Jeff MacNelly

David Apatoff's Illustration Art blog showcases some of Jeff MacNelly's editorial cartoons.

Do read David's background on the self-taught, 3-time Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist. (He also won 2 NCS Reuben Awards.) The art is something to grapple with; powerful, lingering and, above all, MacNelly's own.

MacNelly's art was made for the eye to linger. There is so much understanding of form and shadow -- along with the tremendous, insightful writing.

I attended my first National Cartoonists Society Reubens convention in New York City in 2000. I was a freshly minted newbie. I had just been admitted to the NCS the month before. Didn't know a soul. I registered for the convention in a room off of the main lobby. I was given my badge and a goody bag. Also in this room: tables of flyers and posters and freebies to browse. Jeff MacNelly, to ill to attend, had drawn a full color poster, and as I approached it, looking at his Shoe characters, I heard a voice behind me: "Isn't he the best?" I looked at the guy who spoke. I didn't know who he was. Then I looked at the badge he was wearing. It said "Mike Peters, Editorial Cartoonist." I had not met Mike. We chatted for a minute. Mike, like always, treated me like an equal even though he had never heard of me. I asked about Mr. MacNelly's health. Mike was obviously worried about him.

And I could tell, just the way that other cartoonists spoke about him during that May weekend at the World Trade Center, that MacNelly was a giant. His presence was there.

Above: MacNelly's NCS bio.

And that's the thing about cartooning that gets a proverbial lump in the throat: all the pro cartoonists I have ever met are the most gracious, kindest people.

I wish I had met Jeff MacNelly. I'm glad that David Apatoff shared some of his wonderful editorial cartoons. Thanks, David.

Related: Jeff MacNelly's official site.

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