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Cartoonists in the news: John Graziano

The St. Petersburg Times has a write up on John Graziano who draws the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! feature.

First drawn nearly 90 years ago by Robert L. Ripley, the illustrations have a distinct mission: Bring the unusual to people.

“Everybody is always curious about something out of the ordinary or different than what they’re used to,” said Graziano. “Ripley knew that. He would go to a different country, observe a custom and bring back to us what he found through his cartoons and later, attractions.”

Ripley started Ripley Entertainment Inc., an attractions empire that today consists of a worldwide chain of museums, aquariums, wax museums, minigolf courses, arcades, a resort, a TV series, publications and, of course, the cartoon that started it all.

Graziano, a New Jersey native, is the fifth to draw the cartoon since Ripley’s first appeared in the New York Globe in 1918.

“It can be hard to come up with stuff that no one’s seen yet,” Graziano said. “Ripley traveled the world beating the bushes for stuff. When people asked him, ‘Where do you come up with your material?’ Ripley replied, ‘Everywhere and all the time.’ “

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