Artist Spotlight Artists - Cartoonists Dick Guindon


Recently came across the following collection of Dick Guindon cartoons at a used book store.

Published by the Minneapolis Tribune – 1977
Back cover photo. Notice the Minneapolis skyline is only the IDS and the Foshay.

Here’s the copy that went with the photo shown above:

“Dick Guindon’s first cartoons, dealing with a character called Hugger Mugger, were published in the Minnesota Daily. Hugger Mugger eventually was syndicated and appeared in 100 college newspapers. Guindon then went to New York, where, as a freelance cartoonist, he sold his work to Downbeat, Playboy, Esquire and New York Magazine. The Realist sent him abroad for a year as a kind of cartoonist-correspondent in Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Israel. Guindon was born December 2, 1935, in St. Paul. He began cartooning when he finished three years in the army, and he joined the Minneapolis Tribune in 1968.”

And here’s Guindon in his own words from the foreword…

I grew up on Guindon – he’s one of my favorites.
His cartoons nailed the archetypal Minnesotan in a way that no one else has come close. The caricatures in the Coen brothers movie Fargo are the popular stereotype, but Guindon goes more to the core.

In 1981 Guindon moved from Minneapolis to Detroit.
I found the following time capsule of the event on YouTube.
There are quick cameos of a young Louie Anderson and Garrison Keillor among others…

And here’s an interview with Guindon in Detroit.

Tragedy struck in April 1987 when the studio Guindon had in a historic four-story building in Traverse City, Michigan was destroyed by fire. More than 5,000 cartoons and sketches burned.

Click on image to see larger.

In February 2005 Patty Stearns interviewed Guindon for Traverse Magazine.
Here’s a few excerpts…

Gaze over to the floor-to-ceiling bookcases in
Guindon’s living/dining room and scan the titles: The
Catcher in the Rye, Marcella’s Italian Kitchen, Salt: A
World History, The Lies of George W. Bush.
There’s an
entire section devoted to the works of novelist Elmore
“Dutch” Leonard, whose late wife, Carol, brought back
one of Guindon’s prized espresso pots from a trip to
Europe. A case of the cartoonist’s favorite wine,
Côtes du Rhône, fills another couple of shelves.
Next to that stands a three-quarter-sized rendition
of the artist himself—a painted board with a cutout
for a wristwatch, which is missing. Guindon calls
it his “Grandfather Clock,” although he is not yet
a grandfather.

Guindon has produced cartoons that are part of the Smithsonian
Institution’s Archives of American Art and The Ohio
State University Cartoon Research Library. He has authored
six books, and collectors sell pieces of his life from galleries and
over the Internet for big bucks.

None of this has gone to his head.

Guindon has never socialized much with his fellow cartoonists.
“I find them a little bit sad, frankly,” he says. “They
tend to work on kitchen tables and not think of themselves
very professionally and that sort of thing.” He gets a smirk on
his face.

You never really know when he’s kidding.

“Everyone who’s ever been around me is always surprised by
how much goes into it, because you always think, well, they’re
just potato heads,” Guindon says.

But screenwriter Kurt Luedtke, a friend and former executive
editor of the Free Press, has seen this artist in action.
“The truth about Guindon is that he draws unusually well; a
lot of folks miss that, I think, perceiving him as a very funny
guy with an offbeat sense of humor who’s a cartoonist. Study
those panels for a while and you realize that his oblique take
on life is just the beginning of a process that really ends with
a masterful pen.”

According to Wikipedia, Guindon announced his retirement that same year.

To wherever Guindon is now, I raise a glass of Côtes du Rhône in salute…

1/17/2013 Update:
Check out more of Guindon’s work at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Blog.

By Jim Keefe

Jim Keefe is the current artist of the Sally Forth comic strip. From 1996-2003 he was the writer and artist of the Flash Gordon comic strip. A graduate of the Joe Kubert School, Keefe likewise teaches Comic Art. Teaching and speaking engagements include SVA in Manhattan, Hofstra’s UCCE Youth Programs, and most recently the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

4 replies on “Guindon”

I bought a copy of that book when it first came out. I was living in Cedar-Riverside while attending two universities simultaneously and trying to get home from Vietnam. The book and I moved to Arizona and California, then it moved back to my parent’s garage in Crystal to wait for me while I did a stint in Japan. I’m still in Japan, my parents are no longer in that house, and the book, along with everything else I’d left there, was gone when my sisters cleaned out the garage. I’ve been looking for a copy of the cartoon in which several men in coonskin caps are all peeking into the window of a log cabin while two others are talking. One says “You idiot, I said a crew of hearty voyageurs!”

does anyone have the guindon cartoon of people from michigan pointing to places on their palms explaining where in michigan they’re from?

I have been searching for one of his cartoons from sometime close to Thanksgiving 1977 that showed turkeys in a barnyard when one comes up and says “Hey, we get to go in a truck!” I’ve searched his collections but have not been able to find it. Any ideas if it was published in any of his books?

Hey I am so happy I found your blog page. I really found you by mistake while I was searching on Yahoo for something else. Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a incredible post and an all around enjoyable blog.

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