I'd give anything to know the circumstances behind this shot. It's such an enigma. Briggs and Webster's shots seemed to give you the measure of the man. A sense of confident cheer. This is something else. It could be oh, what now. It could be I'd prefer you didn't. It could be the work, please. That is how I prefer to communicate.

Edward Sorel wrote a lovely tribune. Get this:

He was modest. And he was dependable: when his cartoons were being syndicated on a daily basis, he made certain that he was always fifty or sixty drawings ahead, just in case he got hit by a truck.

He lived to be 93, and died in 1982. He retired from the daily grind in 1953. What he did for the next 29 years I've no idea.

I first encountered his crisp clean lines in the all-holy New Yorker Book of Cartoons; he only had a few entries, but they were full-page, detailed but uncluttered, unexcelled at capturing the exact moment of comic fulfillment. They looked like nothing else.

Williams's syndicated one-panel comic ran in the Minneapolis Tribune for two months in 1939. It was apparently unpopular, and was replaced by a lousy serial comic about a poor little rich girl. This does not reflect well on the people of my fair city. Williams was absolutely one of the finest cartoonists of the 20th century.

What you'll see next is his early work, starting in 1922.