Saturday, December 11, 2021

Don Asmussen 1962-2021

From The San Francisco Chronicle.

Cartoonist Don Asmussen, passed away on December 9, 2021, at the age of 59, after a long battle with brain cancer.

Asmussen, 59, had been with the San Francisco Chronicle since it merged with the Hearst-owned Examiner in 2000, having worked at the Examiner for several years before that.

He started as a page designer but began doing illustrations and then started the first of several comic strips he would create. 

His two main strips were written off the news of the day. 

The first San Francisco Comic Strip, The Examiner, Sunday, October 29, 1995.

The San Francisco Comic Strip lampooned local issues and characters for many years, including some of his own colleagues. 

His long-running Bad Reporter took on the world in general with his unique brand of biting, often brilliant humor. 

Bad Reporter was also syndicated to other outlets by Universal Press Syndicate.

Asmussen was also the author of the political parody book Dog vs. Cat: A Nation Divided and illustrated the book The Wig Diaries, a collection of humorous essays about living with cancer by Mary Ladd. 

Some of his strips were also collected in The San Francisco Comic Strip Book of Big-Ass Mocha.

Asmussen was married to former Chronicle reporter Kelly Zito and was the father of two daughters, Maxine and Tessa.

In the coming days, The Chronicle plans to publish an appreciation of Asmussen, along with an obituary that, in his inimitable way, Asmussen dictated himself just before he died.

“Don was one of a kind. As a satirist he could be savage sometimes, but he was a warm and loving human being,” said Michael Gray, The Chronicle’s director of features. 

“It was a privilege to get the first glimpse of his unique take on the world each week.”

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