A New Yorker cover that shows the fictional character Walter White of “Breaking Bad” walking into a lab where Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is cooking up chemicals is being lauded on the Internet as a stroke of genius.
“This week’s cover hits that sweet spot where American pop culture and foreign policy meet,” wrote The Atlantic.
“Right now, people can’t stop talking about the end of ‘Breaking Bad’ and the controversial heroism of Walter White. And there’s a group of people who are still rooting for America’s favorite crystal meth dealer to walk away from the series unscathed. Pair that with the debate over what to do with Syria, ad the fear that Bashar al-Assad could get away with allegedly using chemical weapons on his people unchecked (just like Walter), and you’ve got a great cover that speaks to our times as only art sometimes can.”
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The cover was illustrated by Barry Blitt, who called the work “Bad Chemistry.” It is the latest of 77 New Yorker covers he has illustrated.
The New Yorker noted
that Blitt often turns to current events for inspiration, and quoted the artist as saying, “Seems like there’s never a shortage of real life villains to make even the most conscience-free fictional character look comic in comparison.”
Twitter users were in awe of the cover.
“Hell of a genius cover of The New Yorker,” @DilliBelle tweeted.
“Outstanding New Yorker cover,” @DanNolan tweeted.
“Bashar Assad working with Walter White? This week’s New Yorker cover is pretty great,” @Salon tweeted.
The timing was impeccable. “Breaking Bad” won an Emmy Award for Best Drama Series
on Sunday night. The Washington Post noted
that the series’ penultimate show also garnered 6.6 million viewers, the most ever in its history.
“Breaking Bad” is a hugely popular show set in Albuquerque, N.M., and follows the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who starts producing methamphetamine after he is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.
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