‘Freep’ Cartoonist Mike Thompson Doing Special Super Bowl Series

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By: Dave Astor

Detroit Free Press editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson is doing a week-long series for his newspaper on the hoopla surrounding this Sunday’s Super Bowl in Detroit.

Copley News Service, which also distributes Thompson’s regular cartoons, is syndicating the “Phil & Ed’s XLlent Adventure” series.

Thompson told E&P that doing the series “is part of my long-standing philosophy that given the current state of editorial cartooning, we cartoonists must adapt and change, or die. I’ve been going to news events for years and covering them. Everything from political conventions to state fairs to the Ryder Cup, the NBA Finals, and the NHL finals to the Detroit Auto Show. Sitting in the ivory tower and pontificating ain’t gonna cut it anymore for editorial cartoonists.”

The series started Sunday. Monday’s second installment focuses on Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome (The Bus) Bettis, a Detroit native.

In that multi-panel cartoon, Thompson wryly notes that it’s surprising a car-oriented city like Detroit would “get so geeked” about a player with a “Bus” nickname. He also jokes that Bettis is scheduled to make appearances all over town at “Bus Stop” signs, and concludes that Bettis remains only the second most famous “Bus” in the Detroit area. The first, of course, is the bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. That restored vehicle is in the Henry Ford Museum.

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