Don Asmussen – RIP

Bad Reporter cartoonist Don Asmussen has passed away.

Donald Alan (Don) Asmussen
October 31, 1962 – December 9, 2021

Don has been fighting cancer for a few years, a battle he lost yesterday.

John Backderf has informed us of the sad news.


The San Francisco Chronicle has published a notice:

Don’s loss is absolutely devastating,” said Chronicle editor in chief Emilio Garcia-Ruiz. “He fought a long, determined battle against brain cancer, one from which he finally succumbed yesterday, and our hearts go out to his wife, Kelly, and his daughters.

“It was said of Don that his goal in life was to bring people happiness and make them laugh. He did that not only for friends and family but also for readers in the Bay Area and throughout the nation. He will be dearly missed.”


Another San Francisco media institution, Mark Fiore at KQED, pays tribute.

Before working at the Chronicle, Don drew for The San Francisco Examiner, which is where our cartoons began to share space in the newspaper (yes, an actual paper) and where I was lucky enough to meet him.

I will always remember Don as one of the funniest, most innovative cartoonists I’ve ever known — and can safely say that opinion is unanimous among every political cartoonist I know.

Some cartoonists are funny. Don was FUNNY.


After bouncing around newspapers for a while (Detroit News, Copley News Service, others)
Don ended up as a staff artist for The San Francisco Examiner in 1995.
Late that year he began his career as a San Francisco cartoonist.

From that point on those of us in the distribution areas of The San Francisco Examiner
and The San Francisco Chronicle were treated to Don’s humor. And it was a treat.

The San Francisco Comic Strip was supplemented with Super Average Joe,
the Republican Convention Comic Strip, and others. Eventually leading to Bad Reporter.

Soon Don’s humor spread nationwide as UPS (now Andrews McMeel) syndicated Bad Reporter.
Bad Reporter ran from 2003 to 2018 when Don began treatment for his cancer.
The comic strip returned in 2019 and ran again until March of this year.

Condolences to Don’s family and friends.



edited to add The San Francisco Chronicle and the Mark Fiore/KQED items

4 thoughts on “Don Asmussen – RIP

  1. A wonderful, thoughtful cartoonist. I didn’t know he was ill, so this was a shock to me. Thanks for the news and the links. I’ll miss his work.

  2. I’m a little stunned. He was the last worthwhile thing in the Chronicle to be sure, and I’ve missed him since leaving the Bay Area. He did great work.

  3. So sorry to hear about the passing of Don Asmussen. I would read Bad Reporter every week and when I was done I would have tears in my eyes from laughter. He was one of the best!
    Rest In Peace Mr. Asmussen and thank you for sharing your talent for all those years. You will be sorely missed.

Comments are closed.