Before Roland and Sylvester: William Steig’s Early Cartoons

Today we mainly think of William Steig as an award -winning author/illustrator of children’s picture books. He was the creator of Shrek, Sylvester, Roland, Doctor De Soto and so many more popular and memorable characters.

But Steig was 61 when his first children’s book was published. Before that he had a very successful career as a cartoonist. In the 1930s and 40s, he made a living doing gag cartoons for magazines and producing advertising illustrations for clients like Shell Oil, American Express and Delco batteries. In all he published over 1,600 drawings including 117 covers for The New Yorker.

Here’s a peek at some of his early work.

Post Cereal 1940s

Post Cereal 1940s

Shell Oil 1937-Click below

American Express 1952

Saturday Evening Post 1941

Shell Oil Co. 1940s

Colliers 1949

Colliers 1938

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