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Christopher Wheeler | profile | all galleries >> Cartoon(ist) Gallery >> William Steig tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

William Steig

Say what you will, but Steig's later drawings -- his cubist, abstract stuff -- do nothing for me. I love the early cartoons, though, as exemplified in Man About Town. And Dreams of Glory, racially insensitive as it is, is yet one of my all-time favorites volumes of cartoons by any artist.

It's curious how much of a resemblance his early work bears to that of Syd Hoff.

Here's an excerpt from Roger Angell's piece in The New Yorker following Steig's death in 2003 at the age of 95:

"Bill Steig at home-in his and Jeanne's roomy Back Bay apartment in Boston-remained wary and unsweet in old age. He was midsized and strong, with a shock of thick, upbrushed hair, a long face, and a darkly intelligent or impatient stare. A visitor a few years ago mentioned the pleasant view from the living-room windows-a modest church on the corner, a line of vintage brownstones, the Charles River not far off-but Steig could never forget his old second-floor apartment, off Sixth Avenue in the Village, where he had looked down at a steady passage of pedestrians and dogs and noisy traffic. "God damn," he said,"how can you be happy in a place where the windows look out on nothing?" Years before, Steig had asked his art editor of that era, James Geraghty, if other artists complained as much as he did, and was told that he clearly outwhined all the other New Yorker artists put together. At about the same time, Geraghty, in a perhaps placating note, wrote, 'Dear Bill: Recently I have had the occasion to examine thousands of cartoons that have appeared in The New Yorker. One of the impressions remaining to me from this ordeal is the conviction that it would probably not be too extravagant to surmise that in all the history of graphic expressiveness your genius is unsurpassed: for sensitivity and comic perception of the human plight; for loveliness of line, for constant renewal, constant freshness. (The phrase 'graphic expressiveness' is too limiting, but I can't think of another at the moment.) My best, Jim.'"
Steig
:: Steig ::
Man About Town (1932) (inscribed)
:: Man About Town (1932) (inscribed) ::
The Lonely Ones (1942)
The Lonely Ones (1942)
All Embarrassed (1944)
All Embarrassed (1944)
Persistent Faces (1945) (signed)
:: Persistent Faces (1945) (signed) ::
Till Death Do us Part (1947)
Till Death Do us Part (1947)
The Agony In The Kindergarten (1950)
The Agony In The Kindergarten (1950)
The Rejected Lovers (1951) (signed)
:: The Rejected Lovers (1951) (signed) ::
Dreams of Glory (1953) (signed copies)
:: Dreams of Glory (1953) (signed copies) ::
CDB! (1968)
CDB! (1968)
Drawings (1979) (signed)
:: Drawings (1979) (signed) ::
CDC? (1984)
CDC? (1984)
Our Miserable Life (1990) (inscribed)
:: Our Miserable Life (1990) (inscribed) ::
Strutters and Fretters (1992)
Strutters and Fretters (1992)
The World of William Steig (1998)
The World of William Steig (1998)
Cartoon from Man About Town
Cartoon from Man About Town
Another from Man About Town
Another from Man About Town
A third cartoon from Man About Town
A third cartoon from Man About Town
Dr. DeSoto Goes to Africa (1992) (signed)
:: Dr. DeSoto Goes to Africa (1992) (signed) ::
Steig's copy of The Stag at Eve
Steig's copy of The Stag at Eve
Steig's copy of The Stag at Eve
Steig's copy of The Stag at Eve
Original cartoons
Original cartoons
Original art (cycling golfer)
Original art (cycling golfer)