The man who gives snowmen their jokes

Renowned New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein visits WTBQ and Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe

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  • Photo By Roger Gavan Renowned New Yorker cartoonist and author Bob Eckstein (right) visits with Tom Roberts, owner of Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe.

  • Cartoons provided by Bob Eckstein with permission to reprint in The Warwick Advertiser

  • An illustration of Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe by Bob Eckstein.

— Renowned New Yorker cartoonist, humorist and best-selling author Bob Eckstein appeared on the WTBQ (AM 1110/FM 93.5) "Creativity and Technology for Business and Life" weekly program, hosted by Joe Dans, on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

After the show, Eckstein, who loves bookstores and recently authored a new book, "Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores," visited Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe on Main Street.

Eckstein is a humorist, award-winning illustrator and cartoonist.

His writing and cartoons have appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MAD magazine, National Lampoon, Playboy, Esquire, GQ, Baron's, Reader's Digest and hundreds of other publications worldwide.

He is also a columnist for Writer's Digest and Publishers Weekly and an editorial cartoonist for the New York Daily News who began his long career as a humorist and columnist at various publications including, New York Newsday and the Village Voice.

An expert on snowmenDuring the radio interview, WTBQ listeners learned that Eckstein is also an expert on snowmen, the subject of many of his cartoons.

He wrote the holiday classic, The History of the Snowman, in 2007 and an updated edition is coming out next year for Christmas.

Eckstein has actually traveled around the world for his research and reported that he learned that even the famous Italian sculptor and artist, Michelangelo, had been commissioned to build a snowman.

"It didn't last," he said. "But then he did the statue of David."

The need for independent book storesWhat most interested Tom Roberts, president of the Warwick Merchant Guild and owner of Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, however, was Eckstein's belief in the importance of independent bookstores and print books in general.

"The bookstore," he said, "is the cultural center of the community. And these small stores, in fact all small businesses, are the ones whose taxes pay for local services like the police department. We need to support them."

Eckstein's book, Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores, selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the most anticipated books of 2016, won a Reader's Favorite Award, became a New York Times best seller and has been reprinted in multiple languages around the world.

Ye Olde Warwick Book Shop was on the list of 300 bookstores considered but not featured because only 75 were included and the publisher was involved in the selection from different parts of the country.

Expect a sequelEckstein drew color illustrations for all the entries and during his visit to Warwick, photographed Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe and later drew a rough sketch of the store for a sequel to the book that will include the Warwick shop.

- Roger Gavan

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