Catchin’ Up with Cartoonists in the News

It started, as most searches do, by looking toward the end. “COVID taught us all just how precious and fragile time with family is,” reflected 34-year-old Charlestonian video editor/director/cinematographer Gavin Shelton.

Thus began Shelton’s pandemic project: a curation of the life and legacy of his uncle, underground comix icon Gilbert Shelton.

Gilbert Shelton, now in his 80s, may be best known for his stoner comic The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Now seeing renewed awareness with the animated adaptation, Freak Brothers is currently streaming on Tubi. But that barely scratches the surface of what Shelton’s nephew’s search has uncovered over the past two years. 

The Charleston City Paper catches up with Gavin Gilbert Shelton
as he collects the life of his famous uncle into a cohesive whole.


Peter Dunlap-Shohl was living his lifelong dream, as an editorial cartoonist for the Anchorage Daily News. But in 2002, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he asked himself: What else would he be losing besides his craft as an artist? His identity? It wasn’t over yet when he discovered the possibilities of computers, from drawing in color to animation. He soon realized he still had an outlet for expression. This inspired Peter in 2015 to publish his book “My Degeneration”, a graphic novel documenting his time with Parkinson’s disease, hoping this book can be a tool for those who are just as scared as he was.

Alaska Public Media/PBS catches up with Peter Dunlap-Shohl
and the ed-op cartoonist’s struggles with Parkinson’s disease.



A Rice Lake actor and artist has his sights set on becoming a syndicated cartoonist and he’s taken a step toward this goal with his first published book, “40 Days Fresh Collection 1.”

In between auditioning and honing his craft as a troupe member of Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret in the basement of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs, Heer started to pass his time by drawing single-panel cartoons.

To draw the interest of people who can put him on the path to syndication, Heer has collected his work in his first book. And, yes, a second is on the way as between farm chores he pops out five to seven panels a week.

The Chronotype reports Ben Heer is hoping to catch a break.



R. Sikoryak is a cartoonist whose graphic novels include Constitution Illustrated, Masterpiece Comics, Terms and Conditions, and The Unquotable Trump (Drawn & Quarterly).

Tools of choice:? When I started working professionally in the late 1980s, I would often switch up my materials according to the assignment. I love to play with different art styles and different forms of comics. So I might use pastels, colored pencils, watercolors, or gouache for my illustration work. Or I would try out different ink nibs, pens, or brushes for my comics.  When I began doing freelance work at the animation studio Augenblick around 2009, I started using a Wacom Cintiq and pen to draw digitally. I recognized it would greatly increase my productivity, especially when making comics. So I began to lay out my comics in Photoshop, doing the equivalent of “pencil” drawings, then I’d print those out in pale blue ink on bristol board, and ink with traditional brushes. Over the years, I have transitioned to working almost exclusively on the Cintiq.

A Case For Pencils catches R. Sikoryak answering their questionnaire.



When Liza Donnelly moved to New York City from her native Washington, D.C., in 1977 to pursue her career as a cartoonist, she hit the ground running. While working a day job at the American Museum of Natural History, she soon began freelancing for Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and National Lampoon before landing her first assignment at The New Yorker in 1979. Three years later, she got another new gig: Habitat. Donnelly, whose drawings accompany this feature, has been gracing our pages ever since.

She still remembers that first assignment. Asked to illustrate an article about getting elected to a co-op board, Donnelly drew a cartoon showing a shareholder making a stump speech with a building as the podium. “I love drawing things that are very clear, like a leaky ceiling, but I also love more oblique stories like that one, where you have to take a concept and make it visual,” she says. “I’ve done a lot of those for Habitat over the years, like buildings talking to each other or people interacting with buildings as if they’re actual objects they can hold in their hands.”

Habitat caught Liza Donnelly for a forty year freelance gig.


(hat tip to Ink Spill for the two items above.)
illustrations © their respective copyright owners.



4 thoughts on “Catchin’ Up with Cartoonists in the News

  1. D.D. — nothing about George Perez? Can only guess you’re compiling a post.

  2. Steve, there being an abundance of comic book sites, The Daily Cartoonist is more about comic strips, editorial cartoons, and magazine cartoons and strips, and some of the more esoteric fields like courtroom sketchers that other comic sites tend to overlook.. (Where else are you finding obits for John Whitaker and Bill Wilson?)
    Since George didn’t contribute to those fields I have left the
    memorials to the comic book sites.

    I do recognize the importance and masterful artistry of George Perez regarding comic books – The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, the JLA/Avengers crossover, and much more.
    Unfortunately (for me) George started in on the Big Name superheroes just as I was ending my fascination with the genre. So the nostalgic emotions I feel for Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Sid Greene, etc. is not part of my makeup with George.
    I did get to enjoy his early fanzine illustrations.

    For those unaware of George’s talents…
    The Comics Journal has done their usual good job with Perez:

    Brian Cronin at CBR covers George’s career:

    The Beat has a roundup of fellow creators paying tribute:

    The 13th Dimension has a few lists showcasing his art:

  3. Sorry D.D., I didn’t realize you “drew a line,” so to speak. I thought I’d seen many other news obits on comic book artists, but maybe I didn’t see the distinctions you mention above.

    Nevertheless, I always enjoy the reporting. Thanks for the site and the response.

  4. Most recently Neal Adams obit here featured his comic strip and advertising accompishments much more than did the comic book sites. While Justin Green’s obit mentioned his magazine strips.

    Not a hard and fast rule. Steve Ditko’s death was covered here,
    as much for nostalgia as being a member of our Senior Strippers.

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