jerry king sees himself as a do-it-all designer.
He recently became an editorial cartoonist for the Canton Repository. Readers can find his work in the Sunday edition each week.
King, who graduated from Lake High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Ohio State University, began illustrating professionally as a teenager and was published before heading off to college.
“I started illustrating children’s books for a publisher when I was still in high school. I already knew how to draw, but to be a good cartoonist, writing is essential,” King said. “Then I worked for newspapers, magazines, greeting card companies and more. Today my cartoons are published all over the world.”
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He is also an author, having written cartoon books as well as books on golf and humor in general. King said people usually react in disbelief or think it’s just a hobby when they find out he’s a cartoonist.
He was recognized as the #2 Army Draftsman while serving in the military. He was also recognized as the best college editorial cartoonist in America. Then, after graduating, the National Cartoonists Society named him one of America’s top cartoonists. His cartoons have been recognized by two presidents.
King drew cartoons for Playboy magazine for over 20 years. During this same period he also drew cartoons for Disney, American Greetings and others.
He knows the people of Stark County and can relate to the local challenges and positive aspects of the county as he lives in Jackson Township with his wife Annie; their two daughters, Giana and Sienna; three cats, Jasper, Moji and Zoey; two dogs, Miles and Coco; and a gerbil named Pepper.
Would you like to detail what your cartoons are about?
I like to stick to issues that everyone can relate to. Not Biden or Trump stuff.
My characters are everyone, like a composite character of all of us.
Sometimes I’ll get frustrated with something like telemarketers, traffic, porch hackers…and then I’ll take my frustration out in a cartoon. Most people can understand.
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Where do you find your inspiration?
Daily life. This crazy world gives me ideas on a silver platter. Even at the local level.
Who have been some of your favorite cartoonists and artists and why?
I’ve never really been inspired by other cartoonists, but there’s one cartoonist who makes me look at myself and say “I suck” at him.
His name is Robert Weber and he was a cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine. I only wish I had met him before he died.
How do you find humor in today’s political environment and is it hard to find what’s funny about a particular topic?
I find humor in just about everything. I’m never short of ideas. I like to focus on topics that concern us all. I love hearing people tell me that they can identify with the cartoon I drew.
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What do you think are the most talked about topics or seem to be the most concerning here in Stark County, political or otherwise?
Little things that affect our lives, like taxes, road construction, gas prices…and fun stuff, like the Pro Football Hall of Fame, local fairs. … It’s a great community!
Editor’s Note: Five Questions With… is a Sunday feature that features a member of the Stark County community. If you would like to recommend someone to participate, email [email protected]