Phil Jackson – RIP

Editorial cartoonist Phil Jackson has passed away.

…the former Ludington Daily News cartoonist left the accompanying cartoon at Cornerstone Baptist Church, where he long had been an active member. He left instructions that it was for publication in the Daily News when he died.

Phillip (Phil) Jackson
August 14, 1922 – August 24, 2018
Newport News, Orlando Sentinel, Toledo Blade, Ludington Daily News

From the 2010 Ludington Daily News article on Phil’s June 12, 2010 retirement:

While cartoonists are limited in the words they can use in a panel, writers have more leeway. So Phil, 88, sat down and shared the highlights of a cartooning and illustrator career that started about 1950 at the Newport News in Newport, Virginia.

He did a several-year stint there before moving on to the Orlando Sentinel for another 3 to 4 years. There he did front-page cartoons in full color.

“I did one a day, seven days a week. I don’t think I had a day off,” he said.

For that he earned $75 a week plus expenses. He eventually saw that climb to $85 a week, but he wanted $100 a week and the newspaper wouldn’t give it to him. So he changed jobs becoming an art director for a Knoxville, Tennessee, advertising campaign. He stayed a year, but didn’t like the work.

His next stop was at The Toledo Blade where he was editorial artist and cartoonist. He stayed there for 20 years enjoying the work but knowing he had career change in mind .

After some career detours he returned to cartooning for the Ludington Daily News:

Back in Ludington he took a seasonal job with the state park and began visiting the then new publisher of the Ludington Daily News, David Jackson.

“I got acquainted with him and one thing led to another,” Phil said. “He hired me to do three cartoons a week and I was nuts enough to say I would do five.”

And to the end, most weeks he turns in five cartoons.

Phil wanted, in a way, to own the LDN Opinion Page Monday through Friday editorial cartoon spot.

And though in recent years he was asked anew to do just three and share the spot with national cartoonists the Daily News receives through syndicates, he still turned in five. He said every time a syndicated editorial cartoon runs on that spot “it’s like a dagger in the heart.”

Phil did more than newspaper cartoons, too. He produced two books of cartoons for use in church bulletins, was a frequent contributor to Grandparents Magazine, drew cards for American Greetings, and produced various art projects, including prints of Ludington area lighthouses.

Unable to find samples of Phil’s editorial, the above church gag cartoons will give an idea of his art style.