Just a quick note: As several commentors have pointed out, the blog of cartoonist Mike Lynch reports that They’ll Do It Every Time artist Al Scaduto passed away yesterday. There are no further details and I can’t find any other source for the news, but it seems that Lynch knew him personally, so I don’t have reason to doubt it.
TDIET is one of the few comics that I have become more affectionate towards over the course of doing this blog. It’s always enjoyable to poke fun at the strip’s anachronisms and patois, but it created a world that many of us found fun to visit, like the house of our favorite and slightly crazy uncle. Perhaps the biggest sign of that is the sheer number of Comics Curmudgeon readers who submitted their ideas to the feature. I was very excited about the fact that there are no less than ten TDIETs from our readers coming up in the next six weeks; now the prospect is tinged with melancholy, but at least I hope they can serve as an extended tribute to the man, who probably won’t get the mentions on NPR and in the New York Times like Johnny Hart did.
It will be interesting to see if King Features gets anyone else to do the strip. Scaduto was the third artist for a strip that was actually only a year younger than he was, and had only been the lead artist on it for the last 18 years (though he had been an assistant for years before that). It might be interesting to see what someone with a more modern sensibility would do with it, but, based on numerous email exchanges with him I’ve had reported to me (including one with my wife, who’ll never get to see her idea worked up now), it will be hard to match his good nature and generosity of spirit. Best ever, Al.