Comics Legend Jeff MacNelly

     No, no, no, no, tell me it isn't true.

     Another comics legend has died.

     Jeff MacNelly was editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune newspaper, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize three times, and creator of the popular comic strip Shoe. He died of lymphoma June 8 at the age of 52.

     MacNelly first won the Pulitzer in 1972 at the age of 25 while at the Richmond News Leader in Virginia. He won again in 1978 and 1985.

     In 1977, MacNelly drew on his newspaper experiences and created Shoe, a comic strip about an erasable newspaper editor who also happened to be a bird. P. Martin Shoemaker was the cigar-totting chief of the Treetops Tattler newspaper.

     The biting but simple satire of the strip and its perfect visual timing and distinctive art made Shoe stand out on the comics pages of hundreds of newspapers. His well defined but molting cast of characters was a favorite of newspaper writers and editors who saw themselves under the feathers of Shoe.

     MacNelly also illustrated humorist Dave Berry's syndicated column for newspapers.

     Shoe was collected in a number of volumes. These included: From Couch Potato to Mouse Potato, Shoe Goes to Wrigley Field, The Greatest Shoe on Earth, New Shoes, On With The Shoe, One Shoe Fits All, The Other Shoe, Out to Lunch: A Brand New Shoe, Shake the Hand - Bite the Taco, A Shoe for All Seasons, The Shoe Must Go On, Too Old for Summer Camp and Too Young to Retire: A New Shoe Book, and The Very First Shoe Book.

     MacNelly also illustrated several books by Dave Barry. These included: Dave Berry Talks Back, Homes and Other Black Holes, and The World According to Dave Barry.

     Both the editorial and comic strip work of Jeff MacNelly is highly recommended.

     Some older collections are expensive or difficult to locate. Price guides or comics dealers may help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are excellent sources. Prices may vary; shop around.


     Questions? Comments? Send e- mail to miklvance@yahoo.com.


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