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Meet the Cartoonist (and Author): Joe Farris

Published: August 17, 2011

“I heard they were cutting back on the length of stays.”

from Jul/Aug 2000 – "I heard they were cutting back on the length of stays."

From Jul/Aug 2000

Boy, hospitals aren’t messing around these days. Don’t let the door hit your stitches on the way out. This is from cartoonist and author Joe Farris. His new book, A Soldier’s Sketchbook, is about his experiences as a young soldier in World War II. We’ll show a sneak preview below.

“What a coincidence! I defended myself in court, too!”

from Nov/Dec 2001 – "What a coincidence! I defended myself in court, too!"

From Nov/Dec 2001

Okay, any second now, this guy will remember the old saying “a man who defends himself in court has a fool for a lawyer.” Joe is an artist and a sculptor who has had many one-man shows and has also appeared in group exhibits.

“August! My gosh, I really overslept!”

from Jul/Aug 1997 – "August! My gosh, I really overslept!"

From Jul/Aug 1997

Gee, is it August already? This appeared in the Post in 1997. Joe is a staff cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker. His work appears in many other venues such as Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times.



A Soldier’s Sketchbook

A Soldier’s Sketchbook
Courtesy National Geographic

I’m always pleased to show off another great cartoonist and his work for the Post, but I also get to let you know about Joseph Farris’ new book from National Geographic: A Soldier’s Sketchbook. His close-knit family kept 18-year-old Joe’s letters home, which the author intersperses with his sketches and paintings.


Aboard the U.S.S. General W. H. Gordon, 1944.
From A Soldier's Sketchbook
Courtesy National Geographic

Joe describes this sketch: “On board the U.S.S. General W.H. Gordon on the way to Marseilles, France, October, 1944.”


"This watercolor shows one of the most dangerous moments in our battle for the Maginot Line. The Germans had bracketed our position, and we anxiously feared the next shell would zero in on us." p. 120
from A Soldier’s Sketchbook
Courtesy National Geographic

It’s difficult for me to imagine that the “hardened soldier” participating and sketching these events was still a teenager. The caption says, “The dash to Ft. Freudenberg – Maginot Line. Bitche, France – December 1944.”

We thank the team at the Book Division of the National Geographic Society for the sketches and cover for A Soldier’s Sketchbook, which will be released in November. It’s a always a treat to show off our talented cartoonists—but it’s also an honor to remember a World War II veteran.

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  • Walter Black

    Mr. Farris, I was wondering if you were on the U.S.S. W. H. Gordon in the !940’s if you remember my father Howard G. Black ? He never really spoke of his duty but I believe he may have been a water tender. I have his little United States Coast Guard Bible with the ship information in it. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Walter J. Black

  • Robert Duch

    Joe, Just heard your interview on NPR. It rang some bells in me, but I didn’t “wake up” until your name was said. You remember I was the delivery boy for John Ryder at the A&P next door to your family’s store. The last time we met was at high school reunion years ago. Of course I will buy your book,
    but only if you autograph it for me. How do we arrange that? Bob Duch

  • Edward Farris

    Brother Joe.. Love you and I am proud of you!!!!!!! Can’t wait for the book! Brother Ed

  • Anna Jernstedt

    Wonderful! I love the cartoons, but am fascinated by the WWII watercolors. My dad was in the Coast Guard during WWII and he sketched the ship he was on and some other things; unfortunately the captain of the ship asked if he could have them and Dad gave them away. Joe, this is marvelous–thank you so much for sharing your talents. Anna