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A Cartoonist Mafia?

Following up on Alix’s recent post, how many Williams alums are cartoonists? The three I know of are Dorothy Gambrell ’00, author of Cat and Girl; Justin Borus ’98, co-creator of Girls & Sports, and Chan Lowe ’75, an editorial cartoonist at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Are there others? Has Williams created a “Cartoonist Mafia”? At least we appear to be ahead of Yale, which claims Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame.

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#1 Comment By Eric Smith ’99 On March 24, 2005 @ 1:19 pm

Chan Lowe does a winter study class every few years at Williams. I had the pleasure of being part of that my Soph year and Dorothy Gambrell was in that class as well (we were in a few of the same art classes during my time there).

Also in that Winter Study class was Ted Mann (’99) who then went on to do really great cartoons for the Record, but I haven’t kept up with what he is up to these days (last I read, he was part of the Art Mafia in that he was at the Guggenheim, not sure of his role there, or if he is still there).

There was also a guy in the class of ’00 who did very good cartoons, but not only am I blanking on his name (common for me), but I am not sure if he has continued with that (he too was in that Chan Lowe class).

I would argue that a lot of these people had contact with Chan Lowe and he passed on to them the desire to create something great. Chan is a very cool guy.

#2 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On March 24, 2005 @ 2:16 pm

It’s nice to hear that Chan has had such a positive impact. I was not a super fan of his at college. He was in my freshman entry and was, shall we say, quite ascerbic, in those days. (Of course, probably an essential quality for an editorial cartoonist).

Two Chan stories. (1) He always slept late on Sundays, but one Sunday I was stunned to see him up before 2:00 PM. When I quizzed him on this radical change in behavior, he noted he needed to get up because his mother (Carol Channing) was giving the Super Bowl half-time show. (2) She’d sent him a HUGE alarm clock (probably 3′ high) from Neiman Marcus. When it went off it sounded like a fire alarm in a commercial building. I remember a group of us discussing putting it outside the room of an upopular entry mate one evening and having it go off at 2:00 AM. Most of us thought it was a swell idea, but Chan ultimately decided against it, worried that the victim would heave it down the hall and that would be the end of the alarm clock. I still think fondly of the probable pyrotechnics that we missed.

#3 Comment By Seth On March 28, 2005 @ 1:28 am

Another Williams alum cartoonist is Tom Stackpole ’01, who draws some good stuff at BoneDancer.com. In addition to his signature piece (“The Dipthera Plague”), he has up an experimental webcomic called “Invisible Forces” which has received a bit of notice in France.

#4 Comment By Eric Smith ’99 On March 28, 2005 @ 8:14 am

I had absolutely no idea that Chan Lowe’s mother was Carol Channing (THE Carol Channing). He never mentioned that in his class, although I guess I don’t know why he would.

Funny you mention sleeping late – that was certainly what I did in college, but Chan made it clear that he was going to have an early morning class (early for Winter Study at least, probably 9am or so) and that attendance was crucial (it was Winter Study after all).

Chan generally was very laid back and pleasant in my experience with him and he made no indication of privilege either in the sense of his Pulitzer (it was mentioned in the class write-up, but I don’t recall him mentioning it), or while growing up.

He did have some negative things to say about the pizza place on Spring Street which has since burned down – I don’t think it had yet at that point though.