tomer :: all the yellow brick roads lead to Dick Cheney, or so it seems from the unfolding CIA leak scandal. when conceiving this cover for the Progressive the art director suggested playing off a scene in The Wizard of Oz where we discover who is the wizard, the one pulling the strings behind the curtain. only here the wizard is Cheney. this would reflect the magazine's (and what is wildly believed) reasoning on the course of events leading to the war. the challenge here was to tap into the viewer's memory of that scene in the movie and to make Cheney recognizable. another challenge was to have this image wholesome-- as if they all exist in one world-- despite the obvious cultural paste-up job. after a quick research (i.e google) i found this pic of that curtain scene in the movie, and Cheney's face.
first sketch :: art director (justly) wasn't convinced about the environment being recognizable as The Wizard of Oz.
I tried another sketch where you see Dorothy and a flying monkey.