Tuesday, March 17, 2020

ALL IN A LINE Cartoons by Saul Steinberg

Before Sacco and Rall, there was Steinberg, drawing another war from another generation.

Below are some of his sketches from ALL IN A LINE, Copyright 1945 by Saul Steinberg; first Penguin edition 1947, reprinted by arrangement with Duell, Sloane & Pearce, Inc.

The first half of the book are (mostly) wordless cartoons and humorous drawings. The second half appears to be taken, with little or no redrawing, straight from his sketch book.

I love the POV drawing on the right hand side. Who knew you could have an open bottle of ink inside a military cargo plane?

His line work always impressed me as a combination of Sempé and Van Gogh.

Some great drawings to linger over, and I wish there were more books like this today. The 2000 PBS documentary They Drew Fire was about the formal hiring of artists to cover the war, and why it was done. To my knowledge, Mr. Steinberg was not among these fellows, but moreso an ordinary Navy grunt, jotting down his impressions, which makes him just as valuable.

Perhaps best known for his 1976 "View of the World" cover to the New Yorker magazine, Mr. Steinberg was one of those guys whose cartoons were just a beginning of what would be a life of fine art.

The Saul Steinberg Foundation link here.

This is an edited version of an original blog link dated November 12, 2007.

1 comment:

Scott Burns said...

Just an fyi.....while these great drawings are excerpted from Steinberg's first book "All in Line" [hardcover version published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce in 1945] many of them were first published in the pages of the New Yorker.