Charles Brooks Sr., political cartoonist for the Birmingham News for 38 years and the editor/founder of the Best Editorial Cartoons Of The Year series, died on Sept. 29 at his home in Alabama. He was 90 years old.
Brooks was of the same cartooning generation as former Observer cartoonist Eugene Payne, who considered him a great friend. President Richard Nixon once characterized him as "the Herblock of the Right," according to "Comic Riffs" blogger Michael Cavna.
More recently Brooks was known for the annual publication of "Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year," published by Pelican Publishing Company, featuring a wide variety of editorial cartooning from around the country. Many cartoonists debated among themselves whether the "Best" in the title was a bit of a misstatement, but the book certainly was a representative sample of the industry and a wonderful promotion and showcase of the art of editorial cartooning. The book was one of the few opportunities for cartoonists in smaller markets to get national exposure.
(Brooks cartoon courtesy of the Comics Reporter.)