Illustration today embraces much more than it ever has in the past. My students at the School of Visual Arts in New York City are on their way to working, variously, in video games, TV animation, film story-boarding, graphic novels, flash animation, even editorial art for print publications.

The pieces reprinted here -- including one I did myself -- are the result of a group project I assigned. I felt that while they were in my class, students should focus on what I believe to be the most urgent issue of our time: the Iraq war. I broke down the war into key historical events and let the students choose the ones they would illustrate.

I hoped that each piece, if successful, would express how artists as individuals saw the war -- and that the project as a whole would offer a group effect that would give some sense of how we got to where we are today. What emerged were strong and sensitive pieces that, I think, succeeded as illustrations as well as personal art.

-- Steve Brodner