Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Marcus Hamiliton: Cartooning Perseverence

Above: "Marcus Hamilton would tell you not much about him has changed since his youth growing up in Lexington [NC], long before a certain lovable menace entered his life." Photo by Heather J. Smith.

"Cartoonist shares message of perseverance with hometown" is the headline for an October 20th newspaper story about Marcus Hamilton written by The Dispatch reporter Heather J. Smith.

Over 20 years ago, he had to close his illustration studio.

"Slowly, requests for his work thinned, and he closed the studio he built behind his house and took a regular job at the encouragement of his wife. At 50 years old, Hamilton worked a minimum-wage job at Wal-Mart, discouraged in his love of art and God.

“'I was looking for somewhere to place the blame, and I blamed God,' Hamilton said. 'I said ‘Lord, I’ve trusted you with my life, and look where it got me.’'

"But several things happened that year that changed his life. He welcomed his first grandchild and suffered a major heart attack, but the biggest change happened by not even looking for it.

"While flipping through channels on the television, he paused long enough to watch an interview with Hank Ketcham, creator and illustrator of Dennis since 1951. He was asked what he wanted to do with the rest of his life after 40 years of drawing the comic.

"'I will never forget his answer. He said he could love to be able to paint and travel, but he always had that daily deadline,' Hamilton said. 'He said, ‘I would love to find someone to draw Dennis so I could retire.'"

More here.

Marcus, who is a gentleman and one of the nicest fellows you'd meet, credits perseverance and trust in God as the keys to success.

Above: Marcus Hamilton's bio from the National Cartoonists Society Web site.

Another tip o' the hat to Journalista!

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