Our Buddy Merl

UnknownIt was tough to see that Merl Reagle died the other day at a very young 65.

Jerry and I met Merl at the Tucson Festival of Books a few years ago. For a crossword fanatic like me, it was like meeting a rockstar. Merl brought a wicked sense of humor to constructing, and almost single-handedly stole puzzles from the blue-rinse ghetto when he hit the scene.
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Advice to a Young Cartoonist

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I received the following email the other day, and responded with the advice that follows it. Then I started wondering if this is still helpful in 2015. Am I thinking like an old guy? What are your thoughts?

Q. Hello. I am thirteen years old and really enjoy reading the Zits comic strip in the Toronto Star. I love to cartoon and I aspire to be a cartoonist. Can I ask where you got your training to become a professional cartoonist.       –Jacob

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