Monday, July 16, 2007

Two passings that should be noted

The cartoon world lost two giants earlier this month. Robert "Buck" Brown passed away at the age of 71. Buck was best known for his Playboy cartoons featuring "Granny" an over-sexed senior citizen (or a senior citizen who wanted to be oversexed might be more accurate) but he sold over 600 cartoons to Playboy and was one of Hugh Hefner's (and my) favorite cartoonists. He also sold cartoons to the New Yorker, Ebony, Jet and Esquire. An African-American, Brown broke into cartooning in the early 60's when most major markets were reluctant (to say the least) to buy work from black cartoonists. The use of color in his cartoons is one of his strongest attributes. He had a unique painterly style. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen, and their two grown children.

And Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist Doug Marlette died on June 10th after an automobile accident. He was visiting Mississippi to help some high-school students with the staging of the musical version of his comic strip "Kudzu." He also syndicated editorial cartoons and wrote an ethics column for Esquire magazine. His first novel "The Bridge" was published in 2001 and has been optioned by Paramount. His second novel "Magic Time" was published in June 2006. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and he has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's Morning News, ABC's Good Morning America, ABC's Nightline, National Public Radio's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and the Jim Lehrer News-Hour. Marlette, 57, is survived by his wife, Melinda, and an adult son, Jackson.

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