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Watson Heston (1846–1905) was an irreverent cartoonist who peaked in the late 19th century. Born in Ohio, he spent the majority of his life in Carthage, Missouri. His cartoons, which poked fun at religion in general and Christianity in particular, appeared in the famous freethought newspapers Truth Seeker, Free-Thought Ideal, and other regional papers. Later, he would write and illustrate The Old Testament Comically Illustrated (1890), and The New Testament Comically Illustrated (1898), which literally depict scenes from the Bible. Famous among these are his depiction of bears eating children while Elijah watches. (Referencing the story in 2 Kings 2:24, in which God sends she bears to eat the children as punishment for calling the prophet "bald head".) In another cartoon, Heston depicts a cave with a sign outside letting readers know that Lot and his daughters are inside. He also lets the reader know that they can turn to Genesis 19:30-38 for the story of incest.
The Bible Comically Illustrated was published in 1900 by Truth Seeker Company and sold at least 10,000 copies. Few copies of this book or his earlier works survive, as most were apparently destroyed by those who did not appreciate such blasphemy. His works can be found on sale from time to time, with the asking prices usually reaching $2,000.
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