After running for nearly 30 years (since March 7, 1993) The Washington Post
has canceled their popular Style Invitational feature.
The news was mentioned as an aside in an item about
laying off The Post’s dance critic Sarah L. Kaufman:
The paper has also eliminated its weekly Style Invitational humor contest, which involved ending the contract of former longtime Post editor and current contributor Pat Myers.
The Style Invitational has always been an illustrated feature and
not long after it began Bob Staake became the regular illustrator.
Bob remarked about the loss of the longtime assignment on his Facebook page:
After 29 years of illustrating the Style Invitational, The Washington Post has killed the weekly humor/wordplay contest. It was a Hell of a run and just shy of three decades, which is insanely uncommon for a freelance gig.
My thanks to art director Michael Drew who brought me in as a pinch-hitting illustrator in 1993, my partner in crime and originator of the contest Gene Weingarten who hired (and came close to firing me,) and Pat Myers who by my estimation probably wanted (and with good reason) to fire me a couple dozen times.
Bob notes that he really enjoyed the gig:
Illustrating the “Invite” each week was never “work.” I like to draw, and while the vast majority of my art since 1995 has been predominantly digital, the Invite gave me a regular opportunity to keep the cartoonish style for which I was known in the 1980-2000’s alive. It was a blast, and thank you for putting up with me, Pat.
Bob’s Facebook post includes a gallery of some of his Style Invitational illustrations.