Editorial Cartoonist Mickey Siporin Dies at 65

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By: Dave Astor

Mickey Siporin, a formerly syndicated editorial cartoonist, died late last week at the age of 65.

The New Jersey resident regularly did cartoons for The Westsider weekly newspaper in New York City, and also freelanced cartoons to dailies such as the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Toronto Star, and The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

In addition, Siporin was a professor at Montclair State University before retiring several years ago, and a filmmaker whose short movies aired on Cinemax, HBO, PBS, and Showtime. His parody of educational films, “”How to Eat,”” is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Siporin — syndicated by Chronicle Features in the mid-1990s — was one of the creators featured in “”Attitude: The New Subversive Political Cartoonists”” edited by Universal Press Syndicate editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. In that 2002 book, Rall called Siporin “”one of the country’s most unjustly underexposed political cartoonists.””

When asked Monday for a comment about Siporin, Rall e-mailed: “”Mickey was the oldest cartoonist in the anthology, but he had one of the youngest styles. Melding retro-beat graphics with an updated ’90s alt-comix sensibility and his unique sense of abstraction, Mickey’s comics achieve the cartoonist’s first goal: distilling complex issues to their essentials.””

Rall added: “”If his work didn’t appear in every newspaper in the country, that was their — and their readers’ — loss. It was also tribute to his easygoing nature. Whenever I encouraged Mickey to do more marketing, he’d hem and haw. He wanted to draw, not sell. He was a cartoonist’s cartoonist, and in a profession dominated by clones and copycats, one unlike any other. [And] he was one hell of a guy.””

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