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Friday, September 16, 2005

First Inductees to the Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame

It is with great pleasure that we present to the readers of Four Color Commentary, the first six Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame inductees. Each extremely talented, it's an honor to have them associated with the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection, and the state of Oklahoma.

Jim Lange became the editorial cartoonist for the Daily Oklahoman in 1950. He has won fifteen Freedom Foundation Awards for his work, the American Editorial Cartoonists Ink Bottle Award, and was inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame in 1993. Some of his more than 17,000 editorial cartoons were published in a hardback anthology of editorial cartoonists, Today’s Cartoons, in 1962, and recently released as a book simply titled Lange.

In 1970, David Simpson was named best student editorial cartoonist in the nation by Pi Delta Epsilon. After college, Simpson worked for 33 years as editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa Tribune. He is now the award winning editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa World where he has worked for 14 years. His work was published as Simpson: A Collection of Cartoons from the Tulsa Tribune, and his editorial cartoons currently appear in more than 125 publications. Several are on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Separately and as a team, Jack and Carole Bender have produced an astonishing body of work. In addition to writing and drawing the internationally syndicated comic strip Alley Oop since 1991, the corpus of their work includes editorial and sports cartoons, many covers for several national sports magazines, comic books, and a biography of folk singer Bob Gibson. Oop alone reaches an estimated 25 million readers each day, and is syndicated in about 500 newspapers.

E. Nelson Bridwell left Oklahoma City to become the first comics fan to write Captain Marvel, Superman, Wonder Woman and many other comic book icons. He created and wrote several titles including The Inferior Five, The Maniaks, Angel and the Ape and Suicide Squad for DC Comics. Bridwell also wrote for Mad magazine and edited many hardback collections of comic book stories from the 1930s to the 1970s. Marie O’Brien, Bridwell’s cousin, will accept his award.

Oklahoma Associate Gray Morrow is a legendary artist who worked with Oklahoma writer Archie Goodwin on many successful comic book titles including Creepy and Eerie magazines. Morrow also edited and drew for Archie Comics, illustrated The Spectre for DC Comics, and Powerline for Marvel Comics. Famous for his magazine and book covers, Morrow also drew the Buck Rogers and Tarzan comic strips for many years. Pocho Morrow, Gray’s widow, will accept his award.

(Copy by Michael Vance)