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Randy Glasbergen, one of the most prolific cartoonists ever, passes at age 58 (UPDATED)

Randy Glasbergen, who is perhaps one of the most prolific cartoonists in America, has passed away at the age of 58. During his career he was the cartoonist for The Better Half which he took over in 1982 and just retired last year to concentrate on his cartoon licensing operation Glasbergen Cartoon Service. He also did a panel called Glasbergen Cartoons that ran on GoComics, a panel called Thin Lines that launched through Creators Syndicate.

No details on the cause of death quite yet. My condolences to his family, friends and all who were touched by his life and work.


Update Aug 12, 2015: I received an email from Randy’s wife, Karen, with some details regarding his health leading up to his passing. She writes:

He was fine on Thursday morning when I left for work, felt ill at 10:00, took him to the doctor?s at 2:00, one hospital by 4:00, transferred to another by 1:00 AM Friday. He had some kind of infection that they were trying to identify, at 9:30 Friday night he had a cardiac arrest that he did not recover from.

Randy leaves behind four children and seven grandchildren.

One last note. Karen and one of their daughters will continue to run Randy’s Glasbergen Cartoon Services business. No custom work will be done, but he’s left behind such a large catalog of work that they’ll be able to keep his work alive and in the public eye.

Community Comments

#1 Mark Marderosian
@ 6:55 pm

I’m stunned to read this. I only knew him through his work. Work that never, and I mean never, failed to make me smile if not laugh out loud.
I remember subscribing to the old Cartoon World 30 years ago and he was already cranking away with one beautifully drawn gag panel cartoon after another. What an inspiration.
Sincere sympathy wishes to his family and friends.

#2 Keith Brown
@ 8:03 pm

Oh no. Damn,

#3 Joe Engesser
@ 8:11 pm

Saddened to hear of Randy’s sudden passing…especially at such a young age. Was truly the gag master and model for all magazine tooners. God Bless and comfort to all those close to him.

#4 Dave Stephens
@ 8:53 pm

Astonishingly prolific and generous with advice and counsel ? sad news indeed.
Prayers to the family …

#5 David Smith
@ 9:28 pm

Very sad to hear this. I remeber when i was starting out with my interest in cartooning, i borrowed allot of how to books from the libraray. The ones i enjoyed using most were the ones by mr. Glasbergen. Wheb i started doing my webcomic i took allot of my style from the different cartoonists i learned from. But i especially remember how i drew the hands for my characters came directly from what I learned from Mr Glasbergen’s books. I’m friends with him on Facebook as are many other people who are fans of his. But I know that I for one will miss seeing his cartoons posted on Facebook everyday. Rest in peace Mr Glasbergen, you were truly an inspiration to me and many other cartoonist.

#6 Carl Moore
@ 9:46 pm

Randy Glasbergen was a cartoon machine. One of the best. RIP

#7 John Glynn
@ 11:24 pm

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

RIP Randy

#8 Phil Judd
@ 11:54 pm

Shocking and hard to believe…a real example and inspiration. Thoughts with his family…

#9 Hagen Cartoons
@ 1:56 am

Such a sad news. Randy was one of my favourite cartoonist. My thoughts are with his friends and family. What a loss…

#10 Rocky Sawyer
@ 3:55 am

Bye.. buy …American pie..RIP Randy

#11 Jef Mallett
@ 5:58 am

Oh, no. He was one of my earliest heroes and influences, and he never stopped being a hero and an influence.

#12 Dave Blazek
@ 6:48 am

What a workhorse. Man could craft a cartoon. There’s a big hole in the cartooning world right now. Damn.

#13 Tom Stemmle
@ 7:13 am

A great cartoon mind. And a great cartoon style! His volume of work was beyond belief. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered. Condolences to his family and to all who love the genre of the gag cartoon.

#14 John Zakour
@ 7:16 am

Yeah, this is a terrible (and very early loss) for the cartooning world and the world in general.

#15 Dave Boatman
@ 7:48 am

So shocked and sad to hear the news of Randy’s passing. Way to young for such a talented and truly funny gentleman. Cartoonland is in mourning. My thoughts and prayers are with Randy’s family.

#16 Stacy Curtis
@ 7:58 am

Randy’s cartoons were some of the first I ever saw. He had a great style and a wonderful sense of humor. His cartoons seem to have been everywhere, which is a sign he was a great businessman as well. He’s already missed. RIP Randy.

#17 Mike Lester
@ 8:09 am

Stunned, shocked and angry. God bless him and his family in what has to be an incredibly difficult time.

#18 Jason Nocera
@ 8:41 am

RIP Randy Glasbergen. He had a wonderful style and really knew how to open up and find new markets. I’ll miss seeing new work from him. Thoughts and prayers to his family during this difficult time.

#19 Mitchell Berger
@ 9:08 am

I never met Randy, but I knew his work. There are too few cartoonists who can consistently make you laugh and he was one f them. And he could be funny with words and pictures and could marry them together with the best of them. Peg and I send our love to his family and friends.

#20 JIm Sherman
@ 9:41 am

Randy has been an inspiration as long as I can remember, growing up in the same town, having the same Art Teacher Fred Buhner and sitting in the same art classrooms only 6 years behind Randy, His influence is immeasurable, I always look up to Randy’s success and was proud to have had the blessing of knowing him.
God Bless his Family and Friends, he will be missed.

#21 John Rose
@ 10:06 am

I am so sorry to read this! I never had the pleasure of meeting Randy, but I always loved his work! Especially on The Better Half for King Features. I even have a book collection of that feature. I will miss him. He made so many people smile each day.

#22 Steve Skelton
@ 10:14 am

Such sad news….RIP Randy. I always admired your wit and economy of line. Condolences to your family.

#23 Michael Pohrer
@ 10:50 am

That is some sad news.
God Bless his Immediate Family and Friends.
Devastating that another prolific funny man has passed.

#24 Hilary Price
@ 11:02 am

So sad to learn about Randy Glasbergen’s passing. He was a such a gifted and prolific gag cartoonist! My condolences to his family.

#25 Drew Litton
@ 11:07 am

Oh My Gosh, this is horrible news. I am deeply saddened to hear this. He was so very talented and extremely prolific. In a world in need of laughter, Randy brought it in bucketfuls. He will be very much missed. Hugs and prayers go out to his family and friends.

#26 Susan Camilleri Konar
@ 11:07 am

Very sorry to read the news about Randy. Always a gentleman anytime I had the pleasure of communicating with him.

#27 Rina piccolo
@ 11:27 am

How sad ? what a great cartoonist and gag writer…. My condolences to his family and friends Xox

#28 Brian Basset
@ 12:02 pm

Stunned and very sad to hear of Randy’s passing. Hug those you love today and forever.

#29 Tom Falco
@ 12:09 pm

Loved his work. Always funny and clever.

#30 Lucas Turnbloom
@ 12:17 pm

That’s so sad. My condolences to his family and friends.

#31 Jennifer Glasbergen-Ashton
@ 12:20 pm

Randy was my Dad. I take such comfort in reading all if your kind words. Thank you.

#32 Speedy Zawistowski
@ 12:21 pm

Randy was a great cartoonist, always made me laugh.
Condolences to his family.

#33 Robin Crossman
@ 12:45 pm

Very sad indeed :-( Although I never met Mr. Glasbergen his work inspired me daily. If not for his influence I would never have become a cartoonist. Thank you Randy. You will be greatly missed.

#34 Mitch Augustyn
@ 1:10 pm

i was deeply saddened to her of Randy Glasbergens passing. My sisters had his father as an elementary teacher. he was married to the sister of my High School classmate. I was always a fan and always proud to point out his comics to friends anytime I saw his work. So sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and friends. One of the great Cartoonists and Humorists of our time. RIP Randy

#35 Mike Baldwin
@ 1:48 pm

This is so sad, My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. I’ve always admired Randy’s work, sense of humor, style and artistic energy, not to mention his entrepreneurial spirit. A one man dynamo. He lives on his incredible body of work and in the laughter and joy it will no doubt continue to bring to this world.

