The daily comic strip called Redeye ran in more than 400 newspapers from 1967 to 2008. Gordon Bess started the strip when he worked for a Cincinnati greeting card company. He’d grown up in Idaho and was pleased that he was able to move back to Boise when the strip became a success.
Bess let Idaho slip into the strip from time to time. He had a special love for the Owyhees, and many of his backgrounds were reminiscent of that mountain range. And, although the horse in Redeye didn’t sport spots, he once told me he thought of Loco as an Appaloosa, the Idaho state horse.
Redeye ran in 20 different countries and was especially popular in Europe. Bess received the Alfred Award in France for the best foreign humor strip in 1976. The cartoonist retired in 1988 and passed away in 1989. The strip went on until 2008, drawn by other artists.
Steve Moore, the cartoonist who created the In the Bleachers single-panel cartoon that appears on many sports pages, lived in Boise for a few years. It was during the time he was working on his animated movie Open Season. He once said that living in Idaho gave him some fodder for the movie. Moore was also one of the creators of the Alpha and Omega movie series. He no longer does daily cartoon work because of a debilitating disease, but he’s still active in film projects and books.
Todd Clark’s work is seen daily all over the country. The Boise cartoonist’s strip Lola is about a grandmother who is full of surprises. She’s patterned after the great aunt of cartoonist Steve Dickerson, who started the stirp in partnership with Clark. Clark now does it on his own. You might be surprised to learn that cartoonists sometimes write the setups for each other’s strips. Clark writes occasional strips for Sherman's Lagoon, Mother Goose & Grimm, Frank and Ernest, Tundra, B.C., Wizard of Id, Baby Blues, and Zits.
Boise finds its way into Lola frequently. Watch for BSU coffee mugs and other references.
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