we did a series of illustrations for John Le Care’s excerpt of the GQ talk section and have been featured pretty as one of the @gqindia contributors of JANUARY 2017 edition.
three illustrations were conceptualised and hand-created based on three characters from ‘Theatre of the Real: Terms Of Endearment
How (not) to be a war tourist’
John le Carré is a former MI6 officer the award-winning author of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. His memoir The Pigeon Tunnel, from which this text is excerpted, is out with Penguin Random House right now.
He had filed scoops from the worst hearts of darkness the world has to offer. You had only to glimpse him at the end of yet another day at the battlefront, with a tattered khaki carry-bag slung over his shoulder, loping across the crowded lobby on his way to the press office, to recognize his apartness. Mo has the brownest knees in town, they said. Seen it all, done it all, no bullshit, and nobody better in a tight corner, that was Mo, ask anyone who knew him. A little depressed sometimes, a little droll, maybe. And given to locking himself in his room with a bottle for a day or two, why not?
Its most revered resident was an elderly parrot named Coco that ruled over the cellar bar with a rod of iron. As the techniques of urban warfare became ever more sophisticated – from semi-automatic to rocket-propelled, from light to medium, or whatever the correct vocabulary is – so Coco.
The Commodore Hotel in those tense days – and it’s hard to remember a time when days in Beirut were not tense – was the favoured watering hole of every real or pretended war correspondent, arms dealer, drug merchant and bogus or real aid worker in the hemisphere. Its aficionados liked to compare it with Rick’s joint in Casablanca, but I never saw the comparison. Casablanca wasn’t an urban battlefield, it was just a clearing station, whereas people came to Beirut to make money, or trouble, or even peace, but not because they wanted to escape.
illustration // publication