Dr. Seuss has an interesting background that is often overlooked. Many fans do not know that the beloved children’s book author actually began his career drawing cartoons for magazines and advertisements (“The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss”). In many of his advertisements and children’s books he has amazing elaborate machines that complete different tasks. This aspect of his artwork has many similarities to another famous cartoonist, Rube Goldberg. In this essay I will be comparing the artwork of Dr. Seuss to the artwork of Rube Goldberg.
For those who are not familiar with Rube Goldberg here is a very brief background on the famous cartoonist. Rube Goldberg had many talents; he was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, a sculptor and an author (“Rube Goldberg Biography”). Born in San Francisco in 1883 his father had big plans for Rube to become an engineer. Rube became an engineer only to work as one for a short time. He had other plans; plans to become an artist. Eventually Rube got a job in New York drawing cartoons for the Evening Mail. Rube became a founding member of the National Cartoonist Society. He was a successful political cartoonist and a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Rube Goldberg is best known for his “Inventions” cartoons. Goldberg’s inventions show wacky, complex ways to complete somewhat meaningless tasks much like Seuss’s “inventions” in many of his books. A good comparison of the way that Goldberg may have influenced Dr. Seuss can be seen in Seuss’s famous book, The Cat in the Hat. On page fifty-six we see the Cat’s great machine that he uses to pick up his messes. The Cat shows a very complex way of picking up his “playthings”. The wonder...
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...ad it is extremely easy to see Goldberg’s influence on Seuss. Seuss created a very complex machine for the simple task of applying make-up. Other examples of Seuss’s inventions exist in some of his children’s books. These books include: The Cat in the Hat, The Butter Battle Book, and The Sneeches. There are probably many more; it seems that with every turn of a page one can find some sort of wacky Seuss invention.
To see the pictures of Rube Goldberg's work go to http://www.rubegoldberg.com
To see the pictures of Dr. Seuss's Advertising art work go to http://orpheus.uscd.edu/speccoll/dsads/index.shtml
“Rube Goldberg Biography” The official Rube Goldberg Website. 8 April 2003.
http://www.rubegoldberg.com/html/bio.htm. 20 April 2003.
“The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss”. http://orpheus.uscd.edu/speccoll/dsads/index.shtml 20 April 2003.
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