Oak Park school inspires a cover for The New Yorker?

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By Graham Johnston

Oak Park artist Chris Ware, best known for his alternative comic book series "Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth," may be drawing his latest inspiration from some local sources.

Ware occasionally illustrates covers for The New Yorker magazine – in 2010 he was one of four artists selected to create different covers for the magazine's 85th anniversary – and at least one of his more recent covers is a dead ringer for an Oak Park scene.

The cover of the Sept. 17 issue -- depicting a group of parents dropping their kids off at school – caught the eye of some parents at Beye Elementary School who say they recognized their building. Beye is located at 230 N. Cuyler Ave.

"Oh yeah, that's Beye. There's no doubt in my mind," says Beye parent, and Wednesday Journal Inc. employee, Lourdes Nicholls.

"I even know who that teacher is," she said, referring to the teacher drawn in the illustration.

Another cover for the May 7 issue was thought to have been inspired by the playground equipment at Longfellow Park until Ware put that notion to rest. When reached by Journal reporters in May, Ware said any resemblance to Longfellow was purely coincidental and that the playground wasn't his inspiration for the scene.

Let us know what you think - Are you a Beye parent trying to pick yourself out in the crowd? Leave a comment below.

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Posted: September 14th, 2012 10:02 AM

I thought the mothers day one looked more like Barrie. My very favorite OP cover is the foursquare halloween: http://www.condenaststore.com/-sp/The-New-Yorker-Cover-November-2-2009-Prints_i8483038_.htm. It would be hard for any of us to recognize ourselves since we are all apparently addicted to our iPhones and never notice anything going on around us. (He's probably not wrong.)

L Sutphen from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2012 7:41 PM

For sure that is Beye!

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