Monday, November 17, 2014

W.C. Fields: Cartoonist

Above: A christmas card drawn by W.C. Fields to a family member drawn just a few weeks before his death on Christmas Day, 1946.

W.C. Fields seriously considered being a cartoonist. Did you know that? I didn't until I picked up the book W.C. FIELDS BY HIMSELF this weekend. He drew cartoons for a newspaper in San Francisco, according to the book, edited by his grandson Ronald J. Fields. No name of the paper given. But he didn't like the pressure of the editors, and so he decided juggling on the Vaudeville circuit was preferable. 

Regardless, he would dip his pen into his ink and draw up his own self-caricatures for publicity purposes during these years. I'm sure he waled in newspaper offices when he was in town and plied them with his art. W.C. FIELDS BY HIMSELF has a number of his drawings. The book, published in 1973 and copyright W.C. Field Productions, Inc., is a doorstop of a hardcover. It is, mostly, first person accounts from Mr. Fields himself. The subtitle is "His Intended Autobiography." His grandson spent a couple of years going through his papers and discovered that there was a rough manuscript for an autobiography. 

Here are some of the drawings, reproduced from the book:

No comments: