Royal Bruce Montgomery, publisher of The Block Island Times from1999 to 2006, and editorial cartoonist since 1998, died on Thursday, July 5, at the age of 78. His obituary appears on page 22.
ROYAL BRUCE MONTGOMERY
August 5, 1939 – July 5, 2018
[Bruce] began doing pen and inks of the island birds and bugs, and began drawing a cartoon for the paper in 1996, which ranged from poking fun at the tourists, to harpooning the town hall. In 1999, Bruce bought The Block Island Times and as publisher and chief cartoonist, he continued to report on the place he loved. His opinions weren’t always popular, but they were always from his heart.
The new owner of The Times, Jeffrey McDonough of Jamestown, happily showed no such constraint. So there it was on the editorial page of Jan. 3, 1998, that first cartoon bearing the small signature in a corner, Royal Bruce. And there, thank goodness, his drawings and his wit have continued to appear for two decades and three different publishers.
A small archive of Royal Bruce editorial cartoons for The Block Island Times.
The Dump Funnies: Compliments of Royal Bruce Ink (scroll down page).
Bruce Montgomery said he bought The Block Island Times so that he could continue to be the newspaper’s cartoonist.
And what a cartoonist he was.
In his whimsical illustrations and in the captions he wrote to go with them, he used his observations of islanders and island life to make humorous comments and often, to poke fun at himself.
No matter how weighty the topic, Bruce saw the lighter side.
His cartoons brought a comic touch to issues such as the over-population of deer, summer traffic, the seasonal need for bicycle paths, the arrival of tourists in droves and the relief at seeing them leave, and even the sensitive subject of a mainlander’s desire to be buried on Block Island.