#36 Kerry G. Johnson
@ 1:58 pm

I am so sorry to hear this news about Randy. He connected with me via social media a few times and he even sent me a couple of his books for guidance. Cool Brother, I will keep his family in my prayers.

#37 Dave Kellett
@ 2:30 pm

I never had the good luck to meet him, and I wish I had: I would’ve told him what a wonderful inspiration and help he was to me in my cartooning. His work was always so joy-filled, so energetic, so optimistic. And as a kid, I internalized so much of his kindly shared words of advice. He really paid it forward to the art of cartooning.

I never met him, and yet am genuinely heartbroken: What a great gift to have known him through his art. What a loss that he’s gone. All love to his family and friends at this devastating news.

#38 Charles Brubaker
@ 2:47 pm

Like everyone else, I’m saddened to learn his sudden death. I never got to meet him, but I wish I had. His passion and drive in cartooning never ceased to amaze me.

#39 Barb Anderson
@ 2:51 pm

This is not only a huge loss to the cartoon world but also to humanity. Randy has made me smile and laugh since we were kids. My heart breaks for the wonderful family Randy has left behind. Karen’s love, respect, and pride in Randy’s work is astounding and proven by her efforts to continue it. I think that is an amazing tribute to such a wonderful man. God Bless you all! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

#40 Stuart Haywood
@ 7:15 pm

I’ve been a big fan of Randy’s over in Australia for many years and start every work day looking at his daily cartoon and work colleagues have gotten use to them turning up on notice boards. I payed to use some in a presentation a few years ago and his amazing incite to the human condition called life drew many laughs from am appreciative audience and his emails organising it were very thankful and supportive. His work was so prolific that when the same cartoon came up 2 days in a row I did a quick search and found the news of his passing. We have lost one of the best who through his cartoon didn’t make us laugh at the cartoon but at ourselves. To his family, from across the world in Australia, sincerest condolences. God Bless

#41 Dam Reynolds
@ 7:54 pm

May you rest in God’s peace, Randy.

#42 Tom Cheney
@ 8:09 pm

Randy was the first cartoonist I ever met back in 1979 when I had just made my perilous leap into full time cartooning. His enthusiasm, energy, ambition, and ability to chew through rejection like a pit bull became my own business model for professional cartooning. His love of the job was contagious, his humor was always bubbling like a volcano ready to erupt, and his ability to pull the most amazing, original ideas out of thin air will never be matched. As much as cartooning can make us suffer at times, cartooning itself is now suffering deeply in Randy’s absence. Thank you, Randy, for showing us how the pros do it.

#43 Oliver Christianson
@ 9:58 pm

What a shock! Rest in Peace, Randy.

Condolences to Karen and the family.

#44 Nate Fakes
@ 4:50 am

Such a sad loss! Though I never met him personally, he was kind enough to help me via emails in the cartooning biz when I was starting off. Very awesome cartoonist and great person. RIP Randy….

#45 Diane Sheldon
@ 5:28 am

Karen, my heart is breaking for you. Over the years of our professional association, then personal association which melded into warm friendship. I have often found myself in awe of the deep love you have had the privilege to share with Randy. Such a sweet, smart, funny man. I know you loved him dearly and he loved you as well. May he rest in peace and may you find peace during the trying times you face now. If there is ANYTHING I can do or if there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to ask. From my heart … to yours.

#46 Paul Giambarba
@ 6:25 am

My sincere sympathy and condolences to Mrs. Glasbegen, her family, and all those who loved Randy. May his remarkable soul rest in everlasting peace.

#47 Joan Corwin
@ 7:22 am

My mornings just got a bit dimmer. Randy’s daily cartoon online guaranteed a smile. He had a wonderful view of life and the world – both business and home. Like many others, I am thankful for all he shared with us. My condolences to his family.

