In 1945, after more than a decade as a commercial illustrator drawing advertisements and cartoons for Life, Time, Esquire, Newsweek, and many other publications Abner Dean invented a genre all his own: One might call it the Existential Gag Cartoon.
He used the elegant draftsmanship and single-panel format of the standard cartoons of the day, but turned them to a deeper, stranger purpose. With an inimitable mixture of wit, earnestness, and enigmatic surrealism, Dean uses this most ephemeral of forms to explore the deepest mysteries of human existence.
What Am I Doing Here?, Dean s second book and perhaps his best, depicts a world at once alien and familiar, in which everyone is naked but acts like they re clothed a world of club-wielding commuters and byzantine inventions, secret fears and perverse satisfactions.
Through it all strolls (or crawls, or floats, or stumbles) Dean s unclad Everyman, searching for love, happiness, and the answers to life s biggest questions.”
- Cat. No.