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David Willson’s 30 Years as Shiny Sheet Editoonist

That was then, this is now: above is David Willson’s first editorial cartoon
for The Palm Beach Daily News; below is one of his more recent cartoons.

David Willson
Special to the Daily News

It’s hard for me to believe, but this week represented my 30th anniversary as the editorial cartoonist for the Palm Beach Daily News. Even more unbelievable, I was my son’s age, 41 years old, when it all began.

I was operating my own graphic design studio in Jupiter when the then-editor of the Shiny Sheet, Joyce Reingold, contacted me about providing cartoons for the paper’s newly-initiated weekly editorial page. I am descended from a Palm Beach pioneer family and grew up with one foot on the island and one foot on the mainland, so the idea intrigued me.

In today’s parlance, the one-cartoon-a-week freelance gig would have been called a “side hustle.”

Part of my initial agreement with the editors was to stick to local stories rather than duplicate the national scope of our metropolitan sister-publication, the Palm Beach Post. That didn’t happen either! Palm Beach regularly made national and international headlines from the day I started. Beginning with the William Kennedy Smith trial, the town and the county became increasingly famous for salacious scandals, bizarre happenings, political controversies and financial chicanery.

Ten years ago, I was able to recap much of it in a book, “Billionaires and Butterfly Ballots, A 20-year Palm Beach ‘’Cartoonspective.’’’ There was no difficulty at all filling it with cartoons that anyone from around the world could relate to. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t wait until the 30th anniversary, because it has been even wilder with (among other things) our own Donald Trump running for and being elected president.

David Willson reflects on his “30-year labor of love.”

David’s first year toons can be viewed here.

David’s recent toons are on his Facebook page.

 

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