More Than Funny Pictures

Collections of previously published cartoons are usually greeted among "serious" readers by a dignified silence signifying anything from contempt to indifference. These may be the same cartoons which those same cognoscenti pore over and roar over in The New Yorker. "The Men Will Fear You, and the Women Will Adore You" by cartoonist William Hamilton is such a collection. Not a word of new text is added; even the title is drawn from the cartoon which concludes the collection. Yet to pass over this volume (much too portentous a word for its contents) would be an act of gross negligence. William Hamilton is part of that very small group of cartoonists who derive inspiration from the satirical world of James Thurber.

Like Thurber, Hamilton is the master of the one-liner, in which fiat cartoons illustrate sharp words: "We bought your cement company, Mr. Timkin, not your whimsy." "Jane Fonda has made money out of every stage of my life." . . . "I may be giving out, but I'm not giving in." . . . It does not matter that Mr. Hamilton's drawings do not stand up to comparison with those of Cruikshank or Daumier. The very sameness of the illustrations is part of the strength of Hamilton's intelligence. For the people being described, the endangered species derisively called WASP's, are as undistinguished by their appearance as they are just plain weird. So many...

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