The illustration is perplexing, awesome and fits perfectly in the spirit of the publication.
Now let's talk about the horrors done to the cover design after the illustrator's work was done. Starting with the 'new and improved' magazine logo:
There's nothing I could add about this that wasn't more masterfully said by BB's own Mark Frauenfelder in his extensive coverage of classic breakfast cereal package designs going to shit, so I'll just go ahead and willy-nilly piece out-of-context quotes into a semblance of narrative relevant to the topic at hand.
The delightfully eldritch logo lost its serifs, and accrued three dimensions, warping, a gradient, an outline, a drop shadow, and a rainbow-colored flourish. (...) The overall effect is nauseous and confusing. (Lucky Charms)
The most amazing part of this is that the art director approved such a massive flub. (Boo Berry)
It's not the fault of illustrators that many modern packages are hideous. The blame goes to the brand managers at cereal companies who think they are art directors but have no artistic taste. (Trix)
Well said, Mark. It's almost like your carefully cherry-picked quotes somehow just read my mind.
And don't get me started on the hideous, eye-punishing composition and photoshoppery going on the '88th Anniversary' title. It's like a punchline right out of LiarTownUSA. (NSWF link!)