Saturday, July 22, 2023

Cartoons in a Cartoon Graveyard


Back in 2018, this blog brought you the final resting place of artist Bil Keane, famous for creating the long-running comic strip The Family Circus. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Keane's grave is notable for its use of his many iconic characters and artwork.

Keane is not the only cartoonist to have a memorial to his creations.  Charles M. Schultz has an entire park devoted to his grave and his characters from the classic comic strip Peanuts.  One day, this blogger will visit that site in Sonoma, California.

I have however been to two similar graves honoring classic cartoonists and their creations, both of which are on the East Coast.

Addison Morton "Mort" Walker created not one but two iconic comic strips, Hi and Lois and Beetle Bailey, the latter of which adorns his headstone in Westport, Connecticut's Willowbrook Cemetery.  Walker died from pneuemonia on January 27, 2018.  He was 94 years old.

Prior to his passing, his two sons Brian and Greg assumed production responsibilities for Beetle Bailey, which still runs in more than 1,800 newspapers today.

George Gallagher, sometimes credited as George Gately, created the comic strip Heathcliff in 1973.  He continued to do so until his passing in 2001, at which time his nephew Peter continued production of the series.  Today, Heathcliff appears in more than 1,000 newspapers every day.

The orange mischievous cat, a model that would be perfected five years later by Jim Davis's Garfield character, adorns Gallagher's headstone, which you'll find in Tenafly, New Jersey's Mount Carmel Cemetery.

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