I’m saddened to write that one of the great editorial cartoonists has decided to retire. Mike Lane, who drew for the Baltimore Sun for decades and was one of the very first cartoonists to form our little syndicate, is calling it quits.

Mike stopped drawing early last month when he was slated for open heart surgery, but he assures me that health is not the reason for his retirement; he just feels it is time to move on.  Mike writes,

My quitting editorial cartooning comes because it’s time, not because of my health. Which is quite good, notwithstanding. The operation was a terrific success, my recovery is rapid (as can be) and my repaired heart promises a long and robust future.

Mike writes about retirement:

When I was with The (Baltimore) Sun, I used to refer to my old cartooning pal Tommy Flannery (The Sun) and me (The Evening Sun) as the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of The Sunpapers.

R. and G. were minor characters in Hamlet, plotting and conniving and generally being a nuisance, not part of the aristocracy but always there. That is a fair description of the role of the editorial cartoonist , don’t you think? In the end Shakespeare kills them off: “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead!”

Well, Rosencrantz (Tommy) is dead but Guildenstern (me) lives on! And it’s time for different plays, acts and so, I’ve drawn my last political/editorial cartoon. Time for watercolors, greeting cards, perhaps, whatever.

Mike’s last cartoon, from August 6th before his surgery, is below.  See an archive of Mike’s cartoons here. Your work is wonderful, Mike.  Editorial cartoon fans already miss you!