News From ME

Dave Thorne, R.I.P.

Sad to hear of the passing of Dave Thorne, a fine cartoonist and a fine person. Dave was passionate about two things in life. One was drawing silly pictures and he did it well and loved to share his talents with others. He would draw a picture for anyone at any time and/or dispense a cartooning lesson. His work was filled with joy and humor and you could just look at the drawings and sense they were created by someone you'd like.

His other passion was Hawaii…or as he usually called it, "Paradise." The Hawaii Tourist Bureau should have had this guy on retainer. He thought it was the greatest place on Earth and was on a one-man mission to get everyone on the planet to move there and love it as much as he did. He was always sure they would.

Scott Shaw! (who just called me with the sad news) remarked that if Dave had pressed his talents in some major city in the continental U.S., he could well have been a successful mainstream cartoonist. Instead, he chose to live in Hawaii where he got involved in using cartoons to educate and inspire. He may hold the world record for the most "chalk talks" given and the most young people inspired to pick up a pen and learn to draw. In that venue and context, he had a wildly successful career and Scott and I concur that given the choice, he would have preferred that to any other option.

He had recently had a series of strokes and last night, he had one so massive that the decision was made to remove him from life support. I believe he was 82 though the last time I saw him — maybe ten years ago at a Comic-Con in San Diego — he looked barely fifty. He bragged about his age, attributing his (then) good health to living in Paradise. I think loving his work as much as he did probably had something to do with it, too.

Here's Dave doing what he did so well and with such delight: Drawing for people. Aloha, Dave!