Tom Ward – RIP

Cartoonist Tom Ward has passed away.

Thomas Roland (Tom) Ward
June 1, 1928 – August 14, 2020

designer, cartoonist

From the obituary:

After high school in 1946, he asked if the Indianapolis Times would buy his cartoons. He picked up jobs at the Indianapolis Speedway drawing the drivers and cars. His drawings helped him to land a job with Speed Age Magazine and at the age of 19, he had a budding career as a cartoonist for a national magazine and newspaper.


The Korean War changed his career plans. In 1950, he enlisted in the Air Force and married Carol Dartnall on December 23, 1950. He became a map maker due to his artistic abilities … He came back home in 1955 and joined the family business as a designer and sales person for the Indianapolis Chair Co., located in Aurora, IN.

He painted and produced a cartoon “Racing Days” Comic Strip (Main Character Hub Cap & his girlfriend, Bea Sharp) in the Script Howard & Indianapolis Times until the war.

In 2015 Gary Madden, for his The Gentleman From Indiana cartoon/comic blog, wrote a short article about Tom and his Racing Days with Hub Capp comic strip:

The Boy’s Life column goes on about the people Ward met in his season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, nailing the life and lingo of the drivers and mechanics. On April 10, 1950 Racing Days with Hub Capp was copyrighted to appear in The Indianapolis Times, from there the racer disappears in a cloud of smoke and dust. How long the strip ran is a mystery, at least as far as the internet is concerned.

The Boys’ Life article Gary mentioned is from Spring 1949 and about Tom spending a season at The Indy 500 for fun and research, can be read via GoogleBooks.

As noted in the obituary The Korean War crashed his ideas for a syndicated comic strip.

Also the obit mentions a cartoon panel that appeared somewhere, somewhen:

In later years, he produced a single panel cartoon for the local paper for 9 yrs.

That feature remains a mystery to me (it may have been editorial cartooning).


Tom was an only child whose childhood revolved around the creek, river, Boy Scouts, running track at Aurora High School and drawing.

He painted local scenes and paintings of the Aurora area. below: “The Delta Queen”

Godspeed Tom.

3 thoughts on “Tom Ward – RIP

  1. When I began teaching at Penn State, I happened to run into an older professor at breakfast and I mentioned to him that I was apprehensive about an upcoming class I was teaching. “Don’t worry,” he reassured me. “Anything you say will be news to them.” That’s how I feel about this blog (if “blog” is the right word). I’m merely a visitor to the world of cartooning and absolutely everything you say is news to me. And I appreciate it all.

  2. I am surprised there is little information on the web about this man.
    I was an avid comic fan in the 70’s and i barely remember his work though his style was very fine.
    Does anybody know where i can view his cartoons and drawing?

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