A Visit with Pat Oliphant

SANTA FE – He uses a cane and moves slowly but the mordant wit guiding the pen that launched thousands of political cartoons skewering the powerful and despotic is still evident.

Pat Oliphant, 86, sips coffee in his Santa Fe home studio as he tells a reporter he has not drawn for several years after his eyesight deteriorated.

(Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Andy Stiny of The Albuquerque Journal recently stopped by Pat Oliphant‘s home
to talk about the past and the present. 

He read two newspapers and watched a morning news show to start his day and then hit the drawing board where for some 60 years a cartoon was finished by noon to be transmitted to newspapers worldwide.

“It all comes together at one time after you make up your mind what you want to say,” said Oliphant. “That’s when the fun starts, otherwise you scrap the whole thing and start again.”

If not for the cartoon decline and his eyes, Oliphant might still be skewering his next target.

“We have seen the demise of a perfectly good mode of expression, it’s awful and I don’t know how it will ever be resuscitated,” he said.

“I miss it every day of my life because it was something I enjoyed, really enjoyed.”