Tom Wilson (cartoonist)
August 1, 1931|
Grant Town, West Virginia, U.S.
|Died||September 16, 2011
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Writer, Artist|
|Tom Wilson, Jr.|
|Awards||Emmy (producer, Outstanding Animated Program) for Ziggy's Gift (1982);
Purchase award, Butler Museum National Painting Competition
|Children||one son (Tom Jr.), two daughters|
Thomas Albert Wilson (August 1, 1931 – September 16, 2011), better known as Tom Wilson, was an American cartoonist. Wilson was the creator of the comic strip Ziggy, which he drew from 1971 to 1987. The strip was then continued by his son, Tom Wilson, Jr.
Wilson's career began in 1950, doing advertisement layouts for Uniontown Newspapers, Inc. In 1955, he joined American Greetings (AG) as a designer, becoming Creative Director in 1957 and vice-president of creative development in 1978. While at AG, he developed the Soft Touch greeting card line. He also served as president of Those Characters From Cleveland, AG's character licensing subsidiary.
The Ziggy comics panel, syndicated by Universal Uclick (formerly Universal Press Syndicate), launched in 15 newspapers in June 1971. It expanded to appear in more than 500 daily and Sunday newspapers and has been featured in bestselling books and calendars. Ziggy merchandising has included plaques, T-shirts, buttons, glass tumblers, lunch boxes, coffee mugs and greeting cards. In 2002, Ziggy became the official spokescharacter for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Throughout his career, Wilson demonstrated a remarkable ability to anticipate future trends in the marketplace. A veteran of the licensing business, Wilson headed up the creative team that developed such character licensing blockbusters as Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears.
In 1987, Wilson passed the Ziggy torch to his son, Tom Wilson Jr., after the younger Wilson had served as an assistant on the strip for many years. Even though Tom Sr. lived in Cleveland and Tom Jr. lived in Cincinnati, the two worked as a team, collaborating by fax and phone.
Wilson was a survivor of lung cancer.
- "Tom Wilson." The Complete Marquis Who's Who. Marquis Who's Who, 2010. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.
- "Tom Wilson." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.
- jeff560 (2007-02-09). "Famous West Virginians". AOL. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05.
- Ziggy creator Tom Wilson Sr. passes at age 80 The Daily Cartoonist
- Clark, Paul (2009-03-02). "'Ziggy' cartoonist tells of depression". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
Much of the book derives from journals [Tom Wilson, Jr.] kept along the way, a practice he found therapeutic. Some were recorded on audiotape during his regular travels up Interstate 71 between his home in Loveland and his business in Cleveland, a cartoon-character licensing and branding company called Character Matters.
- Reynolds, Moira Davison (2003). Comic Strip Artists in American Newspapers, 1945-1980. McFarland. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-7864-1551-9.
- "Tom Wilson Sr., creator of icon Ziggy, dead at 80". BCDB Cartoon News. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
- "Ziggy Creator Tom Wilson Sr. Dead at 80". PRWeb. 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2011-09-18.