Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life Drawing 43: The Gluyas Williams Reader

January 6, 1921

Obviously he could draw, but Gluyas Williams also wrote well, and funny. In the early 1920s he seems to have spent nearly as much time at the typewriter as he did at the drawing board. He introduced the blowhard Senator Sounder in the May 27, 1920 issue of Life, a feature (and the subject of a future post) that would become increasingly text-heavy over the next few years. Williams also wrote humorous articles lampooning a variety of contemporary topics that were, best yet, illustrated by the author.

February 24, 1921

August 18, 1921

November 3, 1921

January 26, 1922

May 25, 1922

July 27, 1922

Drawings created solely as illustrations for Life's text pieces were extremely rare. The wall between the art in the magazine and the writing was breached only slightly more often during the '20s. Below is one of those occasions, with Williams illustrating a story by Alan Patrick Herbert.

August 10, 1922

September 28, 1922

Happily, while all this writing was going on Williams did not completely abandon the sequential strips or the full-page drawings showcasing the amazing play with perspective, crowd control and deftly spotted blacks that he was known for.

August 17, 1922

September 14, 1922

October 5, 1922

Turns out there actually was a game played in London that involved spotting men with beards and shouting, "Beaver!" Williams seems to have been right on top of things with this drawing, as most citations date the origin of the game at 1922. He may have been the first, but he wasn't the only Life artist to do a beaver cartoon. It's worth mentioning that this game is likely the source of beaver's more contemporary usage, which first appeared in England in 1927.

October 12, 1922

November 23, 1922

Devember 7, 1922

December 21, 1922