Children’s Book 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 are published by Abrams/Amulet. Engine of Change, latest in the Middle Reader series, comes out in October of 2023.

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

The New Switcheroo (Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines #2)

Amulet Books |

After unintentionally unmasking a criminal mastermind at his school’s Contraption Convention, Rube Goldberg—and his inventions—are the talk of the sixth grade. Rube’s star is on the rise, and it’s a lot of pressure. What if he’s lost his mojo? There’s no time to wonder, because Rube and his two best friends, Boob and Pearl, are busy planning Pearl’s campaign for class president. With the Switcheroo Dance a weekend before the big election, Pearl’s path to victory is set. That is, until a new mystery strikes the town. Rube is eager to bring Zach into the fold, but Boob and Pearl can’t help but wonder if Rube’s mysterious new friend is hiding something . . . will Rube get his mojo back in time to unravel the mystery and save Pearl’s campaign?

Hijinks and hilarity abound in this dynamic follow-up to Rube Goldberg and His Amazing Machines, written by bestselling author Brandon T. Snider and featuring black-and-white illustrations by Ed Steckley.

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.

Drawing Caricature and Humor

A comprehensive lecture on the history of caricature utilizing historical examples, visuals and examples of it’s use throughout history.  Followed by my personal experience and love for the art, and how that applies to various other forms of art and illustration.  Ending with a live caricature demo session and Q&A. Chock full of visuals, anecdotes, and lots of live drawing!

All ages

Art Instruction: From Traditional to Digital Art

A talk geared towards the psychology of drawing.  How an artist’s mindset and attitude translates into the work.  Includes a short history of various types of art, from caricature as a means of political and sociological expression, to editorial illustration and beyond.
Includes a comprehensive slideshow with examples, and ends with a live drawing session and Q&A
Ages 13 & up

Drawing and Painting: The Process

A technical presentation on a number of painting techniques, with examples of each.  Then a step by step demonstration of how I incorporate tools and techniques that best serve the project at hand- from traditional media to digital.  Live drawing, and lively Q&A.
Ages 10 & up

Rube Goldberg and the History of Cartooning

From the early days of newspapers when publishers found that visual storytelling would help to attract viewers, how artists and cartoonists have evolved the art of cartooning to attract and keep their readers engaged.  Special focus given to historic comics, editorial cartoons, and Rube Goldberg in particular as an example of how the past has helped shape the current state of cartooning.
Ages 10 & up

Rube Goldberg Machine Creation

For the STEM/STEAM minded, we discuss my process for creating Rube Goldberg machines.  From entering the mindset of an engineer, all the way towards execution of the final art, using humor and ridiculous innovation to create these funny, overly complicated and delightful contraptions.  Live drawing, audience interaction, and lots of Q&A and anecdotes make this fun for machine builders of all ages.
All ages

Ed’s Portfolio

Ed’s Merchandise

Ed’s Blog

Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention Exhibit!

Honors, Awards & Recognition

National Cartoonists Society’s top award winner for Best in Book Illustration
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement
Divisional Reuben Award from National Cartoonists Society for Best in Advertising Illustration
Book Illustration
Magazine Illustration
Parents Choice Gold Award

Media Kit

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

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