#48 Helene Parsons
@ 7:26 am

So terribly sad to hear about Randy’s passing. The cartoon community has lost a great one. My sincerest condolences to his family.

#49 Jon Hughes
@ 7:47 am

RIP :( I learned to draw cartoons from his book Toons, if it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be cartooning today at all.

#50 Mike Cope
@ 8:12 am

My sincere condolences to Karen and family. Some years back, I used to tally the results of a purely fun weekly cartoon contest called “Cartoon of the Week” on the cartoonists discussion forum, The Wisenheimer (hosted by Ted Goff). The top three entries of COTW were determined by professional peer voting. I honestly lost track of how many times Randy placed in the top 3. One of the best compliments a cartoonist can ever receive is the grumble of a peer admitting, “*Darn* Wish I’d have thought of that one!”… Randy truly was a top notch cartoonist. He will be missed.

#51 Darrin Bell
@ 8:21 am

I never met Randy. I seem to remember arguing with him from time to time on the old Wisenheimer, but I was always blown away by how easy he made cartooning look. His work was as close to perfect as they come.

#52 Mike Shapiro
@ 9:12 am

Really sad news. His work has been everywhere for so long. Very nice guy. Way too young to go.

#53 Paul Glasbdrgrn
@ 5:33 pm

Although we share the same surname, we are not related (at least closely). I loved his cartoon Comic characters. The world has lost a wonderful talented man. My sympathy to his family and friends.

#54 Tom Milutinovic
@ 5:36 pm

What a shock to learn of Randy’s sudden passing. He was a big part of the cartooning community. Randy’s prolific output of art has left a lasting legacy.

#55 Jon Peterson
@ 12:15 am

When my newspaper cartoon strip “Mr. Flugg” was cancelled by NEA Randy wrote to me how much he enjoyed it. I never met Randy personally but always had a warm feeling about him as a person and a cartoonist. He was a rarity and saddened with this news.

#56 Joe Vissichelli
@ 8:51 am

Never met him, but I always respected him and I feel the loss. A niche unto himself ? a very broad one ? with that unique style and constantly great humor. You always knew a Glasbergen cartoon would be funny. Sad for the family but glad he’ll keep providing for them. The man was amazing.

#57 Karsten Schley
@ 9:49 am

As many cartoonists, I was influenced a lot by Randy Glasbergen’s style and humour. He once brought me to The Wisenheimer cartoonists’ board and helped me to develope my own work. Although we never met I’ll miss this modest, brilliant cartoonist. My deepest condolences to his family.

#58 Jon Carter
@ 3:34 pm

I can’t say anything here that already hasn’t been said about a giant in the industry. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Glasbergen family. His cartooning “family” will truly miss him.

#59 Elaine Cartwright
@ 11:18 am

Every day I looked forward to seeing what Glasbergen cartoon would be in my email. His cartoons were simple yet spot on! Such sad news. I will miss his talent. RIP.

#60 Alex Howell
@ 1:30 pm

So very sad to hear of Randy’s passing. He was a great talent and a wonderful person. I didn’t know him personally, but I knew him through his humor, art, books and interviews. I’m very proud to say we worked for some of the same cartoon outlets. I was always a fan, and I regret never having any communications or meetings with him. He will truly be missed.
My deepest heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his family and friends. God bless.

#61 Ron Fragman
@ 9:34 am

So sad to hear the news of Randy’s passing. My thoughts and prayers to the family! I looked forward every single morning to seeing what funny, witty cartoon was waiting. When they stopped, I was almost afraid to ‘Google’ his name for fear of what turned out to be true. Being born also in ’57 hits home just how much to soon a great talent was taken from us. Condolences

#62 Thom Bluemel
@ 1:48 pm

Very sad to lose such a comic giant at such an early age. Truly, Randy was one of the good guys. God bless and keep Randy and his family.

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