Ed Steckley

Picture Book & Graphic Novel Illustrator
Reuben Award Winner
Travels from: Milwaukee, WI

“Colorful, amusing, and detailed double-page spreads resemble the real Rube Goldberg’s cartoons. . . Endpapers with sight gags, a progression of animals, and more add to the merriment, while a concluding look at simple machines keeps the antics educational.” — Booklist

Wisconsin Native Ed Steckley has been a humorous illustrator for over 30 years, beginning in live caricature, comic books and magazine illustration, to advertising and now children’s books. He’s the illustrator of two different STEM/STEAM series, based in the world of Rube Goldberg and his crazy contraptions. The first is a picture book series, focused around Rube Goldberg – a little boy who creates crazy machines and contraptions to help him get through his day. The other is a Middle Reader series, written by Brandon T. Snider, which follows a middle school aged Rube as he navigates middle school and embraces his love of science, engineering and machine building. Both were published by Abrams/Amulet. The New Switcheroo, newest in the series, comes out in October of 2022

Ed’s work has also appeared in numerous publications, most notably Mad magazine. He’s also an advertising illustrator, working for countless advertising agencies world wide. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Cartoonists Society and a member of the Society of Illustrators.

Prepare an Invitation for:

Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Definitely Different Day Off

Abrams Books for Young Readers |
Picture Book

Follow along with young inventor Rube Goldberg on his day off from school in this wacky, STEAM-focused picture book

A “definitely different” follow-up to Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day, written by Jennifer George, the granddaughter of Rube Goldberg, and illustrated by award-winning artist Ed Steckley. In their latest collaboration, they imagine Rube Goldberg as a young inventor who builds complex machines to solve simple, everyday problems. Follow along as he invents zany chain-reaction contraptions to have the best day off from school ever—including a simple way to play fetch in the yard without leaving his bedroom, a self-operating swing, and a super simple series of movie snacking machines.

Rube Goldberg And His Amazing Machines

Amulet Books |
Picture Book

The hilarious first book in an all-new illustrated middle-grade series starring young inventor Rube Goldberg

On the first day of middle school, Principal Kim announces that the school is going to throw a Contraption Convention—the perfect opportunity for young inventor Rube Goldberg to show off his inventions and get out of his summer-long funk!

But after a fight with his friends Pearl and Boob about where his priorities really lie, Rube’s Con Con entry gets off to a rocky start—and then strange incidents begin to throw the town into disarray. Boob is convinced it’s a ghost causing all of this chaos. Between Con Con, the ghostly mystery, and a new rival, Rube has his work cut out for him. But with the help of his friends, he might just get things back on track, get on top of his burgeoning anxieties, and come up with something brilliant before it’s time to face the judging table.

Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day

Harry N. Abrams |
Picture Book

If Rube’s inventions are any indication, “normal” means something very different in the Goldberg household. For Rube, up is down, in is out, and the simplest path to accomplishing an everyday task—like brushing his teeth or getting dressed—is a humorously complicated one. Follow Rube as he sets out on a typical school day, overcomplicating each and every step from the time he wakes up in the morning until the time he goes to bed at night.

This book features fourteen inventions, each depicting an interactive sequence whose purpose is to help Rube accomplish mundane daily tasks: a simple way to get ready for school, to make breakfast, to do his homework, and so much more.

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Machine Creation

This option features a comprehensive slide show, fun examples of ideas gone wrong in the process, the thinking that goes into the construction of the machines, all the way to the final technical drawing/illustration process. In addition, the option to add a live drawing segment is available. The presentation can be tailored to the age range/audience.

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Drawing and Painting Process

This option is based on the drawing and painting process. Depending on the audience, it can be centered on character design, simple or complex machines, and the evolution of a book illustration. The presentation can be tailored to the age range/audience.

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History of Rube Goldberg

This option is a history of Rube Goldberg, the cartoonist. The range of Rube’s work can be comprehensive or narrowed down to one facet of his work. Examples include general cartooning, tools of the trade, the various features he created, and of course, the famous Rube Goldberg Machines. This will lead into the Rube of today – how his influence was considered for these titles and what and how each was expanded on for a modern audience. The presentation can be tailored to the age range/audience.

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Art Instruction

Ed can customize a workshop to emphasize drawing, specifically what to focus on when tackling art instruction and/or machine construction. This can include specific tools, pros and cons of said tools, as well as psychologically preparing students to embrace their creativity.

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Drawing Caricature and Humor

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Ed’s Portfolio

Ed’s Merchandise

Ed’s Blog

Kalamazoo Museum’s Rube Goldberg Traveling Exhibit

“Colorful, amusing, and detailed double-page spreads resemble the real Rube Goldberg’s cartoons… Endpapers with sight gags, a progression of animals, and more add to the merriment, while a concluding look at simple machines keeps the antics educational.” – Booklist

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Divisional Reuben Award from National Cartoonists Society for Best in Advertising Illustration
Book Illustration
Magazine Illustration
Parents Choice Gold Award

Media clips

Coming Soon!

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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