Veteran cartoonist (BEETLE BAILEY, SAM AND SILO and others), writer, and all around "renaissance man" Jerry Dumas died Saturday November 12, 2016 at his home in Greenwich, CT. The cause was neuroendocrine cancer. He was 86 years old.
Comics historian Rick Marschall:
“Many people claimed to be, or are honored as, ‘Renaissance Men,’ but Jerry simply was. And the artwork he did on certain of his own strips - especially his ‘Sam and Silo’ Sundays - were masterpieces, utter masterpieces, of detail, 'feathering,' visual substance and plain inky love.”
Bill Janocha, who had worked with Jerry on Beetle Bailey since 1987:
“Jerry was a great story and joke teller, with a seemingly unflagging memory for details and color in his tales.... He spared nothing in his descriptions of past interactions, personalities and commentary on the beauty he saw in his surroundings and the quirks in humanity.”
(Quotes from the Greenwich Times.)
Here is the obituary from Maria Scriven, Connecticut National Cartoonists Society Chair:
Jerry was born on June 6, 1930 and started drawing when he was nine years old, continuing to cartoon when he was in high school in his native Detroit.
“I used to get on the bus and go into downtown Detroit and sell cartoons to Teen magazine for $2,” he remembered. “I really thought I had made it. I was aiming for The New Yorker and TheSaturday Evening Post.” He finally realized his dream and was published in “The SaturdayEvening Post” at age twenty-six and “The New Yorker” at twenty-nine.
After finishing high school, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Arizona. He remained in the Grand Canyon State to attend Arizona State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 1955. Fifty years later, he was invited back to speak at a commencement ceremony.
In 1956, Dumas moved to New York where he eventually met Mort Walker through a mutual friend. They worked together for more than sixty years on both the Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois strips.
Jerry co-created Sam’s Strip with Mort Walker in 1961. The strip was cancelled in 1963, but was resurrected by Dumas as Sam and Silo in 1977, and it has continued to the present day. In addition, Jerry collaborated on Benchley with Mort Drucker and Rabbits Rafferty and McCall of the Wild with Mel Crawford.
As a writer, Dumas wrote a regular column for his local newspaper “The Greenwich Time,” published a memoir “An Afternoon in Waterloo Park,” and a “Rabbits Rafferty,” children’s novel. His prose and poetry have appeared in “The Atlantic”, “Smithsonian”, “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post”.
Jerry Dumas is survived by his wife, Gail and their three sons, Timothy, David and John.
Services are scheduled for November 21, 2016.
Greenwich Times obituary
National Cartoonists Society site
Michael Maslin's Inkspill