Tuesday, November 23, 2021

William Steig's Small Fry: Thoughts of Arabia

Original cartoon art by William Steig from the 1930s depicts one of his older small fry characters showing off his maturity by smoking a cigarette and having big boy thoughts. These thoughts transport him to an exotic fantasy seemingly out of the Arabian Nights.

Steig's "Small Fry" series was published in The New Yorker, for the most part, and this original does bear printer's markings suggesting publication somewhere. Beyond that, specific printing history isn't indicated. The original once belonged to Frank Zachary, a pioneering editor and art director, who died in 2015 at the age of 101.

William Steig's signature

Verso with glue residue, but no New Yorker markings

William Steig
Oakridge Auction Gallery listing accessed the week prior to the sale

Note:  I hit a dead end here, but perhaps readers can do better. I would like to hear from anyone who can unearth this piece's publication history.

Previous owner Frank Zachary's obituary from the Times may be found here.

Motivated readers may submit original art by William Steig for possible inclusion in future blog posts.


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