Monday, September 19, 2011

In Memoriam: Tom Wilson 1931-2011

Cartoonist. Ziggy.

"Is Ziggy me? I'm afraid so. Everybody is, to some degree."

"He's such a small person in such a big world."

(A short drive from where I live, if you lift up your head, you'll see this --KJ)


  1. One of the many card companies I worked for was American Greetings. My art directors wife had a American Greeting card shop and I hand made a stuffed Ziggy doll for her, I'm sure now that would be frowned upon. She had it sitting on a swing hanging over a display of cards. It was very cute up there.
    Your post brings back lots of memories.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. So poignant, Kirk, the idea of Zigy that small person, the cartoonist's alter ego, everyone else's as well.

  3. This sobered me (to coin a phrase that hits rather close to home) for a slightly different reason. My father was born in 1931 and I was reminded that that makes him old now. And everyone eventually dies.

    LOVE your water tower, Kirk. I think that might be the first photo I remember you posting. Great fun, a little taste of your world.

  4. @angryparsnip--In addition to drawing the strip, Tom Wilson was a longtime Vice-President of somethingorother at American Greetings, headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn. My brother worked for a year or so at American Greetings, but I believe Wilson was retired by then, so he never got to meet him. Why do you believe making a stuffed Ziggy
    would be frowned upon now? As long as you don't try to sell it for a profit (in which case you'd be violating a copyright), I think it's probably allowed. But don't go by what I say. I'm not a lawyer.

    @Elisabeth--Ziggy, like Charlie Brown, is a character most of us can identity with. We may not necessarily ASPIRE to be like Ziggy or Charlie Brown, but aspiration and identification aren't always, in fact, they're rarely, the same thing.

    @Leslie--It blows my mind that people who were in their 40s when I was in high school--my parents generation--are either pushing 80, or in their 80s already. When I meet a gent in his 80s, I, instinctively, habitually, think he's probably a veteran of World War I, as was the case when I was growing up. Then my intellect kicks in and I say to myself, "Oh,no, wrong war, a World War I vet, if any are still alive, would be over 100" To be honest, sometimes when I meet someone who looks to be in their 40s, I instinctively wonder if he's a veteran of the Korean War, until my intellect kicks in again and I say to myself, "No, no, that can't be, because I'M IN MY 40s!!!!!!" Old habits die hard.

    As for the photo, I didn't take it myself, I found it on the Internet. However, you're right about it being part of my world. If walk right outside the library where I'm typing this, I can see that very water tower, though the side with Ziggy on it is facing against me.

  5. Some perspective: my almost 80-year-old dad was on the youngest end of the men who would go to Korea (though he was spared due to a medical discharge). Some more perspective: all the young Turks of my era are Vietnam vets (and those of other wars) more than 60 years old, mostly. What happened? I still feel almost precisely the same as in the day.


In order to keep the hucksters, humbugs, scoundrels, psychos, morons, and last but not least, artificial intelligentsia at bay, I have decided to turn on comment moderation. On the plus side, I've gotten rid of the word verification.