It's easy to forget that Theodor Geisel, who wrote and illustrated under a pen name that's become synonymous with playful storytelling, was much more than a children's book writer. Many of his stories promote whimsy more than staunch moralism (Dr. Seuss referred to himself as "subversive as hell"), but outside of his work, he expressed his political beliefs readily. He was banned from editing his college paper at Dartmouth for violating Prohibition, and drew editorial cartoons for a leftist tabloid, PM, during World War II.
In a style that mimics Seuss', comic artist Denis Kitchen illustrated these and other scenes from the famed writer's life. Kitchen shares delightful anecdotes, including Dr. Seuss' meeting with Teddy Roosevelt, and subsequent development of stage fright. He also provides lesser-known facts about the artist: After midnight, he worked on personal, surrealist paintings; in the later years of his life, he struggled with transient blindness.
The below strip is part of a larger anthology in which contemporary artists illustrated the lives of the cartoon juggernauts who influenced them. Monte Beauchamp, the editor of Masterful Marks, commented on Kitchen's style, in which Seuss' influence is evident: "When you are reading his story you feel as if it had been created by Dr. Seuss himself, yet Denis didn’t ape Dr. Seuss’ style. That’s just the way Denis naturally draws."
Read an excerpt from Masterful Marks below:
From MASTERFUL MARKS by Monte Beauschamp. Copyright © 2014 by Monte Beaushamp. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All Rights Reserved.