Monday, February 2, 2015

In Putin's Russia, stock market crashes YOU

Here's another book review illustration, this time on Bill Browder's Red Notice. It ran in this past weekend's Sunday Globe.

The book is the true story of Browder's experiences in Russia, after renouncing his American citizenship and traveling to Eastern Europe and Russia after the Berlin Wall fell, and once public (state-owned) services, infrastructure, and resources were being gobbled up by oligarchs, creating a huge windfall of moolah for a select few. Luckily for Browder, he was able to take advantage of some of this free-market frenzy, and after starting Hermitage Capital, rode the tumultuous wave of the stock market in Moscow, starting with $25 million, climbing to $1 billion, crashing a couple times, and ending back on top with $4.5 billion. But so this is where the story gets interesting, as Browder is detained, expelled from Russia, and basically stripped of his own company, apparently at the behest of Vladimir Putin himself. He's even convicted in absentia of tax evasion. When he tries to fight back, his tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is arrested, and later found beaten to death in his cell. The book is billed as a high-drama story of the ruthless corruption present in Putin's Russia, as well as Browder's crusade for justice- not only for the financial persecution he suffered, but for Magnitsky's murder as well. 

My sketches started off with fairly straight forward portraits of Putin, but I tried playing with a fever chart, and noticed how a couple crashes in the market could easily become bloody fangs on the ex-KGB man. Thank you to my AD, Kim! Here's the review.

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