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'The Dropouts' cartoonist Howard Post, 83, dies
Monday, May 24, 2010
Last updated: Monday May 24, 2010, 2:07 PM
The Record
Staff Writer

Howard Post, who brought a desert island to life from his cartoonist’s studio in Leonia, died Friday at the Regent Care Center in Hackensack. He was 83.

Mr. Post created and drew the nationally syndicated comic strip "The Dropouts," which ran in The Record and more than 100 other newspapers from 1968 to 1982. The strip followed the misadventures of two diametrically opposite castaways — the short, plump and pragmatic Sandy and the tall, thin and philosophic Alf.

Fortunately for Sandy and Alf, the South Seas isle they were shipwrecked on was inhabited by a women’s libber, a café owner, a cop and others whose civilization was curiously Western.

"The humor is visual and situational," Mr. Post said in a 1970 interview with The Record. "The characters on my island are really a world in microcosm. They are facing the primitive equivalents of what we face in civilization. And civilization — mankind — is funny."

As for his craft, he observed: "If we can measure art by its personality, then cartoons have more personality than almost any other art form. Leonardo was considered a cartoonist; certainly Goya was … "

The native New Yorker had a long, varied career in cartooning and animation that included stints with Paramount Pictures' cartoon studio and with Hanna-Barbera. Mr. Post drew stories for, among others, the "Casper the Friendly Ghost" comic book series and created "Anthro," a DC comic book series about the first Cro-Magnon boy. "Anthro" was canceled within a year because it did not sell well outside Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Mr. Post told Comic Book Artist magazine. He began "The Dropouts" soon after.

Mr. Post, who spoke several languages and played several instruments, lived a Bohemian life in artsy Leonia.

"My sister and I were raised in a very cultural world," said Mr. Post’s daughter Andee Post. "Our parents were very talented people and I remember sitting at the top of the steps watching the parties they gave." At one party, she said, Philippe Petit — who in 1974 walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers — did the same on the family's Paulin Boulevard front lawn.

In recent years, Mr. Post taught art and illustration privately and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

He is survived by daughters Andee Post and Glynnis Doda, both of Hackensack; a sister, Geraldine Friedman of Florida; four grandchildren and his companion, Pamela Rutt of Greenwich, Conn. His wife, Bobbee, died in 1980.

Services were Monday at Beth-El Cemetery in Washington Township. Arrangements were by Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors.

E-mail: levin@northjersey.com

Howard Post, who brought a desert island to life from his cartoonist’s studio in Leonia, died Friday at the Regent Care Center in Hackensack. He was 83.

Howard Post
Howard Post

Mr. Post created and drew the nationally syndicated comic strip "The Dropouts," which ran in The Record and more than 100 other newspapers from 1968 to 1982. The strip followed the misadventures of two diametrically opposite castaways — the short, plump and pragmatic Sandy and the tall, thin and philosophic Alf.

Fortunately for Sandy and Alf, the South Seas isle they were shipwrecked on was inhabited by a women’s libber, a café owner, a cop and others whose civilization was curiously Western.

"The humor is visual and situational," Mr. Post said in a 1970 interview with The Record. "The characters on my island are really a world in microcosm. They are facing the primitive equivalents of what we face in civilization. And civilization — mankind — is funny."

As for his craft, he observed: "If we can measure art by its personality, then cartoons have more personality than almost any other art form. Leonardo was considered a cartoonist; certainly Goya was … "

The native New Yorker had a long, varied career in cartooning and animation that included stints with Paramount Pictures' cartoon studio and with Hanna-Barbera. Mr. Post drew stories for, among others, the "Casper the Friendly Ghost" comic book series and created "Anthro," a DC comic book series about the first Cro-Magnon boy. "Anthro" was canceled within a year because it did not sell well outside Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Mr. Post told Comic Book Artist magazine. He began "The Dropouts" soon after.

Mr. Post, who spoke several languages and played several instruments, lived a Bohemian life in artsy Leonia.

"My sister and I were raised in a very cultural world," said Mr. Post’s daughter Andee Post. "Our parents were very talented people and I remember sitting at the top of the steps watching the parties they gave." At one party, she said, Philippe Petit — who in 1974 walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers — did the same on the family's Paulin Boulevard front lawn.

In recent years, Mr. Post taught art and illustration privately and at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

He is survived by daughters Andee Post and Glynnis Doda, both of Hackensack; a sister, Geraldine Friedman of Florida; four grandchildren and his companion, Pamela Rutt of Greenwich, Conn. His wife, Bobbee, died in 1980.

Services were Monday at Beth-El Cemetery in Washington Township. Arrangements were by Gutterman and Musicant Jewish Funeral Directors.

E-mail: levin@northjersey.com


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