Spring 2019

The glyphic and the vedutic

Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice

By D. B. Dowd. Designed by Scott Gericke. Spartan Holiday Books in association with Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, $39.95

D. B. Dowd is Professor of Art and American Culture Studies at Washington University, St Louis. Stick Figures contains intense evaluations of certain practical methodologies associated with illustration along with a range of correlative definitions of genre, style and image construction. The book presents a well researched roster of historic illustration, and Dowd’s writing is engaging and accessible. It is a self-consciously polemical book that invites argument.


Top: Spread from D. B. Dowd’s Stick Figures: Drawing as a Human Practice, showing two-colour artwork by illustrator Alfred Charles Parker (1906-85), including colour tests and registration marks. Dowd writes that in the middle decades of the twentieth century, Parker ‘was a celebrated and well compensated creator’, working for magazines such as Cosmopolitan, McCall’s and Ladies’ Home Journal.


Alan Male, Professor Emeritus of Falmouth University; academic, author and illustrator, East Sussex, UK

Read the full version in Eye no. 98 vol. 25, 2019


Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues. You can see what Eye 98 looks like at Eye Before You Buy on Vimeo.