Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Doug Marlette, World editorial cartoonist, dies in Mississippi accident." -Tulsa World

This just in from the Tulsa World, cartoonist Doug Marlette was killed Tuesday morning in a car crash.

As a fan of his editorial work and his strip Kudzu, I felt the need to post this as soon as I heard. Sincerest condolences are offered to his family, friends, and fans. He was a great cartoonist, and a consummate professional. His light will be missed.


timbenson said...

What a horrible, terrible tragedy. I have his cartoon book "Faux Bubba." He drew two of the greatest political cartoons I saw. One appeared in the Charlotte Observer in 1974. It showed Watergate conspirators, such as H.R. Halderman, John Mitchell, and John Ehrilchman wearing prison garb with their legs shackled by ankle bracelets in a chain gang with a pair of empty ankle braclets at the end of the line. Their shadows are cast on the wall. The empty ankle bracelets cast the shadow of Nixon. The other won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for the Atlanta Constitution. He drew a picture of a grandfather with his grandson on his knee. The Grandfather says to the grandson."President?...No child, But you can grow up to be Front-runner." That was the year Jesse Jackson fell short to Michael Dukakis, who the Rapid City Journal endorsed that year. Marlette was also featured in one of my favorite cartoon books, "The Gang of Eight." Ironically, he died nearly the same way as David Halberstam, who also was killed in an auto accident after meeting with students to share with them his craft. God works in mysterious ways. I was at the Washington Post in 2002 during the A.A.E.C. convention when Post publisher Ben Bradlee announced to all the cartoonists in attendance, paying homage to the recently departed Herblock, that Marlette had accepted a position with the Tulsa World. You could of heard a pin drop. Pulitzer winners like Clay Bennett, David Horsey, Michael Ramirez, Steve Benson, Walt Handelsman, and Tom Toles, who replaced Herblock as the Post cartoonist, reacted to the news in stunned silence that the great Marlette would have to accept a position as cartoonist for a second-tier newspaper in light of the fact that cartoonist openings were available at the Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe. If they were create a Mount Rushmore featuring political cartoonists, he would be featured along with Herblock, MacNelly, and Paul Conrad. I haven't felt this bad since MacNelly died seven years ago.

timbenson said...

I made a mistake in my previous posting. I should have wrote the Tallahassee, FL. Democrat, instead of the Tulsa World, his current employer. Marlette will be greatly missed as an artist and as a writer.

jason folkerts said...

I concur with Tim, when I was in college in the late 80's Marlette had a huge influence on me and my art. He did a series of toons on PTL/Jim Bakker that are considered classic. A great force has left the building of Editorial Cartooning. I am also in agreement with Tim on how sad it is that papers across the nation are slashing, cutting and discontinuing cartoonists on the oped pages. It's tragic and unfortunate - I belive that editorial cartooning can capture an issue unlike any other medium. A powerful image sticks with you far beyond anything else - especially in politics. Tho' Marlette needed to go second tier - his work never was second rate. He was a class act in cartooning.

Jackilope said...

Thanks for posting this and bringing it to our attention John.

Tragic and sad news indeed.