‘Archie’ car­toon­ist dies at 86

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Tom Moore, the “Archie” car­toon­ist who brought to life the es­capades of the freck­led-face, red-haired char­ac­ter, has died in Texas. He was 86.

Moore, who be­gan draw­ing car­toons while in the U.S. Navy dur­ing the Korean War, died early Mon­day morn­ing while in hos­pice care in his home­town of El Paso, his son Lito Bu­janda-Moore told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Tues­day. He said his fa­ther was di­ag­nosed with throat can­cer within the past week and chose not to un­dergo treat­ment.

Moore drew Archie An­drews and his friends on and off from 1953 un­til he re­tired in the late 1980s. An­nual sales of the comic regularly sur­passed half a mil­lion dur­ing the 1960s, ac­cord­ing to the El Paso Times.

“I did one comic book a month,” Moore told the news­pa­per in 1996. “I did ev­ery­thing. We al­ways worked six months ahead. I'd be do­ing Christ­mas is­sues in June and beach sto­ries with a foot of snow out­side my win­dow.”

Af­ter the war, Moore used fund­ing avail­able through the GI Bill to at­tend a school in New York for car­toon­ists. He stud­ied un­der “Tarzan” comic strip il­lus­tra­tor Burne Hog­a­rth.

Soon af­ter, Moore signed up with Archie Comics in New York. Bob Mon­tana cre­ated “Archie” in 1941, and Moore took over in 1953.

But by 1961, Moore couldn't ig­nore the itch to be closer to the moun­tains of far western Texas, ac­cord­ing to his son. He and his fam­ily moved from Long Is­land, New York, back to his na­tive El Paso that year, and he later took a break from comics and worked in public re­la­tions.

“He al­ways felt that his heart be­longed at the foot of the Franklin Moun­tains,” Moore's son told the news­pa­per.

Bu­janda-Moore said his fa­ther loved ev­ery as­pect of na­ture: trees, rivers, moun­tains and deserts.

Archie Comics' editor in chief, Vic­tor Gore­lick, who has worked at the com­pany for more than 50 years, said Moore “was a car­toon­ist's car­toon­ist.” He noted that Archie Comics in­vited Moore back to help re­vamp Archie's friend, Jug­head, and he re­mained with the com­pany un­til he re­tired.

“Tom was very funny and had a knack for putting to­gether re­ally great, hi­lar­i­ous gags and spe­cial pages when he worked at Archie,” Gore­lick said. “He was prob­a­bly best known here for ink­ing our 'Jug­head' re­launch decades ago. We're all sad to hear this news and wish his fam­ily the very best dur­ing this time.”

Af­ter re­tir­ing, Moore kept tabs on Archie - and dis­agreed when the comic book com­pany de­cided to kill off the char­ac­ter.

The El Paso Mu­seum of Art dis­played some of Moore's work and his vast comic col­lec­tion about 20 years ago.


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