Gary Varvel Takes Indy Star/Gannett Buyout


From the Indianapolis Star farewell column by Gary Varvel:

After 24 years as IndyStar’s cartoonist, I’ve drawn nearly 8,000 cartoons, including those of Bill Clinton’s boxers, George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s ears and Donald Trump’s hair. Today’s will be my last.

I have chosen to take Gannett’s early retirement offer.

Though Gary will no longer be working for The Indy Star he will continue cartooning:

I’m leaving but not retiring. Thanks to Creators Syndicate I will continue to draw cartoons and people can still see my work in publications around the country and on Facebook, Twitter and my other social media platforms.

But the cartoons may come at a slower pace as other projects fill his time.

• Movies: In the past I’ve written about House of Grace Films, a Christian film company, run by my oldest son, Brett. Together we co-wrote and produced The Board in 2009 and The War Within in 2014, which won seven film festival awards. It would be a dream come true to continue that work full time.

• Books: I’m finally going to publish another compilation book of my editorial cartoons and include some columns. I’ve written and illustrated a children’s book,
“The Good Shepherd” in 2014 and illustrated “Old Whiskers Escapes” last year. I dream of becoming the next Dr. Seuss.

• Public speaking: I’ve done a lot of it during my career. I have a killer PowerPoint presentation.

• News: Some of my former colleagues are working for digital news sites on what George Bush called “the internets.” I’m open to offers.

Finally, if none of these work out, I have a very promising and lucrative opportunity that was emailed to me by a Nigerian prince.


Gary’s full farewell message can be read at the Indianapolis Star, with a slide show of highlights.


Update: More about the Indianapolis Star/Gannett buyouts at the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Gannett President and CEO Bob Dickey:

“We are taking this step because we expect the [early-retirement offer] to provide the company with additional financial flexibility as we continue to align our business with changing customer needs,” Dickey’s note said.

Dickey noted that previous early-retirement offers by Gannett had been “well-received by our employees as a benefit for those who want to retire or potentially transition to a next career—and from time to time, some employees have expressed interest in having the company offer another early-retirement offering.”




3 thoughts on “Gary Varvel Takes Indy Star/Gannett Buyout

  1. Well. He was a good draftsman, and he got under my skin at times (which is a compliment to a cartoonist on the other side). A drawing he did a couple of years ago of Trump standing in a boat, shooting through the deck, was admirably executed—almost a movie. He never seemed to connect his support for Trump to Trump’s behavior in office, but that goes with the job a lot.

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