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Old Friends – Cartoonist Chronicles210128

“The art editor asked if I would try to develop an animal character that would be distinctively Canadian,” illustrator James Simpkins told Maclean’s magazine in the July 6, 1963, issue. The editor added one condition at that time in 1948. No beavers. The artist accepted the challenge. A bear would fit the bill. A bear named Jasper.

The Kingston Whig Standard recalls one of Canada’s great cartoonists and his cartoons.

Syndicating his cartoon in 1968, Simpkins’ character was published in comic strip form in newspapers across Canada for four years.

hat tip to Canadian ACI and The Dusty Bookcase for a couple images

But my delight at learning about a comic strip I was only vaguely familiar
was overshadowed by the joy of reading the byline: Susanna McLeod!

She was (still is!) a reporter on all things cartoony and her The Cartoonists page
was a regular stop for news and interviews and history. For example:

Norm Feuti, Creator of “Retail” 

February 17, 2006

Mac & Bill King, Creators of “Magic in a Minute”

February 3, 2006

Roy Schneider, An Update Interview with the creator of “The Humble Stumble”

19 January 2006

 Robert L. Ripley, Creator of “Believe it or Not!”

8 January 2006

TheCartoonists.ca

There was the hope in 2019 that her page was returning, but that seems to be on hold. However you can read past entries via The Wayback Machine. Hey Susanna, you don’t know me but you’re an old friend.

Community Comments

#1 Darryl Heine
January/29/2021
@ 3:00 pm

Despite a 4 year Canadian comic strip and still living on as some Canadian mascot or something like that, has there ever been an attempt to make a Jasper the Bear TV cartoon series?

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