Missed It: Loose Parts’ 25th

In the 1990s Dave Blazek and John Gilpin were working for the Philadelphia Inquirer when they thought it would be a good idea to combine their talents, Gilpin as artist and Blazek as humorist, and try out a comic panel.

According to sources the panel began 25 years and a couple weeks ago.

© Gilpin & Blazek

I couldn’t find that first panel of April 20, 1998, above is the second panel.

Dave recently talked to the GoComics crew and here is an excerpt from that interview:

Okay, story time. For the first year of Loose Parts, I was just the writer and I had an artist partner. Well, he had to drop out after the first year. So I got on the phone and asked the syndicate if I could draw the cartoon as well as write it. They asked – because they’re professionals – if I knew how to draw. I said, “No, but I can learn fast.” They said, okay, go ahead. And I had to learn how to draw WHILE THE CARTOON WAS ALREADY IN SYNDICATION. Yikes. Months later, when I got up to speed and at least became somewhat capable at drawing, I called them and asked them, “What the hell were you thinking?!” Someone there said, “We saw your work and thought it was high time we took someone funny and watch them try to learn how to draw instead of taking someone who knew how to draw and watch them try to learn to be funny,” To this day, it’s one of the nicest compliments I’ve received. Mainly because it emphasized that whatever magic comes out of a Loose Parts cartoon, it comes out mostly because of the strength of the idea, not the window dressing around it.

Well, it actually took two years for Gilpin to drop out. He stayed with the panel until the April 29, 2000 daily. On Monday, May 1, non-artist Blazek became the cartoonist. Shall we say it was a good thing he was funny guy?

Above is an April 2000 Loose Parts drawn by John and the first two Loose Parts drawn by Dave.

Dave’s cartooning has improved over the years, while his gag writing remains as good as ever.

Check out both of Dave’s talents on the Loose Parts panel at GoComics.

Congratulations Dave!

4 thoughts on “Missed It: Loose Parts’ 25th

  1. I’m shocked they didn’t just disappear me the first week I took over. I kept looking out the window for syndicate people with a burlap sack. Well, I guess after drawing 9,000 cartoons or so, one gets better.

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