The Foilies 2020 Cover

I was first approached to illustrate The Foilies in February 2020, about a year after I joined EFF. To borrow EFF’s overview of the long-running project:

The Foilies are EFF’s tongue-in-cheek “awards” given each year during Sunshine Week to government agencies and other institutions and authorities that thwart the public’s right to access information.

Since 2015, EFF has named and shamed dozens of officials for their outrageous, ridiculous, and infuriating responses to records requests under open government laws such as the Freedom of Information Act. We give The Foilies for exorbitant fees, surreal redactions, or extremely long wait times. We highlight cases where reporters have been arrested or threatened with lawsuits for accessing documents. We even once gave a rock star an award after he attacked student journalists who used open records laws to obtain the guacamole recipe he included in his performance rider. In 2016, EFF began partnering with the Association of Alternative Newsmedia to publish The Foilies in alternative newsweeklies around the country."

It was certainly a challenge to distill twisty tales of record obfuscation into three spots and a cover (turns out there was a lot of document-destruction-by-shredder that year…), but I truly enjoyed the chance to work directly with journalists, learn about FOIA, and have my artwork on the cover(!) of a bunch of alt weeklies. My involvement has since become annual, and I returned for the 2021 and the 2022 Foilies.