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Jim Ivey – RIP

Political cartoonist and historian Jim Ivey has passed away.

James Burnett (Jim) Ivey
April 15, 1925 – July 14, 2022



Friends of Jim are sharing the sad news.

From Craig Zablo:

Jim was born James (but preferred the much less formal, Jim) Burnett Ivey on April 15, 1925 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Jim attended the University of Louisville, George Washington University, the National Art School in D.C. and also took correspondence courses through the Landon School of Illustration and Cartooning. Jim served as a US Navy submariner from 1943 to 1946.

After the war, Jim was a Reid Fellowship recipient to study political cartooning in Europe. Jim worked in the editorial art department for the Washington Star and the St. Petersburg Times before accepting an editorial cartoonist position at the San Francisco Examiner where he remained from 1959 – 1966. Jim then worked as a freelance artist until 1970 when he accepted a cartoonist position with the Orlando Sentinel (where he stayed until 1977).

In 1977, Jim went back to freelance work.  From 1978 to 1983 Jim was an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida where he taught a course on the Art of Cartooning.

Jim was my oldest friend. I treasure the hours we spent hanging out together. He was an original and will be missed but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family and friends.


From Allan Holtz:

My dear friend Jim Ivey, age 97, died on July 14 2022. His death was not a great surprise as his health had been deteriorating steadily for the last few years. Still, when I got the call from his wonderful and devoted caregiver, Joy Lal, I was surprised. Mostly because Jim was a man of his word, and he promised me that he had 100 years in him. Jim’s father had lived to the age of 99, and Jim was certain that he was going to outdo his old man.

Of course most anyone coming to this website knows that Jim Ivey was an accomplished and influential newspaper editorial cartoonist. In his career he served at that post on an astonishing four major newspapers: Washington Star, San Francisco Examiner, St. Petersburg Times and Orlando Sentinel. His claim to fame was that he eschewed the standard editorial cartooning elements of grease-pencil shading, and labeling all the characters and devices. His cartoons were very simply drawn, with a minimum of lines, no shading, and labels were used sparely. Ivey’s cartoons took their power from their simplicity, their immediacy, and the power of the ideas which never relied on old over-used tropes of the trade. Ivey trusted his ability to draw in order to be able to drop all those labels, and trusted the intelligence of his readers to follow along.


Jim’s interest in the history of cartooning also led to a number of publications. Foremost among them is the book “Roy Crane’s Wash Tubbs – The First Adventure Comic Strip”. Published in 1974 and a sales success, it showed that the adventure strip reprint book — not even really a thing then — was a viable genre, leading to many subsequent publishing ventures that made the great adventure strips accessible to comic strip fans, and thus fostering comic strip fandom in general.

Ivey also published the cartooning history magazine cARToon, later CartooNews, in the 1970s. The magazine offered a scattershot view of cartooning history, focusing on whatever Ivey happened to be excited by at the moment. Never a big sales success, those who did receive it were offered a mind-expanding view of cartooning history in each issue.

From 2007 to 2016 Jim produced a weekly comic strip page for Stripper’s Guide that lasted for almost 400 installments. These one-page strips offer his viewpoint on all manner of topics, but often concentrates on a sort of informal meandering autobiography. The strips are tremendously entertaining, and a master class in minimalistic cartooning. On my new website … you can read the entire series; just follow this link.

Nothing I can add beyond what his friends have written.

Rest in Peace Jim, and thanks.

Community Comments

#1 Bruce Chrislip
@ 7:08 am

Jim Ivey was also an avid seller of original comic art back in the 1970s. (I know because I bought some from him). I think he also put on a series of comic book conventions back then (OrlandoCon?). The guest list always included lots of former syndicated cartoonists (like Zack Mosley) who had retired and moved to Florida.

#2 William Byron
@ 12:39 am

Such a great man and historian. I wish I had interviewed him a few years ago when I thought about it but then figured anything I’d ask would be covered by the Stripper’s Guide blog. I’m glad he lived a full life.

#3 Maher Younsi
@ 4:48 am

R.I.P , Jim Ivey .

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