Buck Brown: R.I.P.

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I first started looking at Playboy magazine for the pictures of naked women. Shortly after that I started looking at it for the cartoons. Perhaps the only thing I loved more than the photos of female flesh were the hilarious cartoons that always seemed infinitely funnier than anything I would see in the newspaper.

Of all the cartoonists that contributed to Playboy, one of my all-time favorites was Robert “Buck” Brown. Best known for his saggy-tit creation Granny, Brown also contributed some of the best single panel jokes to grace the pages of that magazine. When I discovered Brown was a black man, he became even more of an inspiration.

What many people don’t know about me is that more than anything else, I am a failed cartoonist/illustrator. My career in writing was born out of my inability to cut it as an artist. But for many years I struggled to develop my drawing skills, with the hope that some day I might be able to have some of my work appear in magazines like Playboy.

Buck Brown passed away earlier this month at the age of 71. Although I eventually gave up my ambition of being a cartoonist, Brown continued to inspire me over the years. His sense of humor and the wit of many of the other cartoonists I grew up admiring continue to inform my work to this very day.  

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