“Well, I just wish I had handled it better,” I told him. “I wish I had asked you more questions, and been more curious about the way YOU did things.” He smiled and nodded. The fact is, Seymour is a god in the illustration pantheon. If Lennon and McCartney created the sound of the 60s, then Chwast and Glaser (Milton, that is) created the look. Seymour's career has always been a model for my own. He's the original ‘triple-threat’: illustrator, designer and author. I've always admired how his work was at home on the op-ed page, advertising poster, gallery wall or children's book spread. The platform could change, but Chwast's playful sarcasm, as well as his wonderful graphic handling of forms, was always present. Consider the childlike quality of his iconic End Bad Breath anti-Vietnam war poster. At first glance, his snarling Uncle Sam looks likes an old-timey circus graphic. But a second look reveals a mouth full of fighter planes and bombs. The wit in Seymour's signature work is as sharp as his chisel.
By the end of the lunch, things felt better between us, and Seymour offered me the last tater tot as I grabbed the check. “Let's have lunch again soon,” he said as we shook hands outside the restaurant. Then, the 82-year-old joked, “but let's not wait another 20 years”.