Cartoonist Howie Schneider, 1930-2007
I heard the sad news this morning that Cape-Cod-based cartoonist, artist, sculptor and children's book author Howie Schneider has passed away at the age of 77 due to complications from heart surgery.
I only got to know Howie in the past year (I don't usually talk about it in this blog, but I work at a syndicate), and I am deeply sorry I didn't know him longer. Howie would often send me witty hand-written notes with each batch of cartoons. I taught him how to use a scanner and PhotoShop so he could submit his comic strips to the syndicate by e-mail. He came to visit New York not long ago, and told me over sushi lunch that he preferred to send the strips by mail because it gave him an excuse to go into town and chat with his friends at the post office.
Howie always called me "sweetie," which coming from someone else could have sounded condescending but coming from Howie was high praise and an expression of his generally sweet nature.
Sweet he may have been in person, but his cartoons had bite. The Sunshine Club, Howie's syndicated strip about "Generation Rx," and issues of aging, often used dark humor and touched on politics, health insurance (and the lack thereof), prescription drug costs, death, life expectancy and much more.
Here's the PDF press release about Howie's passing, which has lots of biographical details.
Here's what his hometown paper, Provincetown's Banner, wrote about Howie yesterday.