the occasion: The Avenger, Manna Man, and Everett Batson, respectively.
We’ve also got a lengthy profile of Pat Robertson written by Bill Sizemore, a veteran Virginian-Pilot reporter who has covered Robertson for well over a decade. Sizemore looks at Roberton’s weight-loss diet shakes, his Liberian diamond-mining operation, African gold-mining operation, his Cayman Island for-profit corporation, and his role in the US attorney appointments scandal. In short, Sizemore doesn’t find much to like about the man.
Then there’s Learning to Speak: The New Age of HIV/AIDS in the Other Jamaica, by Kwame Dawes. The author explains how impoverished HIV-positive Jamaicans are living out their lives in the face of their prognosis. This is a result of our latest collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. It features gorgeous photos by Joshua Cogan, and we even have a special website with supplementary material, including documentary video, music, interviews, poems, and dozens of additional photographs.
We also have another installment of Chris Ware’s “Jordan W. Lint”; a series of illustrations by Gary Panter; essays from Geoffrey Hayes, Rosamond Purcell, Lawrence Weschler, William Logan, Glen Retief and Matthew Power; and poetry from Billy Collins, Ted Kooser, Charles Simic and Charles Wright; plus a bunch more that, really, you’ve just got to read if you don’t want to look like a big mook next time you talk to your fancy-pants literary friends.