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Etta Hulme passes age 90

Sad news from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Etta Hulme, a longtime Star-Telegram editorial cartoonist who rose to national prominence with her understated drawing style and liberal-leaning wit, died Wednesday at her Arlington home.

Mrs. Hulme, who had been in poor health in recent years, was 90.

She was one of the few women ever hired as a full-time newspaper editorial cartoonist.

Twice, in 1982 and 1998, she was named best editorial cartoonist by the National Cartoonist Society. And she was elected president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.

Read the rest of the obit to get a sense of her incredible life and career.

I met Etta a couple of times at AAEC conventions. I always say cartoonists are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Etta has to be in the top five. Ever.

My condolences to her family and friends.

Here’s video of Etta in a documentary about her work.

Community Comments

#1 Randy Glasbergen
June/27/2014
@ 10:02 am

I grew up reading Etta’s cartoons in my local newspaper that ran all of the NEA comics. As a kid / teen I never cared for most editorial cartoons, but Etta’s always seemed more friendly, more fun, not as heavy or prickly as the others. I always enjoyed reading them.

#2 D. D. Degg
June/27/2014
@ 11:49 am

As Etta Parks, her 1950/51 comic book covers:
http://www.comics.org/issue/229117/cover/4/
http://www.comics.org/issue/229119/cover/4/
http://www.comics.org/issue/229120/cover/4/
http://www.comics.org/issue/229121/cover/4/
http://www.comics.org/issue/229122/cover/4/

#3 Brian Fairrington
June/27/2014
@ 1:12 pm

She was always so nice and generous?and one really great cartoonist with a warm natural style.

#4 Scott Stantis
June/27/2014
@ 1:18 pm

One of the most underrated cartoonists in history. No doubt in my mind. I mean, think about, a liberal drawing in 1970’s Texas. A woman in a profession long before any others. She deserved a Pulitzer Prize. She won the hearts of anyone who met her. Among the truly great humans I have ever met. RIP cowgirl. You will be missed.

#5 Clay Jones
June/27/2014
@ 2:42 pm

I hate to sound like a broken record but she was definitely one of the nicest, if not the very nicest, cartoonists and individuals I have ever met. I didn’t get to know her well but we met a few times and I knew her work. She was and will always remain a giant in our profession.

I can’t trump what Scott Stantis wrote. I’m sad to hear of her passing. She will remain a giant in our field. I will always remain a fan.

Clay Jones

#6 Stacy Curtis
June/27/2014
@ 3:01 pm

She had a great style both on paper and in person.
She was great.
Truthful, wonderful words about Etta, Scott.

#7 b.j. dewey
June/27/2014
@ 7:12 pm

Hulme was a special cartoonist and a very special human being. Even when I didn’t understand the local politics behind one of her cartoons, the humor was there. I agree with others that she should have won a Pulitzer. Thanks, Alan, for the article and video. My sympathies to the Hulme family.

#8 Steve Artley
June/28/2014
@ 3:36 am

I absolutely loved Etta. I’m saddened to hear of her passing. It was a real pleasure knowing her since the mid 1980’s. It was such fun hanging with her and Karen Fischetti at the AAEC conventions. She was president of the AAEC when we went to the Reagan White House ion 1986. Etta’s wit and Southern charm, combined with her keen insights and unwavering integrity carried well into her cartooning. Her political commentaries made Etta one of the lone stars of reason in Texas. She truly was one of the greats and for me one of the finest human beings I’ve known.

#9 JD Crowe
July/1/2014
@ 9:34 am

Etta was a treasure. Nobody enjoyed being a cartoonist and being around cartoonists as much as Etta. I was lucky to have her around when I was just a young dork cutting my cartooning teeth at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the 80’s. Her joyous spirit shined through even her most biting cartoons. She was a charming, roundish motherly spirit, but Texas politicians who got in her cross-hairs thought she was mean as a snake. She loved that more than anything — making the right people mad. I learned more from Etta than I can share here. We were blessed with her presence.

#10 Mark Hill
July/4/2014
@ 11:55 am

Etta was great lady and cartoonist. Scott and clay are right…she deserved a Pulitzer Prize.

As SteveI A. said, she was the AAEC president during the convention in DC with the visit to the Reagan White House. (Slight correction: that was 1987, not 1986.)

I had the chance to meet her at that AAEC convention, (I was just a kid, fresh out of college), and she was very kind and gracious.

Here is a White House video which features Etta talking with Reagan, who is addressing the AAEC cartoonists in the Rose Garden. She appears at the 7:29 mark, with a drawing from all of the AAEC cartoonists. And again at 11:30 (right about when Sam Donaldson pops up over the fence near the end, to grill Reagan about Iran Contra.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3QitAeO8OU

Condolences to her family.

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