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On the One Hand / On the Other Hand cover image
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R. O. Blechman

On the One Hand / On the Other Hand: The Art and Graphic Stories of R. O. Blechman / The Writing of R. O. Blechman Published and Unpublished

On sale date: December 7, 2021

A double-sided book with over 70 years of the wit and wisdom of the iconoclastic artist and author R.O. Blechman!

Many readers will be familiar with Blechman's covers for The New Yorker magazine, more will be familiar with the countless books for children and adults he's illustrated (or written and illustrated) since 1953, and many more will be familiar with his animated Christmas short for CBS, his commercials for Alka-Seltzer, and for his Emmy Award–winning animated presentation, The Soldier's Tale (PBS). On The One Hand / On The Other Hand collects the best of Blechman's writing and drawing from across the breadth of nearly his 70-year career as cartoonist, commentator, and iconoclast.

Presented as a handsome double-sided book, On the One Hand includes a portfolio of 17 of Blechman's graphically sublime covers for the fabled Story magazine. On the Other Hand includes a collection of essays that offer his trenchant insights, both playful and profound, on the state of our culture today including his personal perspective on film, theater ("Well, let's be fair to Franz Kafka. Can you blame a cockroach?"), literature, history, politics, social change, and his fellow cartoonists and illustrators. Blechman shares his hard-earned insights and personal anecdotes on persisting your way to success ("Second Acts"), on growing older but not surrendering youth ("I'm Not Finished"), and on the constraints that every artist from caveman days to the present must overcome. ("Against those odds, confidence is hard to come by.")

The first 100 preordered copies of On the One Hand / On the Other Hand will include an exclusive Fantagraphics bookplate autographed by the author. Copies ordered after the release date will receive a bookplate while supplies last, so preorder now!


"An artist in a class by himself." — The New York Times

"The jewel-like mind and eye of this rare artist persuade me that all is not lost in Bookland." — Maurice Sendak

"A charming, mixed-media portrait of the artist." — Kirkus Reviews


Paperback / Softback
Black and white.
7.3" × 9.6"