Jim Whiting, 1926-2015

April 3, 2015


(Click images to enlarge.)
Photo from San Diego Union Tribune

It’s been a rough week for the cartooning community. The NCS has lost another longtime member with the news that cartoonist Jim Whiting passed away on March 29th. Jim was a fixture at the annual Reuben Awards Weekend, and was a wonderful, warm and talented man. He worked for decades doing gag cartoons for hundreds of clients, authored and illustrated several books and collections of his works, and was a driving force behind the Southern California Chapter of the NCS.

Jim’s Bio from his website, which demonstrates his self-deprecating sense of humor:

Jim Whiting began his career as a magazine cartoonist, creating chuckles for such well respected national publications as The Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, and LOOK magazine, remember any of them?

Following a short stint at a successful advertising agency in NYC, (unnamed here to protect its reputation), Jim began to sell his original cartoons to the above-mentioned clients and over 75 additional publications.  Mr. Whiting has created countless illustrations for books, magazines and presentations and developed drawings used to sell numerous products.

Jim Whiting has lived in Southern California with his wife, Bernita since 1984 and they are happiest about the fact that their five children (all out of the nest now) are also five of their best friends.

For Jim, tennis is a passion. Whether watching or playing the game, a day with some tennis is always a better day!

Magic is also a rewarding hobby for Jim since grade school. Ask him for a quick illusion and smile along. But never ask how it’s done, ’cause he won’t tell…

Here’s an article on Jim and his career from the San Diego Union Tribune from 2013.

012This is a re-post from the National Cartoonists Society website.

Playboy Or Not?

April 30, 2010

On Being Rejected By “Hef”

Back in the 1980s and ’90s when I was trying to become a magazine cartoonist and having only moderate success at venues such as  Saturday Evening Post, TV Guide, and Writer’s Digest, the publication I really wanted to crack was Playboy. Next to the New Yorker (which rejects just about everybody), Playboy was one of the highest paying magazines still in the gag cartooning game. The problem was I had no idea how to write a sexy caption or draw a sexy woman. But the money was good, so I decided to try anyway and hope that Hugh Hefner, the magazine’s founder and editor, would find my subtle attempts at fleshy humor appealing. After all, I thought, the man’s not just a booty-hound, he’s also claims to be an intellectual—all you had to do was read his essays in the magazine to know that. But as it turned out selling him one (or more) of my cartoons was not to be. (Click the letter to enlarge.)

Prior to receiving that letter I had been encouraged when the long-time cartoon editor of Playboy, Michelle Urry, “held” some images from three “batches” I submitted each month. So I knew that Hefner’s gatekeeper appreciated my indirect take when it came to male lust; she liked my gags enough to show them to her boss. Several months went by before I heard the final verdict, which you see above.

I showed the no-sale note to a feminist-Marxist friend of mine, just for laughs. She promptly displayed her sharp radical-chic sense of humor by scrawling the note in the upper right corner of the letter. Her comment alone made my efforts worthwhile.

Below are three rejected cartoons from one of the 1997 batchs of ten monthly cartoon ideas. You be the judge—are they Playboy-worthy?

To purchase reprint rights for these and many other of my cartoons, visit my archive at cartoonstock.com

Copyright © 2010 Jim Sizemore.