Posts Tagged ‘Tom Toles’

Ashes to ashes, dust to … eraser dust?

November 1, 2020

Tom Toles has erased himself from The Washington Post.

Well, here’s a bummer: After 50 years, Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Toles has drawn what he says is his final cartoon.

Like Toles, I started out a half-century ago, as the cartoonist for my high-school newspaper. Then I scribbled for my college papers and a couple of undergrounds before getting sidetracked into reporting and editing for a series of dailies and one small group of Denver-area weeklies.

Oh, I still contributed the occasional cartoon to the newspapers whose misfortune it was to employ me in some other capacity. Wasn’t an editor alive who would turn down free anything Back in the Day®; probably still isn’t, especially if we’re talking whiskey. But the pay, such as it was, was for pounding out the column inches or chasing commas around the copy desk.

Even then the full-time editorial cartoonist was becoming an endangered species, and I was glad that I’d followed an early adviser’s recommendation that I have some sort of a backup plan just in case I didn’t become the next Pat Oliphant, or like Toles, replace Herblock.

It wasn’t until 1989 that I started cartooning regularly again — not for The Washington Post, but for VeloNews. Next came the “Shop Talk” strip for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, in 1992.

I’ve drawn a metric shit-ton of cartoons since, but I don’t think I’ve come anywhere near 15,000 of the sonsabitches. After a job of work like that, Tom Toles deserves to get back to playing. He recently chatted with NPR about where he’s been and where he’s going.

Thanks to Kevin Drum at Mother Jones for the tip.