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Doug Marlette

JULY 11, 2007
The Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette died yesterday in a car accident. I didn’t know Doug well enough to call him a friend, but I had met him several times back when I was an excited, idealistic editorial cartoonist. He was always very supportive and encouraging to the younger guys who would love to have had his job.

Doug’s cartoons were powerful and to the point. There was not a lot of superfluous detail in either the drawing or the writing. In fact, he did what he did so well that it was easy for a young aspiring cartoonist to mistake what Doug did as being effortless. That’s the sign of someone hitting on all cylinders: When you can make someone who has no idea how you do it think “I could do that”.

The editorial cartoonist is quickly becoming as common as the blacksmith, with about as much importance and relevance. With his passing, Marlette leaves open a spot that may not be filled.