NY Magazine recently commissioned a bunch of designers to reimagine the mistress of all the surveys, Lady Gaga, just in time for her new album’s release. While it’s hard to out-weird someone who wears a meat dress and goes to a Mets game in her underwear, several cartoonists gave it a shot, including Ariel Shrag, David Reese, Tim Hensley and Mike Keefe.

We’re especially fond of the Mike Keefe scorpion. He tagged it ““Sexy, dangerous, and a little bit creepy.”


Vanessa Davis wrote: “More than just a new look for Gaga, I think we just want to see more of Gaga. How can we get more Gaga?”

Tim Hensley (Wally Gropius) offered a cleft palate: ““Lady Gaga obtains a cleft lip from a cosmetic surgeon to spread her message of universal tolerance. What if you could change the life of a diva?”

But Jim Lee’s has gotten the most exposure, even though it is perhaps the least daring: “My goal was to showcase what made Lady Gaga so creatively dynamic—from her music to her costumes to her hair to her flair for theatrical performances—and interpret her as a thoroughly modern and contemporary superhero. Part otherworldly, part vixen, part Lady Darque, my take on Lady Gaga showcases the eclectic elements which define her talent and style.”

Given Lady Gaga’s endless invention, we might see any of these — or all of them –before the tour is up.


  1. Oy, is that Jim Lee drawing heinous. The others are all infinitely more accomplished and imaginative and should be getting 10 times the attention.

  2. As a parent of a young child with a cleft, I find the ‘Lady Cleft Lip’ cartoon very offensive! We fight every day the stereotypes, jokes and stares of those who aren’t familiar with my son’s condition. This cartoon makes a joke of this unfortunate affliction! I don’t see how this is raising any awareness, it looks more to be making a mockery of this very serious birth defect! It is unbelievable and insensitive think that somebody would have plastic surgery to create a cleft! Obviously this ‘cartoonist’ has no idea what children/adults go through in their daily lives, pain and surguries required to correct a cleft! Shame on You!

  3. I like Lee’s pose and costume, just that her likeness seems to be missing something. She needs a thinner face, with more prominent nose and teeth. The scorpion caricature is very good.

  4. Re: Tim Hensley — Initial reaction: Horrified. After more thought: I don’t think it was meant to be insulting; the artist is just ignorant (that’s me giving him the benefit of the doubt). He could have done it a bit differently. Perhaps showing a repaired cleft lip instead of having a plastic surgeon create the cleft. One thing it has done is raise awareness. Everyone is talking about it. It’s opening up more communication and educating the more ignorant folks out there. I’m into the whole “Baby I was born this way” and think Lady Gaga is doing a great job with her “powers” to increase tolerance. Glad Glee picked up on it. . Just my thoughts…..

  5. Re. The Hensley
    I think he’s making fun of the lengths (and limits) of Gaga’s attempts to identify w/marginalized communities by aping their surface characteristics. He’s defintiely not making fun of people w/cleft palates. That said, there’s probably a more sensitive way to achieve the effect.

  6. absolutely disgusting! from a mother with a daughter born with a cleft lip and palate may god one day inflict this awful medical disfigurement on any baby in your family to make you feel sick inside you are below all human acceptance. i dont see how this raises any awareness it just makes a mockery and a joke of a nasty situation.

  7. @Sandra: first: you know that God was an man-made invention, right?

    second: these are joke drawings to mock the extend someone like Lady Gaga would go to gain some publicity

  8. First of all Mario there is a God and one day you will meet him.

    Second: These are joke drawings to mock someone like Lady Gaga?

    What about the innocent children this is also mocking? Not funny! How would you like to have a whole in your face and have to have many painful surgeries to fix it? As a mother to a child with a cleft I find your comment just as ignorant as the artist that posted this horrible “cartoon”. Disgusting!

  9. As a cleft mom, I am asking that you remove this story from your page. Yes, Free Speech, blah, blah, blah….Tim Hensley’s rendering was offensive and reprehensible. New York Magazine has removed it. Will you do the same? Thanks!

  10. I find the Lady Cleft Lip picture offensive. Raising awareness and acceptance is great, however this picture does not do it. It’s a mockery, and a hurtful one to individuals with cleft lips and/or palates, and parents who have children affected by cleft lips and/or palates. New York Mag removed the illustration. Will you? It’s the right thing to do.

