Doug Marlette killed in car crash
July 10, 2007 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette died today in car accident in Mississippi.
posted by Thorzdad (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Pendragon at 2:26 PM on July 10, 2007

I remember being on an editorial cartoon jag when I was in high school, and Marlette's books were fun reads. He really loved his work.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:32 PM on July 10, 2007

Oh, no.

Between Kudzu and his editorial stuff, I was a fan. I didn't know about his novels until reading the article about the accident.

Dang. I hope his wife, son, and other loved ones have all the strength and support they need to get through such a loss.
posted by batmonkey at 2:37 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by Superfrankenstein at 2:44 PM on July 10, 2007

Does anyone know if he won the pulitzer for a particular strip?
posted by shmegegge at 2:50 PM on July 10, 2007

Oh no , I will miss his humor and satire. Actually I miss the entire category, where are they ? Are they extinct ?
posted by elpapacito at 2:53 PM on July 10, 2007

Wow. Just the other week in Sunday school, my pastor mentioned a Will B. Dunn -related story arc in Kudzu in illustrating a point about what a pastor's working life can feel like. And I liked pointing out the strip in explaining the South to urban Ohioans.

The world's a smaller and less funny place for his sudden passing. I hope he's sharing a good chuckle with the Almighty right now.

. , y'all.
posted by pax digita at 2:55 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by rollbiz at 2:59 PM on July 10, 2007

aww, drat, what a pity, I loved Doug Marlette's witty work. He was only 57, a passenger in a car that skidded and struck a tree in the rain.
Google images of his work.

Condolences to his wife, Melinda, and his son, Jackson.
posted by nickyskye at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2007

The Pulitzer is generally given for a body of work. Conveniently, Marlette's website has a page featuring the body of work in question. Here.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by lumpenprole at 3:17 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by nasreddin at 3:17 PM on July 10, 2007

Sadly and ironicly, not only had he been featuring Rev. Will B. Dunn more than any of the other characters lately, but at lot of them showed him presiding at funerals.
July 7, July 5, July 4, June 23 ("Deadly beloved..."), June 18, June 5, May 26, May 24, but then, just as many showed him presiding at weddings.
posted by wendell at 3:19 PM on July 10, 2007

I couldn't believe this when I heard it on NPR on my way home from work. I felt like a friend had died.

In March of 1988, I was in high school. I was taking a Journalism class and working on the literary magazine, and had the opportunity to go with a few other students and teachers to the SIPA convention in Myrtle Beach.

I learned a lot while I was there, but most of it's gone from my memory. What I remember is the convention newspaper that SIPA had set up. Students attending the convention could participate to get journalism experience, and I decided to join. I was assigned to write a feature story about the convention's guest of honor, who was an editorial cartoonist named Doug Marlette. I went to his speech and presentation, of course, and saw lots of his brilliant editorial cartoons, and then, afterwards, SIPA had arranged for me to sit down with him for an interview.

Here was a professional cartoonist who was about to win a Pulitzer (not that he, presumably, knew that, but still), talking with a geeky nearly-fifteen-year-old boy. He could've given me curt answers, he could've been a jerk, or he could've treated me like a kid. Instead he was open, personable, excited, and talked with me as though I was just as much of a professional as he was. He autographed a copy of his book of editorial cartoons to me with the phrase "Blessed are the journalists, especially [cerebus19]."

The next day I tracked him down to give him a copy of the article I'd written. He was getting ready to leave the convention, and was probably busy, but he sat right down and read it start to finish, thanked me for saying such nice things about him, and shook my hand.

I never saw him again, but somewhere in the back of my mind I guess I saw him as a friend. Goodbye, Doug.
posted by cerebus19 at 3:31 PM on July 10, 2007 [3 favorites]

Most adults - especially professionals with any sort of recognition - don't treat teens with that much respect, so I can see how he would have been recorded as a friend.

Man. The more I read about his life, the sadder I am that I never told him how much his work meant to me.
posted by batmonkey at 3:34 PM on July 10, 2007

When I lived in Charlotte NC, and hung out with the Jim Bakker crowd in the early 80s (ok, I guess I was one of the Jim Bakker crowd) it infuriated the Bakkers to no end when Marlette would feature them in his cartoons in the Charlotte Observer.

His most insightful cartoon would come later though, in the late 80s when he featured Jerry Falwell as a snake in the garden, saying "That's right - Jim and Tammy were expelled from Paradise and left me in charge." (Scroll down this page.)

At that time, the Bakkers had left PTL due to the surfacing of Jim's early 80s sexual indiscretion, and the resulting payoffs. They signed over the ministry to Falwell, expecting to return later. Marlette got no end of grief, because everyone thought Falwell was going to be the savior of PTL, and was being incredibly altruistic by taking stewardship of PTL. Not long after the cartoon was published, Marlette was proven right when Falwell deviously took control and declared the Bakkers would never return, calling them "a cancer."

When I heard the news of Marlette's death on the radio today, I was stunned and saddened. Condolences to his family.
posted by The Deej at 3:41 PM on July 10, 2007

He won a Pulitzer for his work about the Bakkers

I Was a Tool of Satan, an article by Marlette


Twenty-five years ago, I began inciting the wrath of the faithful by caricaturing the grotesque disparity between Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's televangelism scam and the Christian piety they used to justify it. I was then working at The Charlotte Observer, in the hometown of the Bakkers' PTL Club, which instigated a full-bore attack on me. The issues I was cartooning were substantial enough that I won the Pulitzer Prize for my PTL work. ...

One of the first cartoons I ever drew on PTL was in 1978, when Jim Bakker's financial mismanagement forced him to lay off a significant portion of his staff. The drawing showed the TV preacher sitting at the center of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper informing his disciples, "I'm going to have to let some of you go!" ...

posted by The Deej at 3:48 PM on July 10, 2007

That's just awful. Marlette was a member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, which just held our annual convention last week. I never made the chance to meet him. RIP.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:54 PM on July 10, 2007

And somehow Tammy Faye managed to outlive HIM too.

He was an excellent cartoonist, whether or not I personally agreed with everything he drew.

Condolences to his family.
posted by konolia at 4:36 PM on July 10, 2007

Awww. I didn't recognize the name, but I sure knew his work immediately. He was one of those instantly-recognizable cartoonists.

posted by yhbc at 5:04 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by Smart Dalek at 5:56 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by Scoo at 6:47 PM on July 10, 2007

January 1986.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:59 PM on July 10, 2007

I loved Kudzu, but one of the most fascinating things about the cartoon I learned in seminary when I discovered that minister, theologian and author Will Campbell was the inspiration for Will B. Dunn. Campbell is...well...beyond simple words to describe. You need to read the article. He was once described as 'chaplain to the country music stars'. As crazy as he seems his books and theories are worth studying and still to this day he has the best one sentence theology I have come across; "We're all bastards, but God loves us anyway".
posted by UseyurBrain at 9:35 PM on July 10, 2007

posted by Colloquial Collision at 6:11 AM on July 11, 2007

Oh, man.
posted by pemungkah at 12:15 PM on July 11, 2007

In this slide show of his cartoons, #30 memorializes David Halberstam, who in April also was killed while riding in a car someone else was driving. The caption, "The Best and the Brightest," fits Marlette as well.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:55 PM on July 11, 2007

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