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Ray Collins – RIP

Cartoonist and newspaperman Ray Collins has passed away.


Ramon Ward (Ray) Collins
March 17, 1931 – March 28, 2021

 

From the obituary:

After Korea, Ray returned to work at the Seattle Post Intelligencer where he had started as a copy boy upon leaving school. This led to a 30-year career with the newspaper, initially working in the art department, becoming Art Director of Magazines in 1964 and a political cartoonist in 1970. He studied art with Bill Cummings and Guy Anderson to perfect his craft and was highly influenced by the cartoon greats Herblock and Herriman.

His cartoon strip “Cecil and Dipstick” [originally “Cecil C. Addle”] appeared on the Op-Ed page from 1975 to 1979 and offered social and political commentary on the affairs of the day. Ray was above all a true artist and his acute sense of the absurd and his unique perspective made his beautifully drawn cartoons an important voice in Seattle during the turbulent times of the 1970s.

A small Cecil & Dipstik archive is here.


cartoons © Ray Collins

Ray retired to Chapala, Mexico in 1985 where he and wife Nicky lived for almost 4 years, but the lack of curb cuts and the urge to draw brought them to Boulder City NV, a small town in the Mohave desert, southeast of Las Vegas, in 1989. Ray’s cartoon sheet “The Bolder Bugle” (“bent but not broken”) helped to defeat a proposed 1,900 acre landfill and caused quite an upset in local elections. Soon his characters Boulder Dan and Dipstik Duck were making an appearance in the local Boulder City and Henderson papers.

Ray first started to show symptoms of ALS in the late 1970s but continued to draw and worked in televisionWhen his ability to draw was lost to ALS, Ray turned his hand to writing short stories.

In 2009 Ray was interviewed about his writing career:

Mother Nature staggered me in late rounds with a solid left hook–Primary Lateral Sclerosis, the Prof. Stephen Hawking Disease–thirty years ago.

I was a pretty fair men’s room newspaper staff artist and cartoonist in Seattle before I started to lose small-muscle control in my hands. To stay involved with the creative act, I started studying, and writing, fiction in 1997. I instinctively was drawn to the Micro craft because I type with one (1) finger and a cartoon is a form of short-short fiction–you don’t tell about characters and settings, you show it.

 

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