Eli Stein, Cartoonist

You may have noticed a mild obsession with cartoons here on LitKicks, though not so much with the elaborately drawn comix and graphic novels that are the hip thing today. I’m mainly interested in a few classics, which I reference constantly: Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Mad Magazine, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman. I’m sure this is due to the influence of my father, Eli Stein, who has been a professional cartoonist since 1957.

Eli Stein’s cartoons appear most frequently in the Wall Street Journal‘s “Pepper and Salt” (where he can still be spotted at random intervals), but he also covers a wide variety of other markets from the National Law Journal to Good Housekeeping. As a kid, though, I was most impressed when he appeared — once, and only once — in Mad Magazine. His single sale to the National Lampoon is pretty cool too.

I’ve been working with my Dad to build the website linked above. You can cross-reference by topic (Kids, Sports, Psychiatrists, Restaurants and Bars) or by decade (it’s fun to see how the drawing style evolves from the 1950’s and 1960’s to present times). The site is still being built and new works will be added often to the front page (Dad is 74 but he can still work a scanner very well, and he can probably still beat me at tennis too).

Eli Stein is my “birth father” (if you’re curious about the names, read this) and even though I didn’t inherit his drawing talent I like to think he schooled me well in the humor field. I give him credit for introducing me to, among other things, Joseph Heller, Hank Williams and Gilbert and Sullivan. He probably thinks he introduced me to P. G. Wodehouse, but that was Kelly.

The story of his lifelong friendship with pop artist Tom Wesselman is especially interesting, and I also like his Tips on Gagwriting.

Yeah, there’s a lot of good stuff here, so Now I’ll just step aside and present for your viewing pleasure the Eli Stein Cartoon Archive.

3 Responses

  1. Top notch!I never realized
    Top notch!

    I never realized your dad was a cartoonist, even when I met him that time at in NYC the Bowery Poetry Club.

    My dad was always writing letters to newspapers and magazines, several of which were published. He let me use his typewriter, starting when I was a little kid. Then I got a letter published in a comic book. But never in Mad Magazine! Cooool.

  2. that’s greati remember you
    that’s great

    i remember you once mentioning that your father was a cartoonist, levi, and it’s great now to see his style, humour and selection of his work.

    his drawings remind me a lot of the cartoons that used to be in magazines when i was a kid, and i’m having great fun to scroll through his archives.

    thanks, eli, for sharing!

  3. yes, yes, of coursei’ve seen
    yes, yes, of course

    i’ve seen his work, know that style and rejoice in that familiar signature. Excellent. And all the better to know that Eli is your father.

    Great website. So glad to have clicked on and will continue to click

    (the above is not a crank letter)

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!