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Cartoonists in the News: Guindon, Shermund, Baker

Richard Guindon

The death of Richard Guindon is major news in the upper Midwest.

From The Minneapolis Star Tribune:

A fixture in the pages of the Minneapolis Tribune, Guindon wielded a distinctive drawing style that seemed to borrow in equal parts from Aubrey Beardsley and Peter Max. His quirky, observant musings, syndicated to newspapers across the country, were so sharp that Guindon once found himself chatting with late-night television legend Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.”


The St. Paul Pioneer Press obituary:

By the early ’60s, Guindon began making frequent visits to New York, where he pitched his work to magazine editors. His cartoons appeared in the Nation, Playboy, Esquire, Down Beat and Paul Krassner’s underground magazine the Realist. In 1961,  he co-founded the Minneapolis comedy revue Brave New Workshop with Dudley Riggs and then-Pioneer Press reporter Dan Sullivan.

“He placed his stamp on it,” the late Riggs told the Pioneer Press in 1988. “Most of the early workshop stuff passed through Dick. He’s very good at seeing what first appears to be a minor injustice and then revealing its depth. He’s inclined to point you toward targets you might otherwise miss.”


Barbara Shermund

In the mid-1920s, Harold Ross, the founder of a new magazine called The New Yorker, was looking for cartoonists who could create sardonic, highbrow illustrations accompanied by witty captions that would function as social critiques.

He found that talent in Barbara Shermund.

For about two decades, until the 1940s, Shermund helped Ross and his first art editor, Rea Irvin, realize their vision by contributing almost 600 cartoons and sassy captions with a fresh, feminist voice.

The New York Times kicks off Women’s History Month profiling cartoonist Barbara Shermund.

Her last cartoon appeared in The New Yorker in 1944, and much of her life and career after that remains unclear. No major newspaper wrote about her death in 1978 — The New York Times was on strike then, along with The Daily News and The New York Post — and her ashes sat in a New Jersey funeral home for nearly 35 years until they were claimed by a descendant in search of information about her.


George Baker

I realize the importance of the simple format that keeps the military and civilians up to date about current events, while at the same time entertaining them with articles and subject matter to take their minds off of current events. In World War II the publication “Yanks” did that same job, and did so with so many great contributors who went on to become renowned for their craft. One of those was Sgt. Baker and the creation he came up with which delighted GI’s till the end of the war: “The Sad Sack.”

May 12, 1946 - St. Louis Globe Democrat promo piece

Aerotech News pulls George Baker and his Sad Sack of a private out of the past.

“The actual state of mind of a soldier was more authentic and real to me than his outer appearance,” George wrote in the preface to one of his books in 1946, “so, therefore, my character looked resigned, tired, helpless, and beaten. Going the whole hog, he looked clumsy and even a little stupid, but these last two elements were actually unintentional and only slipped in because I was still a bit rusty in my drawing.”

May 5, 1946 - Sad Sack debuts as a civilian in his post-WWII comic strip


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