Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr.

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Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr.

Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr., is an American painter, author, historian, and cartoonist. His visual art was compared in the Vermont newspaper the Brattleboro Reformer to Edward Hopper, with its "images of lonely and alienated individuals, which 'diverge from Hopper in their quirky sense of humor and saturated color."[1] His comic strip, Mr. Brunelle Explains it All,[2] features his takes on politics, current events, and social trends.

Early life, education and teaching career[edit]

Robert was born in Rutland, Vermont on May 14, 1958 to Robert Waldo Brunelle Sr and Joan (Brewster) Brunelle. He is a 12th generation descendant of Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower on his mother's side of the family. The Vermont Art Guide notes, "He counts among his artistic ancestors a great-grandfather, great-grandmother and great-great grandfather, all of whom were painters." Brunelle attended Mount Saint Joseph Academy, receiving his diploma in 1976. He graduated in 1980 from St. Michael's College with dual Bachelors degrees in History and Fine Arts. His Masters in Art Education was conferred by Castleton State College, now Castleton University in 1985. Starting in 1981, he taught art at Browns River Middle School in Underhill, Vermont.[3]

Visual art[edit]

Nature Hates Us from the comic strip 'Mr. Brunelle Explains it All' by Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr.

Brunelle has been producing oil and acrylic paintings, shown in regional galleries, since 1975. His early influences included Charles Dana Gibson and Al Capp.[4] Much of his work focuses on local, everyday scenes of buildings, automobiles and persons interacting with them. Rod Underhill's portrait of 'The Yankee Painter' notes, "Echoes of history are usually present in his work".[5] Brunelle served as President of the Northern Vermont Artist Association from 1995 to 2011, and now serves as its Vice President.[6]

Published Works[edit]

Toaster password from the comic strip 'Mr. Brunelle Explains it All' by Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr.

His comic strip, Mr. Brunelle Explains It All, appeared monthly in the humor magazine The Funny Times, and weekly on their website Humor Times until 2020, and continues to host the strip on his social media sites. It ran in the Vermont Times newsweekly, and in the Seven Days newsweekly from 2016 to 2020.  The Seven Days newspaper notes that Brunelle's cartoon work "reveals a dry wit and a penchant for skewering political follies, not to mention the general silliness and self-absorption of humans"[7]

Brunelle has illustrated books for authors, including:

  • Jack and the Bean Soup by Mark Pendergrast, Nature's Face Publications
  • Silly Sadie by Mark Pendergrast, Nature's Face Publications.
  • Vermont Ghost Guide: A Second Conjuring[8] by Joseph A. Citro, Eerie Lights Publishing
  • Vermont Ghost Experience by Joseph A. Citro, Eerie Lights Publishing

Brunelle has authored:

Weirdos Again from the comic strip 'Mr. Brunelle Explains it All' by Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr.
  • Mr. Brunelle Explains It All. 1997 to present.
  • Satire Has Become Impossible. 2011.
  • Grampy! on Alfred Charles Key, Sr. 2017.
  • History of the Northern Vermont Artist Association. Kasini House Books. 2009.
  • The Lesser Known Haunted Houses. 2014.
  • What I Have Painted So Far
  • Know Your Nut Jobs! A Handy Field Guide. 2021.

He now resides in Jericho, Vermont with his wife, Grace Clara Key, whom he married in 1983. The two have a step-daughter.


  1. ^ "Hays Gallery features Brunelle". Brattleboro Reformer. Vol. 85, no. 106. Brattleboro Publishing Co. July 3, 1997.
  2. ^ Cengeri, Ric; Wertlieb, Mitch (5 May 2016). "Cartooning: What The Heck's The Draw?". Vermont Public Radio. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. ^ "History of the Northern Vermont Artist Association". Vermont Art Guide. 15 January 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  4. ^ Vasseur, Richard (August 19, 2007). "Interviews: Robert W. Brunelle Jr., Artist and Cartoonist". Jazma Online.
  5. ^ Underhill, Rod (July 19, 2014). "The Yankee Painter". Uncle Jam Quarterly. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "Northern Vermont Artist Association". The Northern Vermont Artist Association. Retrieved July 3, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Polston, Pamela (December 17, 2014). "Eyewitness: Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr". Seven Days. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  8. ^ Syed, Maleeha (April 30, 2021). "Your strange neighbors: Folklore enthusiasts map Bigfoot, vampires and more across Vermont". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved July 2, 2021.


External links[edit]