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Meet the Working-Class Cartoonist: Bob Vojtko

Published: July 20, 2011

“You wouldn’t believe all the stuff people had to know before computers!”


May/June 2007

Did your dad draw on the walls? Bob Vojtko’s (pronounced Voit-ko) did—and it inspired his son’s career as a cartoonist. “It all started when I was about 5 years old watching my Dad holding a comic book and painting cartoons on the basement wall,” says Bob. “I thought it looked like fun so I went and got some paper and a pencil and sat on the basement floor and started drawing.”

“You’d think my parents would praise me for making them one of the top 10 downloads on You Tube.”

 Mar/Apr 2008

Mar/Apr 2008

In this cartoon, don’t you wonder just what mom and dad were doing to become such a sensation? Bob got a job for the local newspaper in high school “doing editorial cartoons and a comic strip called Tombstone—about a vampire. I also published my own ‘mini’ comics that I sold for a quarter or 50 cents each. Some of them are getting a few good bucks more now on Ebay.”

“For more pictures, you can visit my Web site: www.ednasgrandchildren.com.”

Jul/Aug 2004

Good ol’ granny. After he graduated from high school, Bob’s dad got him a job at the meat department at the grocery store where he worked. “That lasted a week. There were too many meat cutters missing fingers.” He transferred to the grocery department and has been there 37 years. He draws on his breaks and lunch time—hence, “working class cartoonist.”

“Well, you’re still alive, but I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.”

Mar/Apr 2007

Mar/Apr 2007

Love this doctor’s bedside manner… Besides The Post, Bob has sold cartoons to Good Housekeeping, Woman’s World, Reader’s Digest and American Greetings, among others.

“The problem is finding something simple enough that his father can play with it, too.”

May/June 2005

May/June 2005

Bob and his wife, Sue, live in Strongsville, Ohio, with their Boston Terrier, Massie. And whatever happened to Dad’s basement wall, you ask? We happen to have a photo…

The original cartoons that Bob's dad painted on the basement wall when he was a kid.

The wall is still there—but probably not for long. Bob’s father passed away in 1981 and his 85-year-old mother is in a nursing home. They had to sell his parent’s house last year. “You can see the cracks in the basement wall,” Bob says. “I’m sure the new owners will have that basement replaced… along with the cartoons that started it all.” On a happier note, Bob’s cartoons will be around for a long time.

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  • Mary A. Berger

    About that wall, Bob . . . I’d be tempted to remove the entire wall myself in order to save it. Can’t imagine anyone destroying such talent. Oh well, at least you have the photos. I’m a former resident of Berea, OH, and love your cartoons!
    Mary A. Berger

  • Nancy Wirick

    I am not surprised to see all the compliments going out to Bob. I also work with him at his other job, and so appreciate his hard work, humor and talent to keep others smiling.

  • Nancy Talley

    Bob is quite a talent and a really funny guy. Keep up the great work!

  • Margaret King

    Your talent and friendliness are great! Your greatest gift to us is the joy of humor you share with us. Keep on cartooning!

  • Louise King

    It’s a pleasure working with Bob. I’ve enjoyed his cartoons.Bob always knows how to make me laugh with those silly little voices he does.Bob is such a nice friend and also a character. Bob is a good cartoon artist. Good Luck in the future with your cartoons, Bob.

  • Ken Benner

    I have admired Bob’s cartoons for a long time. His sparse line work conveys the gag without ever getting in the way. I had the opportunity to meet him a few years ago at the grocery store. He is as funny and friendly as his cartoons! It’s neat that we both live in what must be the gag cartoonist capital of the world, Strongsville, Ohio. Further proof of this is that the cities water tower had Ziggy painted on it for many years. I hope Bob and my paths cross again so we can talk shop or shopping as the case may be ; )

  • Julie Sevig

    How great that Bob’s work is recognized here. I’ve purchased many of his cartoons over the years for “The Lutheran” magazine. Our readers love his stuff and I do, too. Well done, Bob!

  • Angie Nagy DeNicola

    What a great guy, we dated in high school and been to his house but i dont remember seeing the basement.! Great memories

  • John Aydelotte

    It’s great to have someone with this sense of humor around. Not only is his humor funny, it’s right down any parent’s alley.

  • Greg Osburn

    Hey Bob,just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed the cartoons and look forward to seeing more in the future.

  • Sean Kilbane

    I am lucky enough to work with Bob at his “other job”. He really makes it a fun place to work. On some days you might think you are actually part of a comic strip. Keep em coming Bob!

  • Paulette

    I enjoyed this; always look forward to Saturday. I was wondering if anyone could send Mr. Vojtko a line or two? I was a very non-traditional student starting at age 42. I took a few semesters then had to stay out a few, but I managed to get in around 50 credits. My major was English with a writing minor. I just wrote two notes today that made me pay attention. I wrote them down right away–if you wait too long they get lost. Thank you for introducing me to this work.

  • Sandy (Vojtko) Dorra

    Being the Youngest,….in th Family,…..also seeing the Inspiration in my Brother’s eye’s,…with my Dad’s cartoon’s,…I re-call .when Bob drew a poster of Donald Duck in grade school on a poster board,…and he Won First Prize,…..I was SOOO Proud of him. I can share alot of stories,…. from that day forward,,…I would like to express,…growing up with Bob,…. was the best of the iglue,…the pool,…my life,….fun,…and laughter.,….Thank you Bob,…the laugh’s you gave for the family we shared,..but most important Dad and Mom were here for this. I love you and I am proud of my Brother, …..thanks for who you are keep the cartoons going Lots of Love , Your youngest sister,…Sandy

  • charles lebrun

    too bad the new owners can’t realize what they have in keeping that wall and the history that goes with it.

  • Charles Neumann

    From the comments, it appears Mr. Vojtko has a lot of collarorators. I always assumed the cartoonist came up with the gag. Interesting.

  • Dave

    Bob is a great guy, a hard worker and has amazing talent. He really is an inspiration.

  • Darlene Sharpe

    Bob is a great person to work with! His personality and artistic gift are amazing. He has come a long way in cartooning and looks like more opportunities will arise. I wish him all the best!

  • Bob Muleady

    I’m a Bob Vojtko fan and have used his work in some of my publications. I worked at Disney for over 20 years and I think their lawyers want to talk to you about your basement art!

  • Daniel H. Ginder

    Pretty cool, man…..and to think that my life-long friend, Speedy, has had a collaboration with a very talented artist. It’s sad to see the demise of the original artwork of his father; but at least it is preserved in the photograph for posterity.

  • John Vojtko

    I am the proud older brother of Bob. What a great, talented kid!

  • Douglas A Bennett

    Douglas A Bennett Cartoonist / gag writer . Bob Vojtko is a great guy and great cartoonist. Been writing gags for him for quite awhile now. Again, a great cartoonist!!!!

  • Steve Willis

    Vojtko is a visual poet. He can say a lot with just a few lines. One of the greats.

  • Richard

    A well-deserved spotlight on a wonderful cartoonist! To see collection of the Suzy comic strip that Bob collaborated on with writer Richard O’Brien visit lulu.com

  • Jerry Goebert

    Vojtko rocks. Dad’s art looks great too.

  • Ken Solstad

    I also have been writing captions for Bob and agree that he is a great person to work with.

  • Speedy Zawistowski

    This is a great new website!!! I have been writing gags for Bob Vojtko
    since moving back east from Oregon, Bob is a great guy to work with.
    Speedy Zawistowski State College PA