Dick Guindon

Dick Guindon

Richard Gordon Guindon (born December 2 1936) is an American cartoonist best known for his gag panel, Guindon. Dick Guindon's cartoons have appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune, The Realist and the Detroit Free Press. During the late 1950s, Guindon attended the University of Minnesota where he drew cartoons for The Minnesota Daily, as recalled by Stan Gotlieb:

In the campus newspaper, The Minnesota Daily, a young, brash, twisted and immensely talented cartoonist named Dick Guindon put out social commentary in a Jules Feiffer vein but with more bite. I had first met Guindon when I was still in high school. Some friends took me to a storefront in east Saint Paul, owned by Dick's mother, where he had painted the walls black, put candles in old bottles, and installed a hi-fi and a toaster oven for heating frozen pizza. There, in the Jazz Lab, we were introduced to Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker, Thelonious Monk and other greats of jazz through their LP recordings. Guindon's most ubiquitous cartoon character was a student he called Huggermugger, who went around with bushy hair and a long beard, wearing an overcoat that was held together by a giant safety pin. Huggermugger was an enemy of pretension. I remember one panel where Huggermugger was peacefully eating a bowl of soup in one of the student cafeterias. An undergraduate woman in bohemian attire sits down next to him, and tells him, for the next two panels, how glad she is that he is there; how much she appreciates sharing her space with a kindred spirit, so au-courant, so genteel, so perceptive, just like her. In the final panel, her face showing great dismay, she turns to him and says, "Did you just spit in my soup?"

Living in New York during the early 1960s, Guindon drew cartoons for Paul Krassner's The Realist and was associated with Krassner's class at the Free School, as recalled by Michael Dooley:

His guest speakers included people like Michael O'Donoghue, who wrote the Phoebe Zeit-Geist comic for Evergreen Review, Abbie Hoffman, Emmett Grogan of the Diggers, just an incredible assortment of countercultural icons. Dick Guindon, an extremely talented but sadly undervalued cartoonist, was also involved in this class.

Exiting New York, Guindon returned to Minnesota. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine noted in its "Encyclopedia Minnesotica" that Guindon is "Minnesota's greatest satirist, formerly with the Tribune, now living and working near Detroit. No one's ever done us better. Not Keillor, not even the Coens."

Minnesota to Michigan

In 1981, Guindon moved from Minnesota to work in Michigan for the Detroit Free Press, which issued a 1984 datebook, Guindon's Detroit. In May 1984, he made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He had a three-month art exhibition, "Richard Guindon, 1981-1984" at the Flint Institute of Arts from March 10 to May 26 1985. That same year, he took an extended vacation, continuing to draw his cartoons while driving around Europe.

When he returned to the United States, he moved to Traverse City, Michigan in March 1986, and the following August he set up his studio in downtown Traverse City with a third-floor view of Grand Traverse Bay. Eight months later, the historic four-story building was destroyed by fire. "I've lost 30-some years of work," said Guindon. "It's funny this building should wait 97 years for me to move into it before burning." More than 7000 cartoons and sketches burned in the April 1987 fire, but a few weeks later Guindon learned that Irv Letofsky, Sunday editor of the Los Angeles Times "Calendar" section, had saved a copy of every Guindon cartoon syndicated over a decade.

In 1988, Guindon broke out of the single-panel mold and began a multi-panel comic strip, The Carp Chronicles, commenting, "Nothing ever works out in Carp City. I don't know why. They're very nice people. It's not a pretty story, but it has to be told."


Guindon retired from the Detroit Free Press in October 2005. His cartoons have been collected in several books: Guindon: In the Beginning (Minneapolis Tribune, 1977), Cartoons by Guindon (Putnam's/Quick Fox, 1980), The World According to Carp (Andrews McMeel, 1983), Together Again (Andrews McMeel, 1986) and Michigan So Far (Detroit Free Press, 2003).

Guindon wrote the foreword for Detroit broadcaster Sonny Eliot's book, Sonny Sez! Legends, Yarns & Downright Truths (Wayne State University Press, 2007), illustrated by political cartoonist Draper Hill.

The Realist

Guindon's best known work from the 1960s was published in The Realist. Much of this is adult-themed and extremely sharp in references to politics and current events of the time. Many compare Guindon's output of this period to be equal to the best editorial illustration of the era, on par with Robert Crumb and Ralph Steadman. All links below go to visual examples of Guindon's work from this period:


External links

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