Tuesday, September 4, 2018

William Steig: Cause for Divorce

The American Magazine ran a recurring feature from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s called Cause for Divorce. It consisted of short press clippings from around the country documenting how the eccentric behavior of one married partner had led the other partner to seek divorce. Whoever collected these clippings is uncredited. Each divorce case was accompanied by a humorous illustration, often the work of William Steig, but occasionally by Syd Hoff or Jay Irving. Four examples of this feature from 1942, each wonderfully illustrated by Steig, convey a rather simplistic but consistently amusing understanding of what causes marriages to fail.


William Steig
Cause for Divorce:  Can Woo a Moose But Not His Wife
The American Magazine, 
February 1942, page 124
Scan by Dick Buchanan





William Steig
Cause for Divorce:  Love Lost in Jungle
The American Magazine, 
March 1942, page 116

Scan by Dick Buchanan


William Steig
Cause for Divorce:  Husband's Hamming Wrecks Home
The American Magazine, 
October 1942, page 64

Scan by Dick Buchanan



 William Steig
Cause for Divorce:  Not the Man He Used to Be
The American Magazine, 
December 1942, page 127

Scan by Dick Buchanan

This feature appeared in other issues as well, at least as early as April of 1938 and at least as late as August of 1944, quite possibly with other issues not enumerated below.

http://www.philsp.com/homeville/fmi/s/s4078.htm#A98710




Note: Once again I extend my thanks to Dick Buchanan for providing all these beautiful scans. This is Dick's thirty-first contribution to Attempted Bloggery, but who's counting (besides me)? Dick curates the legendary Dick Buchanan Cartoon Clip Files. He also contributes regularly to Mike Lynch Cartoons, most recently a post entitled "From the Dick Buchanan Files: Women Cartoonists: Barbara Shermund, Hilda Terry, Mary Gibson and Dorothy McKay 1935 - 1952." Maybe I should tell Dick about my love for the Oxford comma.

Readers with other published examples of the Cause for Divorce feature or, even better, with loved, honored, and cherished originals, should send scans here for likely inclusion on the blog. Other works by William Steig, Syd Hoff, or Jay Irving are of course welcome too.

As noted, Cause for Divorce was also illustrated at times by Syd Hoff. A single fine example is posted on sydhoff.org.


Jay Irving's work has yet to appear on this blog.



Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

William Steig

Syd Hoff


The American Magazine

Dick Buchanan


Attempted Bloggery's Irreconcilable Index


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