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Jerry Van Amerongen Retires, Ballard Street Ends

 

Jerry Van Amerongen has informed fans that he is retiring
and his Ballard Street panel will end March 30, 2019.

DEAR FRIENDS: We interrupt my normal posting for this announcement. After nearly 40 yrs. of syndicated cartooning, and a deadline each day of those 40 yrs., I’m announcing my retirement from syndicated newspaper cartooning. For me the time has come to experience daily living without a daily deadline.

The final Ballard Street cartoon will run on Saturday March 30th. After that date I have no plans, which is the most exhilarating part for me…

 

Jerry tells how his cartooning career began:

In 1978 I was living in Minneapolis with my wife and daughter. I was well along in my corporate Sales and Marketing career, 13 years and counting, when I was gripped by the need to get back to doing something creative with my hands. I just didn’t know what! Back in college I completed a two-year Commercial Art curriculum, after bouncing around in the Liberal Arts for three years. Cartoon-like illustrations were always my strong suite, so I thought I’d try cartooning.

I took some gag cartoons to a monthly community newspaper located in my neighborhood, which was an all-volunteer enterprise, so they could hardly turn me down. After a year I took some of my better efforts to our daily newspaper The Minneapolis Tribune, who agreed to publish my stuff on a weekly basis. Within the next twelve months I sent some of the better work to three national syndicates. I never heard from one, I got a form letter rejection from another and I got a phone call from the third, The Des Moines Register and Tribune Syndicate, with an offer to syndicate.

 


The Neighborhood began syndication on October 6, 1980 (above).

The Neighborhood began in 1978 as a monthly titled
The Neighborhood as Seen by Jerry Van Amerongen.”*
In 1979 The Neighborhood began appearing weekly
in The Minneapolis Tribune as “Neighbors.”*

The Neighborhood was syndicated from October 6, 1980 – July 22, 1990.*
Ballard Street ran from March 4, 1991 – March 30, 2019
* information from American Newspaper Comics by Allan Holtz

 

Jerry’s retirement announcement continues:

I am profoundly grateful to you the readers of Ballard Street and The Neighborhood for your years of continuous interest and support. None of this would have been possible without you.

Earlier in my working life, I never imagined I’d become a nationally syndicated cartoonist, and to have my work shown around the country (and the world!). It has been a life expanding and rewarding experience, and I’m only too aware of just how fortunate I’ve been. So, thank you again dear readers.

While the comics page will be diminished without Jerry’s singular brand of absurdist humor,
we wish him all the best.

 

 

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Charles Brubaker
March/4/2019
@ 3:39 pm

Really saddened to hear that. I got into “Ballard Street” not too long ago and it’s been my daily reads.

Best of luck, Jerry! Hope to see you at NCSFest this May.

#2 Brett Mount
March/5/2019
@ 1:44 am

That’s mixed news – I wish Mr. Van Amerongen the best in his well-deserved retirement, but Ballard Street has been one of the all-time greats.

#3 Richard Peterson
March/5/2019
@ 7:46 am

Thanks for the laughs, you have earned your retirement. My regret is that I learned of Ballard Street only recently and missed out on years of the subtle pleasures of reading it. Looking on the bright side, there is a wealth of archived material out there to enjoy into the future. Good Luck Mr. Van Amerogen, enjoy a long and happy retirement.

#4 P.J. Terryberry
March/5/2019
@ 8:33 am

Sad to see it go. Such a weird funny comic

#5 Kim Cogswell
March/5/2019
@ 8:52 am

Atta boy, Mr Amerongen. Mr Van Amerongen? See how much I don’t even know about you yet, and I’ve been with you since the Pioneer Press days. If you get an idea, don’t be afraid to doodle a little something for us.

#6 Max Nelson
March/5/2019
@ 10:24 am

I only discovered Ballard Street this past year on GoComics. I absolutely love it and will miss it. By the way: Jerry – if you’re reading this I’m a fellow Michigander as well and will be visiting family in GR this summer!

#7 Robert Lavery
March/5/2019
@ 12:10 pm

one of my favorites

#8 David Wade
March/5/2019
@ 3:00 pm

I just started following your strip last year. I hope you’ll let Gocomics rerun your cartoons. I’d love to be able to read them all from the beginning.

Thank you!

#9 Penny Dube
March/5/2019
@ 4:17 pm

I second the rerun request! Ballard Street has been one of my favorites for the last 15 years. It always hits home for me.

#10 D. D. Degg
March/5/2019
@ 7:18 pm

Jerry has mentioned that Ballard Street will continue, as reruns, on GoComics.

#11 Barb Heersink
March/9/2019
@ 5:43 pm

This guy is just the greatest cartoonist ever. I’ve read him for years and have several books of his comics. I look forward to the re-runs. Hey Jerry, with that last name, did you go to Calvin College??

#12 Mike Lester
March/9/2019
@ 8:11 pm

An amazing talent. Nobody’s doing or can do what he does.
If you ever see him you can connect the drawings and humor w/ him.

#13 Larry Habluetzel
March/10/2019
@ 7:51 am

Jerry,
So sad to see that Ballard Street will end. You have made me laugh everyday for years. Ballard Street is my kind of humor and you are a creative genius. I will miss your work. Hopefully, I can look forward to your re-runs. Thanks!

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