Phil Bissell – RIP

Sports and editorial cartoonist Phil Bissell has passed away.

Salem News file photo

Charles Phillip (Phil) Bissell

February 1, 1926 – January 2024

The New England Patriots announced the sadness yesterday.

Phil’s big claim to fame came in 1960 when the new AFL team revealed that they would be called The Patriots and his cartoon in The Boston Globe on the following day, February 17, 1960, illustrating the name. An illustration that would a couple months later become the Boston Patriots logo.

But Phil did much,much more than design that logo.

A look at Phil’s career from Prabook:

Theatrical and editorial sports cartoonist, Christian Science Monitor, 1949-1953;

sports cartoonist, Boston Globe, 1953-1965;

sports and editorial cartoonist, Worcester Telegram and Evening Gazette, 1967-1975;

sports cartoonist, Boston Herald, 1975-1977;

editorial cartoonist, Lowell (Massachusetts) Sun, 1980-1987;

illustrator, cartoonist, Cartoon Corner Syndicate, Rockport, Massachusetts, since 1987.

Yes, based in Massachusetts but he covered the entire world of sports, well beyond Boston and football.

Speaking of Hall of Fames…

From Vintage Baseball Autographs:

His first sports cartoon was published when he was fourteen.  After going to Boston School of Practical Arts, he did a stint in the army.  He then became an office boy for the Christian Science Monitor, soon graduating to be their sports cartoonist.  He was sports cartoonist for the Boston Herald and Boston Globe (1953-65) He designed the official logo of the Boston Patriots.  His cartoon art is on display in the halls of fame for baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.

As mentioned above Phil was also a political cartoonist.

Comic Art Fans has a few dozen samples of Phil’s editorial cartoons.

Phil Bissell has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who as a leader in the arts.

further reading: Phil Bissell’s 2014 autobiography

2 thoughts on “Phil Bissell – RIP

  1. I met Mr. Bissell a few years ago and have enjoyed the prints he has autographed and sent to me. He was quite the character. He always laughed when his car license plate says PatsPa and no one really knew what that meant. I will cherish the prints he has sent me and the letters. RIP Mr. Bissell – you were a very talented man and you will be missed.

  2. In the early 1970’s Dad took my older brother and I down to the Hall of Fame from Cleveland. At the end we were each able to get one of the helmet plaques in the gift shop. They were half helmets framed. We were both Browns fans, but my brother picked the LA Rams. I picked the Patriots. At the time they were regular losers and I was only drawing cars. Thrilled then, even more thrilled now knowing it was created by an editorial/sports cartoonist, my future profession. What an omen !

    Jeff Darcy
    The Plain Dealer/

Comments are closed.