The Economist Illustrated: China

china Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Economic growth: Missing the mat

Illustrator’s Notes

I found the initial metaphor of China’s growth targets being “more like the bar of a high jump” interesting. I thought the high jump imagery, used later in the article in the context of China giving its own economy a boost, would be illustrated well by a high jumper leaping over a sickle, instead of the standard straight bar.

The Economist Illustrated: Kazakhstan

kazakhstan Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Kazakhstan’s capital: Laying the golden egg

Illustrator’s Notes

I initially thought it would be ironic to show a golden egg of happiness being held up by a beautiful piece of architecture to symbolize how the president of Kazakhstan is hoarding the people’s happiness. Then I re-read the part of the article that mentions the egg and realized that imagery literally exist through the Bayterek tower. I chose to create an image that more explicitly show’s a powerful fist holding the egg away from the tent of nomads.

The Economist Illustrated: China

china_sea_turtle Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Returning students: Plight of the sea turtles

Illustrator’s Notes

The article made it clear that the sea turtle concept is no longer working in its intended way, so I thought a skeleton of a turtle would illustrate that well. I pointed the turtle westward and labeled it with it’s old and new names, “hai gui” and “hai dai“.

The Economist Illustrated: China

china_bull Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

China’s cash crunch: Bear in the China shop

Illustrator’s Notes

This article left me with the impression that China has potential to rebalance their economy. While the article largely focuses on bearish Chinese lending, the point is made that the Chinese government has effective controls to bring back the bull. To represent this point I show a tamed bull, drinking tea in a china shop.

The Economist Illustrated:
Japan

abenomics Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

The third arrow of Abenomics: Misfire

Illustrator’s Notes

This one’s pretty straight forward and there’s actually two articles that use the same imagery of the third arrow of “Abenomics” (see Shinzō Abe, current Prime Minister of Japan). I really couldn’t believe there wasn’t one image of an arrow and a target, so I just had to snatch that low-hanging fruit.

The Economist Illustrated:
Iran

Sanctions and Moonshine Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Iran and alcohol: Wet and dry

Illustrator’s Notes

I personally enjoy local moonshine and thought it was interesting that sanctions with negative intentions would aid the business of Armenia’s moonshine industry. Perhaps due to the sanctions, Iran will come around to ending their prohibition and begin a more nuanced approach towards alcohol through regulation.

The Economist Illustrated:
Pakistan

pakistan_drone Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Dealing with Pakistan’s extremists: The hawk and the dove

Illustrator’s Notes

This article had some really accurate and fun imagery so I just went straight for a direct illustration. The hawk represents the army chief of Pakistan and the dove represents the incoming prime minister. While they bicker about policies, there’s a U.S. drone in operation.

The Economist Illustrated:
Gulf of Guinea

gulf_of_guinea Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

The Gulf of Guinea: Another Somalia?

Illustrator’s Notes

I wanted to work out a modern interpretation of the classic pirate skull by pairing it with a modern gun. I also placed an American Bald Eagle who’s technically tied down to an anchor, but with a long leash. This is in reference to the article’s point that “[…] west African governments […] have so far not welcomed the idea of Western naval patrols.”

The Economist Illustrated:
Pakistan

pakistan Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Pakistan’s waning feudalism: Gone with the wind

Illustrator’s Notes

I combined a few references made within the article to assemble an image of Jamshed Dasti. Since he’s the son of a wrestler I gave him a traditional wrestler’s mask and made sure to include the last sentence of the article where he mentions that deference is out. It was also mentioned that he’s “Pakistan’s answer to Robin Hood”, so I gave him the classic Robin Hood hat with a feather and a bow with an olive branch (for peace) instead of an arrow.

The Economist Illustrated:
India

angry_indians Illustrated by: Joel Hopler


The Inspiration

Angry young Indians: What a waste

Illustrator’s Notes

For this illustration, I wanted to showcase the experience of India’s youth as being represented by the goat pulling a cart. Down below, the goat can see a worse fate for itself in the goat head on a plater. Above is an old gorilla with a gavel, representing the politicians and government, hurtling obstacles for the goat to avoid (feel free to read into the Donkey Kong reference).