Julie Larson – RIP

Cartoonist and puzzle maker Julie Larson had passed away two years ago.

Julie Christine (Harris) Larson

September 20, 1959 – August 17, 2022

From the obituary:

Julie Harris Larson, 62, of Lincoln, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at The Christian Village in Lincoln.

Julie began her professional career in architecture, interior and landscape design, but changed paths when her first daughter was born. Moving from Chicago to the suburbs, she channeled her creativity into a single-panel newspaper comic, a satire on middle-class culture. It was titled ‘Suburban Torture’ during the years of self-syndication 1990 – 1997, then later she earned national syndication, and it ran as ‘The Dinette Set’ until her retirement in 2015, notably running in the Chicago Tribune. Julie self-published nine printed volumes of her comics. She was also a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday color comics page creating find-its and rebus picture puzzles during the 1990s.

above: some very early samples of Suburban Torture as seen at ComicStripFan

As mentioned in the obituary Julie’s Suburban Torture began in 1990 in The L. A. Reader and a few other alternative newspapers. In January 1997 King Features Syndicate had signed Julie and began distributing the panel, described as “an off-center take on suburban life’ displaying the foibles of “agreeable types who without a lot going for them ‘except for gossip, worrying about other people, shopping and collecting teensy figurines.”

above: an early January 1997 syndicated Sunday strip

From 1993 to 2001 Julie also was a contributor to The Chicago Tribune’s Spots page in their Sunday comics section. While doing various puzzles (Find It, Snip It) her specialty seems to have been creating the Read It rebuses.

The Dinette Set would run until November 2015 when Julia retired the comic. GoComics maintains an archive.

h/t: Charles Brubaker

3 thoughts on “Julie Larson – RIP

  1. Julie Larson’s The Dinette Set was one of my favourites. I bought all the self-published reprint books from her. Her writing shone with the heat of a thousand suns, packing more really funny and acerbic gags into each of those small panels than seemed humanly possible. Those TO DO lists posted on the wall, oh geez they were hilarious, and the t-shirts, I cackle just thinking of some of them. The drawing, meanwhile, seemed like an afterthought. I always thought that if she had found herself an artist collaborator she could have been REALLY HUGE. I never got up the guts to tell her that, but I did often let her know of my great admiration for her writing.

    Thank you, DD, for finding her obit, though I would have rather seen a notice of a forthcoming novel…

    1. Credit goes to Charles Brubaker for finding the notice and passing it along.

Comments are closed.