Arkansas Cartoonist Bottles Up The Ink

By: Rob Tornoe

For veteran political and sports cartoonist Vic Harville, the allure spending some alone with his wife, Jean, in their house on Millwood Lake in southwest Arkansas became too great to postpone.  

Harville is retiring from Stephens Media after spending over 11 years poking fun at Arkansas’s broad array of interesting characters from the newspaper chain’s Little Rock Bureau.  

“It’s been a great ride,” Harville said, who will still be doing some freelance work when it comes to sports and the Arkansas Razorbacks, including trying his hand at some sports painting.   

“Hopefully it can continue to quench my thirst,” he said.   

Harville started of his career as a technical illustrator before moving to Texarkana in 1985. One there, he was recruited by a friend to draw cartoons for the Texarkana Gazette. After a years, he was called up to draw cartoons for Arkansas’s largest paper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he spent the next 12 years skewering such local politicians such as Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee, who thinks that Harville “is, quite frankly, one of the best editorial cartoonists around.”  

Harville joined Stephens Media Group in 2000, and since then there have been so many public officials to make fun of, even he couldn’t tell you his favorite.  

“You’d have to flip a coin to see who it’d be,” he said.   

With the recent instability in the newspaper business, Harville is happy that he has to ability to go out on top on his own terms, even as he looks back fondly at his time in the newsroom.   

“I’ve been in the business for some time,” Harville said. “Just being able to get my ideas on paper is something I’m going to miss.   

“Although, the grind of watching the news 24 hours a day to get ideas is something I won’t really miss that much.    

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