Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Elon guest
Marlette says humor 'rooted in pain'


Pultizer Prize-winning cartoonist Doug Marlette shared some of his work and discussed his North Carolina family roots during a presentation Feb. 18 in Whitley Auditorium. Dr. Anthony Hatcher of the School of Communications brought Marlette to campus through a Project Pericles grant.

Marlette, an editorial cartoonist who also draws the syndicated daily comic strip "Kudzu," has captured the mood of the nation after some of the world's most important events. He shared some of his famous newspaper cartoons during his Elon visit, including work he created in the wake of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster and in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Marlette's cartoons often poke fun at the world's political and religious leaders. Laughter was abundant as Marlette showed samples of his work which made light of Presidents Bush and Clinton, as well as television evangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

"Humor is rooted in pain," Marlette said. "If you think about it, somebody slipping on a banana peel is painful. If you're watching it, it's funny, but if you're the one who's slipping, then it's painful."

Marlette has worked as a cartoonist for newspapers in Charlotte, Atlanta and New York. He now works for the Tallahassee Democrat in Florida, and his syndicated cartoons appear in newspapers across the country.

A North Carolina native who grew up in nearby Durham, Marlette now lives in Hillsborough, N.C. His grandmother was an activist in the 1934 textile mill uprisings in Burlington, which signaled the end of the organized labor movement in the South.

In an ironic twist, Marlette discovered that the house he now owns in Hillsborough was built by owner of the nearby textile mill, which employed several members of his family. That revelation led Marlette to write his first novel, "The Bridge," which was published in 2001.



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Last Modified:  3/18/03
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