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Meet the Cartoonist: Harley Schwadron

Published: August 10, 2011

“Sorry, but ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ is not a recognized legal precedent.”

from May/June 09

From May/Jun 2009

There’s that guy in the pin-striped suit! You’ll see him in The Wall Street Journal, Barrons, and Harvard Business Review—and very often in The Saturday Evening Post. “I started doing business cartoons because I was following the lure of the existing cartoon markets,” says Schwadron (pronounced “Sway-dron”). So the character I’ve dubbed “pin-stripe guy” has been good to him.

“U.S. Postal Service: When it absolutely positively has to be there this year!”

from Oct 84

From Oct 1984

Ouch. The poor post office gets no respect. “My first big cartoon sale when I was starting out was to The Saturday Evening Post!” says Harley. I wonder if it was this one from 1984.

“House protected by not having anything of value inside.”

 “House protected by not having anything of value inside”

From Sep/Oct 2010

“I’ve been drawing cartoons since I was eight years old,” Schwadron reports. “However, I never thought I could earn a living at it.” So he got a master’s degree in journalism and worked as a reporter and later editor for Michigan News Service. He drew cartoons in his spare time and “in 1985 I took a chance and started doing cartoons full-time. I’ve been happily at it ever since!”

“The correct response is ‘I do’—not ‘it’s worth a try.’”

“The correct response is ‘I do’—not ‘it’s worth a try’.”

From Jan/Feb 2008

Maybe we can place bets on how long this union will last. “There are a lot of rejections,” in the cartoon business, Harley says. “My routine is to turn out a regular amount of cartoons each day, send them out, and hope for the best.”

“Someone in our neighborhood must have won the lottery.”

“Someone in our neighborhood must have won the lottery.”

From Jul/Aug 2007

Good guess based on the appearance of the three major news networks and the IRS. Harley may not have won the lottery, but as a cartoonist, he has arrived: “I recently built a studio on the back of my house. You have to be a ‘serious’ cartoonist to go to the expense and stress of building a home studio.” Another perk of the job: “If I feel like it, I can work in my pajamas and no one cares.”

“This is your captain. In the event of a drop in cabin air pressure, the oxygen mask will drop down, and you will be billed $2 per breath.”

 “This is your captain. In the event of a drop in cabin air pressure, the oxygen mask will drop down, and you will be billed $2 per breath.”

From Jan/Feb 2010

I hesitate to show this cartoon from last year, lest it give the airlines ideas. “My niche seems to be business and topical cartoons,” Harley says. He advises aspiring cartoonists to “do the kind of cartoons you like and to find a niche that you enjoy doing.”

“I don’t care if you’re tired, Gerald. Get down at once!”

“I don’t care if you’re tired, Gerald. Get down at once!”

From Mar/Apr 1998

Harley lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, (where, presumably, he behaves himself in grocery stores) with his wife, a psychiatric social worker. They have two grown children.

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  • ashley john

    would love to be a cartoonist and would need a professional help

  • Jan Schad

    Loved the cartoons!

  • Charles Neumann

    I have enjoyed Harley’s cartoons in the Post for many years. Keep up the good work.

  • Frank James Davis

    Like ‘em all! Harley is sharp.
    Thanks, Diana, for the lively lowdown.

  • Helen Swope

    Love cartoons, grew up with comics/newspaper and books. Love to read, dont need to see everything on TV or movies , but do like e mail. This is where I have seen Julian Beever, chalk talk. Impressive artist. And I know who Norman Rockwell is/was. Enjoy SEP, helenem

  • Bob Pressler

    We didn’t have shopping carts when I was little.