Rex Babin, editorial cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee, died last week at the age of 49. I met Rex a few years ago when he was putting together the AAEC convention in Portland. We both shared close friendships with Jack Ohman, the host that year, and I lent my hand in some of the hectic planning, resulting in a few long-running jokes after it was all over.
Jack wrote a moving tribute to Rex for the AAEC today. You develop such deep bonds with fellow cartoonists. You never expect them to stop being on the other end of the phone.
I first met Rex at the AAEC Washington convention in 1987; he was 24, and me, at 26, utterly detested for having the MacNelly client list handed to me in a silver chalice in 1981. It was my first, nervous convention, and his. Rex came to greet me, along with many others who werent, you know, bastards.
Rex had the soul of a polymath. Everything fascinated him. Further, no one thought himself more integral to the success of his newspapernot his careerthan Rex. Rex preached local cartoons, and I doubt he could have had any more influence in California politics than he had. While privately delighted at the attention, he would have snorted at the tributes, which were along the lines of them damned pitchers. [Read the rest]