Frank Hill – RIP

Comic strip and comic book cartoonist Frank Hill has passed away.

Frank Richard Hill
September 10, 1929 – March 10, 2023

From the obituary:

Frank Richard Hill, (93) of Soquel, Ca. passed away peacefully on March 10th, 2023 of natural causes.

Frank’s career was fueled by creativity and the joy of cartooning and illustration. He would claim that he knew he wanted to be a cartoonist by the age of nine. One could find his handiwork in newspapers, books, comics and other varied media. From 1973 to 1982, Frank was responsible for the nationally syndicated cartoon strip ‘Short Ribs’. His resume could boast clients including Warner Bros., Hanna Barbera, Marvel Comics, Harvey Comics, United Features and creating Sunday Funnies and comic books featuring Dennis the Menace, Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry. This list is far from complete.

Dennis the Menace, Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Ponytail, Half Hitch, Senator Gassius, Randy, and the many individuals of Short Ribs are some of the characters Frank wrote and drew in comic strips and comic books, and sometimes in both.

Anyone whose newspaper ran the NEA comics page during the 1970s will remember Frank’s Short Ribs.

Frank’s career in illustration began in commercial and advertising design in the 1950s, during which he contributed single panel gag caroons to magazines. In the early 1960s he successfully transitioned to comic books and comic strip assisting and ghosting for others. Frank’s Facebook says the 1962 Short Ribs was his first comic book work.

From 1976 is this profile of the cartoonist:

Short Ribs would be Frank’s longest signed comic strip assignment (1973-82; assisted Frank O’Neal 1960-73). His Senator Gassius had a short run from 1966 to 1967. Other comic strips Frank worked on include Ponytail (1968-69), Dennis the Menace (1970s and 80s), Half Hitch (1971), Bugs Bunny (1980-89), and Tom and Jerry (1990s). Lambiek’s entry for Frank Hill has a nice rundown of his comic strip work.

A few years ago The Daily Cartoonist celebrated Frank turning 90 with his illustrated autobiography.

Frank’s Facebook page shows more of his cartooning.

Back to the obituary:

Over the years, Frank brought smiles to lots of faces.

Probably little comfort to the family but I was one of those smiling faces.

Rest in peace Frank.

One thought on “Frank Hill – RIP

  1. Back in the days that we published the comic-strip newspapers THE MENOMONEE FALLS GAZETTE and THE MENOMONEE FALLS GUARDIAN IN THE ’70s, we subscribed to the NEA package mostly to get CAPTAIN EASY and ALLEY OOP, though we found it impossible to ignore the huge number of humor strips that we had access to. Though we couldn’t provide a regular page to run each strip’s six daily installments in each issue, we did manage to use Dick Cavalli’s WINTHROP, Reg Bollen’s ANIMAL CRACKERS and Frank Hill’s SHORT RIBS fairly regularly in the one-column space alongside the four-column strips who did rate their own pages because each of these strips were both dependably funny, and since they appeared in four panels every day, we could assemble them vertically. And I liked the art, especially Hill’s. Another of my favorites’ passing is becoming too regular an event to be surprised.

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