Bruce McCall considers himself more a writer than an illustrator; before he begins one of his subtle exercises in graphic leg-pulling, he writes out the details of the scene he plans to paint. Years ago, freshly dropped out of high school in Ontario, he apprenticed as a commercial artist in a shop that specialized in ads for automobiles. His tendency to parodize the very work he turned out (e.g., painting Detroit behemoths even huger, lumpier, and more fatuous than the real things) prompted his boss to observe that McCall had no future in the business. Nevertheless, he stayed in advertising for a number of years after moving to the United States.
McCall made his name nationally through his involvement with National Lampoon, contributing humorous prose and artwork throughout the 1970s. He has consistently taken an interest in the overgrown, the overweening, the self-important, and the foolishly luxurious; one Lampoon piece, a faux brochure advertising an oceanliner, emphasized the vastness of its salons and drawing rooms, in which passengers could be made out as dots on the richly carpeted horizon. Even down in steerage, each bed was the size of a football field.
Since 1980, the New Yorker has been a frequent venue for McCall’s humor, of both the written and the graphic stripe. Many of the images reproduced in this book of postcards first appeared there. McCall has exhibited his paintings in Paris and in New York City, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and cat.