Jerry Palen – RIP

STAMPEDE cartoonist Jerry Palen has passed away.

Jerry Joseph Palen
July 9, 1943 – November 25, 2021

rancher, painter, sculptor, cartoonist

From the obituary:

In 1964, Jerry married Ann Prosser, his high school sweetheart whom he met in art class at Central High. The couple interrupted their studies at the University of Wyoming to move to Santa Barbara, California, so that Jerry could study art under Nicholas Firfires, a well-known western artist.

In 1973, with two small children and no savings, they moved to Ann’s family ranch to start Jerry’s career as a cartoonist and artist. The STAMPEDE cartoon series was created centering around husband-and-wife characters Elmo and Flo whose struggles as a family and in agriculture were balanced by humor and wit.

From Virmuze:

Jerry Palen’s passion has always been art, and in 1973 he acted on that passion by submitting ten cartoons to the editor of Western Horseman Magazine. The editor was impressed and paid Palen $5.00 for all ten cartoons. When asked what the series would be called, Palen’s response was “Stampede,” although, as he’s stated in interviews, he had no idea where the name came from.

During the course of its 43 year run Stampede became the largest weekly syndicated cartoon feature in the agriculture sector of both the United States and Canada, reaching a weekly audience of more than 2 million readers via newspapers and magazines, as well as books of collected works and a yearly calendar.

By the Fall of 1973 the comic panel starring ranchers/farmers Flo and Elmo was being syndicated to newspapers. Jerry continued the feature though the end of 2015 when he stopped creating new cartoons due to rheumatoid arthritis.


From The Caspar Star-Tribune dated December 6, 2015:


Every President since Jimmy Carter has used his bronze sculptures for presentations and official gifts. Jerry has done several monumental bronzes around the state, and the latest one is a seven-foot monument of the Wyoming artist Bill Gollings. This bronze is in front of the Wyoming Arts Council building across the street from the Capitol in Cheyenne.



The Virmuze link above has a gallery of Flo and Elmo cartoons,
while Jerry’s website has comics, paintings, and sculpted works.

all art © Jerry Palen