Nervous Wit

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Ux1ucye3REo/Snu7f35FZRI/AAAAAAAAA8Q/xiOMUbr6smE/s400/TALKING_LINES.cover-703261.jpg
When I was a kid, R. O. Blechman’s talking stomach–the spokestummy for Alka-Seltzer (below)–was airing on every national TV network. It was that hilariously unprecedented animated character that made me want to be a cartoonist and animator. Decades have passed and I’ve never animated anything, but I still admire Blechman’s masterful squiggly nervous line. I have every one of his books and am always happy watching his classic animations.
 
Now, there is a new Blechman book to savor. Talking Lines (see cover above) is his first comprehensive short story collection. These published and unpublished squiggly tales cover such topics as nuclear weapons, war, wiretapping, Christopher Columbus, Leo
Tolstoy, William Shakespeare, and Virginia Woolf (the last of which he did for me at the New York Times Book Review). Other stories appeared in Humbug (edited by Harvey Kurtzman),
The Nation, and Nozone (edited by his son, Nicholas Blechman). All his books are a joy, but the bottom line: This one is exceptional.
 

 
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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

3 thoughts on “Nervous Wit

  1. artbymichael

    I have a memory of an interesting sound that the stomach made when he fell off the chair and hit the floor. Sort of an “oint” sound. The Web link didn’t confirm this, but it remains a childhood memory. Thanks for the flashback.

  2. artbymichael

    I have a memory of an interesting sound that the stomach made when he fell off the chair and hit the floor. Sort of an “oint” sound. The Web link didn’t confirm this, but it remains a childhood memory. Thanks for the flashback.

  3. artbymichael

    I have a memory of an interesting sound that the stomach made when he fell off the chair and hit the floor. Sort of an “oint” sound. The Web link didn’t confirm this, but it remains a childhood memory. Thanks for the flashback.

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