A joy-inducing illustrated book about New York City in the ingenious style of William Steig's classic CDB!
Just as there are few cities as storied and replete with life as New York City, there are few illustrators or writers who have charmed as many generations as William Steig. To Molly Young and Joana Avillez, a connection between the two seemed obvious, and so D C-T! ("The City!") was born.
Using a playful phonetic language first invented by Steig in his now classic 1968 book CDB!--but which in today's world of text message and internet shorthand feels uncannily contemporary--Young and Avillez tell a different story on each page of this collection of illustrations stuffed to brim with humor and cleverness:
• "S L-I-F!" (It's alive!) A boy shouts gleefully at a pile of rubbish seething with rats
• "I M B-Z" (I'm busy) Declares the phone-wielding businesswoman to the would-be mugger
• "R U I?" (Are you high?) Asks the clerk at a bodega to the blissed out shopper
Brought to life in Avillez's distinctively ebullient and droll style are precocious pets and pet-owners, iconic architecture, and startlingly intrepid anthropomorphic rats. At once recognizable, and imagined like never before, are the surprising, intoxicating, and not-always-entirely-welcome sights, sounds, and smells of New York City.
Full of wit, romance, and sheer delight, D C-T! is both an affectionate portrait of the visual cornucopia that is New York City and a gracious love letter to the great William Steig, sure to enchant readers young and old alike just as his work has for half a century.
Visually and textually witty, D C-T (pronounced, with implied humorous accent, "The City") is a riff on William Steig's 1968 collection of word puzzles, CDB. Avillez's cunning vignettes depict sights that will be familiar to New Yorker readers as well as actual New Yorkers: fire escapes, subways, restaurants, Fran Lebowitz. The collection is a mix of old and new. On one hand, it's a minimally colored, self-proclaimed paean ("P-N") to Steig and perhaps to a form of wordplay not often indulged outside of Will Shortz's universe. On the other, the premise inherently invokes text culture and its Twitterverse renaissance. The fast-paced C-T is always looking for shortcuts, even as Avillez and coauthor Young take time to appreciate small urban moments, from a rat watching a video on a smartphone (it's a big-screen TV for him) to a young skateboarder telling skeptical cops that the drink in his hand is iced tea ("S I-S T"). Like a sticky song, these puzzle comics evoke both delight and mild annoyance, and there's a key in the back if the latter overwhelms. But it's hard to stay mad when there's a rat or pigeon in a dapper hat on every other page of this breezy charmer.