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Steve McLachlin – RIP


Newspaper illustrator/cartoonist Steve McLachlin has passed away.

John Stephen (Steve) McLachlin
October 6, 1936 (?) – January 2019


Daytona Beach News-Journal illustrator, cartoonist, and art director 1961 – 2000.

From the obituary:

Family and friends of Steve McLachlin will gather in Ormond Beach next weekend to honor the memory of The News-Journal’s longtime art director and cartoonist, who died in January. He was 82. He was 24 and just days out of Army uniform when then General Manager Tippen Davidson hired him in 1961 as the paper’s first fulltime art director. He retired in 2000, after four decades of award-winning page designs, story illustrations and freewheeling cartoons. Most memorable were his elaborate full-page Christmas drawings, described by News-Journal Columnist Mark Lane as “riotously busy imaginings of a Santa Claus barely able to keep his reindeer under rein.”



Columnist Mark Lane’s tribute.

My favorites were his elaborate, full-color, full-page Christmas drawings that took over the front of the features section every holiday. They were riotously busy imaginings of a Santa Claus barely able to keep his reindeer under rein.

His last one was drawn after the 1998 wildfires. It showed Santa assisting firefighting helicopters by dumping water from his low-flying sleigh as helmeted reindeer worked at smothering the flames in the palmetto brush while smoke rose in the background. It was a Christmas story all our own, drawn at the close of a hard year.

I’m going to miss hearing his stories and world-weary observations told in growly monotone over a beer or several. I was lucky to have worked with McLachlin, and longtime readers were lucky to have regularly picked up a newspaper where his whimsical, deadline-drawn creations leaped from the pages.








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