Sandy Huffaker – RIP

Illustrator and editorial cartoonist Sandy Huffaker has passed away.

Calvin Sanford (Sandy) Huffaker, Sr.
September 23, 1943 – May 23, 2020

From the obituary:

Huffaker was a highly acclaimed political cartoonist who started his career with The Birmingham News and the Raleigh News and Observer. He later moved to New York City and illustrated covers and articles for such publications such as Time Magazine, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Businessweek, People and Fortune Magazine.  Some of the accolades awarded for his artwork include two Page-One Awards from the New York Newspaper Guild,three nominations for Cartoonist-of-the-Year by the National Cartoonists Society, A Desi Award of Excellence (Graphic Design Magazine), 20 Award Of Merit citations from the Society of Illustrators, and was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for illustration.

Sandy Huffaker’s political cartooning years spanned the exciting years of the 1960s, through the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and current events from the Nixon administration up through the Trump administration, always bringing his own original stamp of wit, truth, and humor.

Birmingham News editorial cartoonist 1966-1968
Raleigh News and Observer editorial cartoonist 1969-1971

above an early News and Observer cartoon; a later one below

In late 1971 Sandy gave up the salary of the N&O staff cartoonist to go freelance.
A wise decision given the success that followed. From a 1977 profile:

From a 2012 Chattanooga Pulse profile:

During one week at the peak of his career as an illustrator, Sandy Huffaker had assignments from Time, Sports Illustrated and Businessweek. He had to turn down a fourth assignment that week from Newsweek. “I just didn’t have time,” says the Chattanooga-born artist during a phone interview from his home in tiny Raphine, Va.

The 1970s were the “glory days,” Huffaker says, for himself and a stable of talented illustrators whose work routinely found itself on the covers of the nation’s premier newsmagazines and in the pages of The New York Times. For the better part of that decade, Huffaker was among an elite breed of commercial artists…working during a remarkable period when art directors routinely turned to illustration to give comic relief to the country’s deeply serious and dark problems. From civil rights and the women’s movement to Vietnam and Watergate, the gas crisis and inflation to the rise of Jimmy Carter, Huffaker mined a deep well of material ripe for his brand of visual wit and caustic satire.


From that 2012 article:

Distanced from politics for some 20 years, Huffaker says the events of 9/11 revived his political cartooning career, which continues to this day. His work is syndicated to hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the world, but he maintains a slower pace, reflecting the calm nature of his life in rural Virginia.

Sandy’s Association of American Editorial Cartoonists profile page.

Sandy’s most recent cartoon archive at Cagle Cartoons.

For a while, ten years ago, Sandy blogged his opinions on cartooning and stuff.

Sandy’s homepage with cartoons, illustrations, and art.

below Sandy says goodbye to the News and Observer on December 1, 1971.

2 thoughts on “Sandy Huffaker – RIP

  1. A blow to every humorous illustrator. I was in h.s. when I first saw his work grew up admiring his ability to capture players in a new Jack Davis style. Not easy to do what he did and he did it better than anybody. God bless Mr. Huffaker.

  2. From 1974 to 1981 Sandy did a lot of those “AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR” cartoons in Dynamite magazine. They were called according to the table of contents “BADvertising”.

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