Thanks For the Memories: To Those Who’ve Passed

There have been a few eulogies to some recent deaths.

I was 16 or 17 when I first met Jim Ivey. My family went on annual vacations to Florida, from New Jersey; and my father always indulged my interest in comics by reserving our last couple of days to visit cartoonists, of whom there were many in the Sunshine State.

You dirty dog” was one of Jim’s affectionate epithets, if you told him you had just just acquired some treasure of original art. It was affectionate, with a twinkle in his eye, because he had taste but little envy.

Comic editor and collector Richard Marschall remembers Jim Ivey.


The Denver Post (Colorado), March 23, 1953, profiled Harvey. 

Boy Invents New Comic Strip Hero

Edgewater has its own cartoonist. He’s Robert Charles Harvey, 15, of 2401 Lamar street, who has developed his own comic strip character, “Smokey Smith.”

Bob caught the attention of the managing editor of The Denver Post when the youngster bombarded the newspaper office with requests for originals from his favorite comic strip authors-artists. Each letter carries a colored sketch of “Smokey.”

Bob, a near-straight “A” sophomore at Edgewater high school, has a “studio” (a corner of his bedroom) decorated with original drawings from such big leaguers as Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon), George mcManus (Bringing Up Father) and V.T. Hamlin (Allie Oop). His bureau drawers are bulging with files of clips—gleanings for comic pages and books. 

Alex Jay digs up everything about R. C. Harvey from the internets.


Everyone at 2000 AD and Rebellion is devastated to hear of the passing of Alan Grant.

Grant was one of his generation’s finest writers, combining a sharp eye for dialogue and political satire with a deep empathy that made his characters seem incredibly human and rounded. Through his work he had a profound and enduring influence on 2000 AD and on the comics industry.

His impact on comics and standing in the industry simply cannot be understated. But he was more than just a giant in his field – he was a fascinating man whose sharp wit and boundless warmth touched all those who met him. One cannot separate 2000 AD from Alan Grant, his humour, humanity, and intelligence made it what it is, and his talent was integral to its success.

We are forever poorer without him.

The Daily Cartoonist didn’t mark the passing of comics writer Alan Grant, maybe we should have since he wrote for the British Judge Dredd comic strip, But 2000AD pays tribute to the writer.


The recent book See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture sets the record straight regarding how pop culture’s geekiest get-together became the BFD it is today. Some of those “corrections” mention (if not harp on) San Diego Comic-Con co-founder Shel Dorf, whose 2009 death seemed to inspire almost as much derogatory online commentary as praise. One thing that seemed a constant throughout all accounts – Shel was the original annoying know-it-all name-dropping comic geek. But he certainly wasn’t a villain. He was more clueless than cruel. When it comes to assessing his legacy in the comic book industry that he helped nurture and grow into what it is today, his perpetually adolescent mindset was both his strength and weakness.

San Diego cartoonist Jay Allan Sanford sets the record straight about Shel Dorf.

Shel used to letter the Steve Canyon comic strip for creator Milt Caniff over the final dozen or so years of its run. His interviews with Caniff were transcribed for the University Press of Mississippi publication Milton Caniff: Conversations. Shel often mentioned Caniff when he came to Steve’s Blackthorne headquarters to pick up packages of materials for the reprint comics. He always availed himself of any opportunity to talk about the people he knew, places he’d been, and the comics and creators that he adored – especially stories where he somehow played a personal role. And these weren’t imaginary fanboy musings, either. Caniff even created a football player character based on Shel named Thud Shelley who made several Steve Canyon appearances. Marvel and DC legend Jack Kirby drew Shel into his Mister Miracle comic book as a character named Himon.

One thought on “Thanks For the Memories: To Those Who’ve Passed

  1. I am a day late reading the page about recently deceased cartoon personages, but I want to comment. The sadness of too many deaths in the community might be slightly offset by the thought of how many wonderful people we have. It seems to me that the cartoon population is ever-growing . . . many more new names and faces seem to appear every year. That’s a blessing for us all.

    And about Shel Dorf . . . I never saw any of the negative comments that D.D. alludes to. And thank heaven. I knew Shel, starting in about 1982. I never knew him well, but we were on friendly terms. I agree, with nothing but affection, that he could be quite socially clueless. It was part of what made him loveable. He certainly endeared himself to many, Milton Caniff not the least. I just want to slip in here a tribute to the charming clueless Shel Dorf, now no doubt lettering something in heaven.

Comments are closed.