For over 20 years I’ve had the good fortune of working with some of the best artists in the news business to create news graphics, illustrated histories and Page 1 centerpieces for the San Jose Mercury News. As far as we know, only humans tell stories — it's part of what makes us human. I believe in the power of art to compel people to read them. 

Asteroid rustlers

How does NASA propose to wrangle an asteroid and herd it into orbit so astronauts can crack it open with rock hammers and bring pieces back to Earth? Something like this.

Earthquake, earthquake, emergency

For the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake I researched, wrote and designed this double-truck graphic, with a mapping assist from Rob Hernandez. My best work with the least help.

How to play Super Pac-Man

For a story about super PACs in 2012, this throwback to '80s gaming seemed the perfect vehicle.  My writing, drawing and design, with a helpful assist from Pai.

Back to the future?

If you write the headline first, sometimes the whole page falls into place. This 10-year retrospective on the California recall election, written by Josh Richman, was shepherded into print by my writing and design, executed by Chris Gotsill, with worthy contributions by managing editor Bert Robinson and art director Pai.

She ran calling “Wildfire!”

I spent a day at Cal Fire incident command in Gilroy and came back with this Page 1 centerpiece daily, executed with the help of Rob Hernandez. Despite the ugly arrows, state fire instructors later asked me if they could use this graphic to train firefighters in how wildfires spread.

Meet the iPad

On the day the first iPad was introduced, sports editor Darryl Matsuda joked that we could run it actual size. I pursued this idea with Bert Robinson, who liked it, and designer Tiffany Pease, who wanted to add hands. With artist Andréa Maschietto's muscular Photoshop skills, we pulled off Darryl's joke under the headline "The iPad: actual size."

Meet the candidates

I wrote these profiles of the 2008 presidential candidates, and Doug Griswold made them prize-worthy with his stunning illustration and design across two facing pages. My first rule of news design: Partner with an art genius.

Blue Coup

Election Night 2006. Big night for Democrats. My design, with feeds from Pai, Doug Griswold and four reporters. (I didn't like the Lincoln-era bunting at the top, but that ship had sailed.)

Red Tide

Election Night 2010. How things change. The Republicans strike back, just four years later. (But at least we lost the bunting.)