09/05/2014 07:14 am ET Updated Sep 05, 2014

Comic Artist Pays Tribute To Dr. Seuss

Masterful Marks

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.


  • “Velocipede” by Kate Beaton
    “Velocipede” by Kate Beaton. First published in Hark! A Vagrant. Copyright © 2012 by Kate Beaton. Reprinted by permission of Kate Beaton.
    “Velocipede” by Kate Beaton pokes fun at a time when women on bicycles were seen as a public nuisance.
  • "Are You My Mother?" A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel
    “Mirror,” excerpt from Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel. Copyright© by Alison Bechdel. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company.
    “Mirror,” excerpt from Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel is a graphic memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her mother as she pursues her dream of becoming an artist.
  • “Story Time” by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson
    “Story Time” by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. First published in Dark Horse Presents. Copyright © 2013 by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson.
    “Story Time” by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson tells the medieval tale of a warrior and his dog who fight men and creatures as part of a special force chosen by their king called, The Pack.
  • “Cody” by Gabrielle Bell
    “Cody” by Gabrielle Bell. First published in Kramers Ergot. Copyright © 2013 by Gabrielle Bell. Reprinted by permission of Gabrielle Bell.
    “Cody” by Gabrielle Bell is about a girl and her father getting to know each other and forming a bond while dealing with a murder.
  • “Nita Goes Home” by Eleanor Davis
    “Nita Goes Home” by Eleanor Davis. First published in MOME 22. Copyright © 2011 by Eleanor Davis. Reprinted by permission of Eleanor Davis.
    “Nita Goes Home” by Eleanor Davis tells the story of Nita, a woman who lives on a lush countryside farm. When she finds out that her father is sick, she returns to her childhood home in a city where people must wear suits outside to protect them from the harsh environment of urban life and where blueberries grown from the ground are an anomaly.
  • The Rachel Rising series by Terry Moore
    “A Killer’s Surprise,” excerpt from Rachel Rising by Terry Moore. Copyright © 2011 by Terry Moore. Reprinted by permission of Terry Moore.
    “A Killer’s Surprise,” is an excerpt from the haunting Rachel Rising series by Terry Moore that follows Rachel, a woman who wakes up dead in a shallow grave and seeks to unravel the mystery of her death.
  • “Concrete Park (Chapter 1)” by Tony Puryear
    “Concrete Park (Chapter 1)” by Tony Puryear. First published in Dark Horse Presents. Copyright © 2011 by Tony Puryear. Reprinted by permission of Tony Puryear.
    “Concrete Park (Chapter 1)” by Tony Puryear takes place on Earth in the near-future where the youth of the lower class have been sent to live in a desert planet to mine for resources. This chapter depicts “Scare City,” a city mired in violence and crime similar to present-day Rio de Janeiro or Cairo.
  • “Love Me Forever! Oh! Oh! Oh!” by Jeremy Sorese
    “Love Me Forever! Oh! Oh! Oh!,” by Jeremy Sorese. First published in Little Heart: A Comic Anthology for Marriage Equality. Copyright © 2012 by Jeremy Sorese. Reprinted by permission of Jeremy Sorese.
    “Love Me Forever! Oh! Oh! Oh!,” by Jeremy Sorese tells of Jeremy’s experience as a single gay man in a world where everyone seems to be getting married, even his divorced parents.
  • "Haunter" by Sam Alden
    “Turn Back,” excerpt from Haunter by Sam Alden. First published in Copyright © 2013 by Sam Alden. Reprinted by permission of Study Group Comics.
    “Turn Back,” excerpt from Haunter by Sam Alden is a wordless comic that depicts a young hunter who stumbles upon a fortress, inside which he finds much more than he bargained for.
  • “Required Summer Reading” by Grant Snider
    “Required Summer Reading,” by Grant Snider. First published in Copyright © 2013 by Grant Snider. Reprinted by permission of Grant Snider.
    “Required Summer Reading,” by Grant Snider is a humorous depiction of classic novels that are often part of summer reading curriculums and which perfectly describes an average summer of our youths.