Design by Chris Ayers
I’m fairly certain that this is the only illustration in existence whose subject is a covert meeting between a paraplegic double agent from a Quebecois terrorist group and a cross-dressing federal agent/magazine journalist in Tucson, AZ.
This is a bit outside the main focus of this project, which, up until this point, has been to illustrate products and artifacts that exist within the world of Infinite Jest rather than specific characters, scenes or situations. But the image I had in my head was just too good to pass up. I did manage to frame it within a promotional poster for Tucson tourism.
Hugh/Helen Steepley and Remy Marathe function as a sort of ersatz Greek chorus, commenting at various intervals on the plot. Perched atop a mountain in Tucson, they literally and metaphorically have the best vantage point of any of the novel’s characters. In keeping with the other allusions to Hamlet, a better comparison might be to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
One of the novel’s remaining mysteries is how the hell they get up or down that mountain, what with Marathe’s wheelchair and Steepley in those heels.
The visual inspiration for this piece is the WPA tourism posters from the 40’s, especially this one.