Veteran The New Yorker artist Chris Ware pitched the idea of creating an animated cover for readers and sought out This American Life’s Ira Glass to supply audio for inspiration.
The audio itself stems from production of a December 2014 episode of Glass’ popular radio show and podcast, but was cut for time.
As narrated to Glass by writer and NPR host Hanna Rosin, the animation concerns her guilt at absent-mindedly expressing to her daughter that she looks “so much better” after she first tries on make-up.
The worry and panic of potentially jeopardising the confidence of a child are conveyed in Ware’s beautifully vivid images that flash across the screen, full of visions of future therapy sessions and a very parental form of anxiety.
It’s a brief, tender portrait of an everyday scenario that carries significant emotional weight.
Watch the ‘Mirror’ animation above and check it out on the December 7 digital edition of The New Yorker on iPads and smartphones.