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Herman creator Jim Unger passes at age 75
Jim Unger, creator of Herman has passed away yesterday at age 75 at his home in British Columbia. His strip Herman ran from 1974 through 1992 and served as an inspiration to Gary Larson’s The Far Side. He was twice the recipient of the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Syndicated Panel.
Dave Coverly, who has been doing his comic panel Speed Bump since 1994 says that Unger was an inspiration for him wanting to be a cartoonist.
“Well, I feel like an essential part of my childhood just left me. Jim was an idol of mine, and his Treasuries were one of the main reasons I decided to become a cartoonist – in fact, my sister and I still can, and do, quote many of the captions in those books (“Don’t play with grandpa’s greasy hair before dinner” springs to mind). And if you recall, his Treasuries also contained bits of writing. One chapter that sealed my desire to become a cartoonist described his working day: He soaked in a bathtub for hours, relaxing and thinking of ideas. What a life, I thought!
His ink lines were gorgeous, and his punchlines twisted; they combined to make panels of genius. After my own work became syndicated, I reached out to him, and he generously gave me a bit of mentoring and wise words of caution based on his own experiences. I’ve thought of those words often. Damn, he was one of the Good Ones.”
I found a tribute video on Youtube with a selection of his golf cartoons. In all, he had more than 20 comic collections in print.
My condolences go out to his family and friends.