David Chelsea Predicts The New Millennium

As the first decade of the Twenty-first Century draws to a close, it seems an appropriate moment to look back at a time when everyone was looking forward, the years just before the new millennium. Like an ex-girlfriend whose knowledge of obsolete computer languages got her work fixing the supposed Y2K bug, I was able to make a buck off turn-of-the-century fever by illustrating the Millennium Countdown column in the New York Post (I have been an illustrator for all three major New York dailies, but this was my only regular gig for a Rupert Murdoch publication). 

Following in the footsteps of Stanley Kubrick, Walter Cronkite and the producers of Back To The Future Part II, the column, which was written by various writers, tried to imagine what life might be like in the coming century. My memory is dim on this point, but l think that because of tight deadlines, I worked without actually seeing copy, relying instead on summaries from my editor, Faye Penn. I had only recently gotten a computer, so just in case sending art from Portland to New York by that newfangled e-mail should prove unreliable, I backed it up with a previous wonder technology, the fax:

I drew the art for the column in my grainy coquille board style, which I think goes well with the Post’s grimy printing process: 

On the whole, the Twenty-first Century has yet to live up to my version of it, but I am proud that I was able to sort of predict the Kindle

Unfortunately, the Millennium Countdown column ended when the real Twenty-first Century arrived, and I have not worked for the New York Post or Rupert Murdoch since then. So, just in case you or any of your employees are reading this, Mr. Murdoch, it was DELIGHTFUL working for you, and I’d love to do so in this century.