  11. As a young woman with a cleft lip and palate as well as the mother of a child with a cleft lip and palate, I was absolutely sickened by the Tim Hensely representation. It is clear to me that he shows no remorse and was not trying to create “awareness” otherwise he would have stepped up and apologized and asked how he could make it better…donating his fee…BULL…but I digress. Please at least remove the picture of Lady Cleft Lip, New York Magazine did, will you do the same?

  12. As the parent of a cleft affected child, I find the Lady Cleft Lip cartoon disrespectful to those with this birth difference. Our children are bullied every day and it’s ignorance like this that is fanning the flames. Clefts are not funny, nothing to be joked about. Our children endure many painful surgeries/procedures and don’t deserve to be mocked. Please remove this picture.

  13. As a mother of a child born with craniosynostosis, a cranio defect, I find this cartoon in horrible taste! My son is 11 years old, has faced 5 major skull surgeries at the tune of $1M…..he has to wear a helmet everyday to protect his skull, cant play sports, ride his bike, I fail to find the humor in the comics drawing! I would really liek to know what hos thoughts were when he drew this! This is exactly what we try to teach our kids not to do-make fun of people with differences! All my son wants is to be a normal kid with a normal shaped head, and not have to wonder every day of his life why his face looks funny and isnt like everyone elses! This cartoon needs to be deleted and the artist needss ome education and should donate money and raise awareness for teh cranio sites cappskids.org faces.com alexas appeal world cranio foundation….cca (which by the way Cher herself is involved in) Do some research before trying to make a buck at someone e;ses expense!

  14. This has just appeared on a page here in Australia & I’m disgusted that anyone could possibly support this. Here the rate is 1 in every 6-700 births – that’s approx. 400 children every year in this country. My son was born with a cleft. I have met many families of cleft affected children. This condition is not something to be taken lightly. Our kids go through hell from a very early age. Take the picture down & the so-called cartoonist – Tim Hensley needs to apologise.

  15. As a adult who was born with a cleft lip, I find the depiction by Tim Hensley highly offensive.

    I ask that you take it down!

    And to all those who said he didn’t mean to insult etc..no, perhaps he didn’t, but how is it OK to use a facial deformity to shock/reinvent someone? What if he had made her black? Put her in a wheelchair? Made her blind? Still not meaning to insult/offend? No, but still VERY offensive!

  16. How you could allow the lady cleft lip “ART” ART is not what i would call it nor awareness, i spent months crying with my pregnancy knowing what my child and family would have to go through being that i was carrying a cleft affected child. next the surgeries, the torment and months go by still my child struggles to eat, and nymagazine this artist and all of you re publishing it encourage this monster of an artist into making a mockery of our beautiful children by calling it art and claiming awareness, all he is succeeding in doing is upsetting people, and causing more hardship to come on children like my own with pictures like this. It is disgusting i am apalled that you all encourage it and i am appalled that ny magazine allowed this at all

  17. All the people complaining about the cleft lip image are getting on my fucking nerves.

    I have a cleft lip. Do I find this drawing offensive? No, because it’s not intended to offend those who have the defect. It could have been any sort of change or disability, but the artist just happened to choose cleft lip/palates. You may as well not ignore that it exists.

    Oh, and may I point out that it’s really reassuring to see MUMS talking about it as if it’s a horrible nasty feature to have. I’m glad you’re not one of my parents, fuck.

  18. I am 21 and was a born with a cleft lip palette and have a younger brother born with a cleft palet. I am happy so see all these angry moms defending their baby’s who have such painful surgeries to go through and how devastated they are knowing they have a child in their wound being born with a clept palet and how embarrassing that is to them. The picture is offensive no doubt. There is a 80% chamce I will give life to a baby born with the same beautiful feature I have. The one things that makes me stand out from everybody else around me. I am not ashamed because I am who I am. & I hope you andry mums are capable of looking at your child and telling them. They are beautiful just as mine did when in elementary school I was tormented about it. Even though your apparently embarrassed and ashamed and wish this never had to happen to you. Your baby will be one strong person one day and not give a shit about what someone else sees them as. Give them the support they’ll need and don’t let pictures likethis offend you. It’s just ignorance I’m more offended about what you mums had to say about your baby’s then the actual damn photo shame on all you embarrassed moms.