IT IS a cover as striking as a matchhead.

For the newest cover of Time magazine, the sometime-viral artist Edel Rodriguez has rendered President Trump as the literal “fire and fury” that spawned Michael Wolff’s best-selling book of life inside the Trump White House.


Edel Rodriguez / Time magazine 2018

Rodriguez’s latest graphic take on Trump calls back to his October 2016 “Total Meltdown” cover, which last February received the cover of the year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors. (Disclosure: Rodriguez has created freelance art for The Washington Post.)


“Total Meltdown,” by Edel Rodriguez / Time magazine 2016

“We used to live where the United States was a pretty steady country, and now you wake up every day and try to figure out where’s the next fire, where do we have to go, what do we have to try to contain,” the Cuban-born Rodriguez tells Time magazine. “It’s sort of this president that you’re always trying to contain, like a wildfire that’s moving from one place to the other at all times.”

Depicting Trump as a fiery presence is a common cartooning metaphor, of course, whether he’s seen as a flame-haired light upheld by the Statue of Liberty, or as the burning-man matchhead of geopolitics, as Costa Rican artist Arcadio Esquivel drew last month:


Arcadio Esquivel / Costa Rica (CagleCartoons.com 2017)

On Sunday, Rodriguez shared on social media how he would have rendered the cover art for Wolff’s “Fire and Fury.” He says it was his most retweeted image ever.

And who knows? As we enter Year Two, perhaps the authentic new Time cover could even replace the fake Time covers that have hung at some of Trump’s clubs.

Read more:

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A Time magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It’s fake.