Rich Williams Retires, Leo Michael Steps Up

Crain Communications editorial cartoonist and illustrator Rich Williams is retiring after 40+ years.

From Plastic News:

Rich Williams has been a constant for Plastics News readers since our first issue published 35 years ago, on March 6, 1989.

But this issue marks his final cartoon. He decided recently to retire his ink and Mac — and his keen ability to find humor in plastics stories.

With Rich retiring Plastic News interviews him on his career:

I went to Ohio University to major in journalism, became the editorial cartoonist for The Post, the school’s student-run newspaper, and soon realized it was my visual skill that I should focus on. I switched my major to graphic design and won honors for the top senior portfolio. Despite recognition for serious illustration, cartooning stuck as my first love.

I moved to Cleveland in 1975 to work at American Greetings doing alternative humor cards, then was granted a freelance contract. That allowed me to pursue other freelance outlets, including illustrations for The Plain Dealer. Either by luck, or just by loitering long enough in the hall by their art department, one of the paper’s veteran illustrators steered me toward a startup publication in the works: Crain’s Cleveland Business. I interviewed and landed their editorial cartoonist gig.

I drew eddy cartoons for Crain’s Cleveland Business [link added] for about 43 years. Otherwise, mostly greeting cards for American Greetings and various other companies for about three and a half decades. I’ve done some graphic design and illustration over the years but found the skill that set me apart was the ability to interpret humor and lay down a visual narrative. I’ve been blessed to have had enough cartoon work to keep that up my entire career.

Plastic News notes that Rich’s fellow Crain Communications cartoonist Leo Michael will step up:

Starting April 8, we’ll introduce a new cartoonist to our readers, Leo Michael. He already does editorial cartoons for several other Crain Communications Inc. brands, including Automotive News and Rubber News.