New Liberty—which had just been acquired by Canadian publishers and made independent from the originating American publisher of Liberty—commissioned this illustration and others from Oscar Cahén, works that were decidedly more outré than other periodicals would risk. The image provoked complaints from readers: “Do you keep your illustrator Oscar in a padded cell? No one in their right mind could think up such repulsive and hideous things to represent human beings,” jeered one. But among Cahén’s peers, the illustration for “The Californian’s Tale” was well received. It was chosen for the 1949 exhibition of the Art Directors Club of Toronto by popular vote of its membership.