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It's not surprising that the editors of Fortune rejected cartoonist Chris Ware's fantastic cover for the May 2010 issue. It contains too much truth for comfort. Also, it hearkens back to the golden age of Fortune as an exemplar of beautifully designed and illustrated magazines, and so would have invited unkind comments about the magazine's typical current level of design aesthetics.
From Indie Pulp, reporting on the C2E2 panel that Ware participated in:
[Ware] showed a cover he did for Fortune magazine which was supposed to be on the Fortune 500 issue. He accepted the job because it would be like doing the 1929 issue of the magazine, and he filled the image with tons of satirical imagery, like the U.S. Treasuring being raided by Wall Street, China dumping money into the ocean, homes being flooded, homes being foreclosed, and CEOs dancing a jig while society devolves into chaos. The cover, needless to say, was rejected.
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