Friday, January 28, 2022

Meet the cartoonists, David and Lee Horton



CBN – Lee, we’d like to get to know you and David and are looking forward to having you as part of the Coastal Breeze News team. Where did you grow up and what kinds of training and personal experience led you to becoming cartoonists?

Lee: I graduated from the University of Illinois in advertising/graphic design, and worked with advertising agencies for several years before becoming a writer/illustrator for American Greeting Cards in Cleveland, and from there moved to Hallmark Cards in Kansas City.

David: Lee is four years older than I am (even though I’m taller), so when I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in art, I followed in my brother’s footsteps and became a freelance greeting card writer/illustrator for all the greeting card companies. Also, while I was still in college, Lee and I began our “official” cartooning by doing the ISU comic strip “Fubar Fun”, which actually won best college cartoon strip in Illinois.

CBN – How did you come to live in SW Florida? What is it that drew you to this area, and to Marco Island in particular?

David: After I graduated from college and had been living in Denver for a while, Lee called me out of the blue and said he was tired of the Midwest and wanted us to start a graphic design business together, somewhere warm, with lots of water. After consulting with my wife, Diane, we agreed it was a great idea. Diane is a dietitian, and she applied in three cities that had sun and water, and her best job offer was in Ft. Myers, Florida, so we all grabbed our stuff and moved to Florida!

Lee: I remember driving across the border of Florida in my U-Haul truck singing, “The Heat is on!” with Eddie Murphy on the radio. I felt like I was on a spring break journey, and still feel that way 21 years later! I became an assistant photographer to a very successful Sanibel photographer, Nick Adams, and he eventually encouraged me to start my own photography business—just not in his market, so Marco Island seemed logical… affluent, destination island, beautiful and perfect for sunset photos! I then asked my girlfriend Belinda to marry me and we bought a house in Naples together! We love it here, especially Marco.

CBN – What kinds of situations do you find most funny?

David: We like to draw soft, not-too-political cartoons, ones that try not to offend too harshly. Basically we want everyone to like us. But there is

Dave, left, and Lee, right. Staff

Dave, left, and Lee, right. Staff

the occasional small island conflict that we have to address, softly.

Lee: David likes to push the boundaries a little more than I do, my skin is thinner. Sometime I have to pull him back.

David: We also specialize in Florida animal humor, alligators, manatees, herons, raccoons. And we both love to play golf, so there are plenty of golf cartoons!

CBN – Where do you think your sense of humor has derived from?

Lee: Although our Dad was a conservative college President, actually both of our parents had a great sense of humor. And as my brother David got older, he became very funny also, not just funny looking.

David: Don’t forget the piles of comic books we read on our summer cross-country family trips. They inspired us.

Lee: Until Dad would yell at us to stop reading comics and look at the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park. Remember Dad used to describe us Wally and Beaver Cleaver, just a little more twisted!

CBN – Tell us about other interests and endeavors you are involved in.

David: Lee and I continue to submit our comics throughout Florida. I also have a mailbox design business, a t-shirt business, and I do graphic design for many clients’

Lee: I also do graphic design, water coloring, and of course my photography. I’m really hoping to start a terrific photography business here in Naples and Marco with my business partner Belinda.

CBN – Do you think Marco will provide you with lots of material for your cartoons?

Lee: I’ve only been interacting and meeting new Marco folks for about two months and have figured out Marco has a wealth of small island town material, very similar to Sanibel Island, where our comic also runs.

David: How about a comic strip with a family arriving at the foot of the arched Marco bridge all excited to see picturesque Marco, a sign “Welcome to Beautiful Marco Island,” with many, many metal crane booms jutting out everywhere, blocking their view! Naw, we’d hurt someone’s feelings…

CBN – How would you like people to react to your cartoons?

David: We want people to be happy and smile and appreciate their life here in Florida.

Lee: David and I love to laugh and hope others enjoy our funny view of life here in Florida. We often get letters or calls from people who say they saved our articles on their refrigerator or mailed them to family up north, and that makes our day.

David: We’re so happy to be a part of the Coastal Breeze News family and hope others enjoy our comic strip. But watch out Marco, we’re watching you!

One response to “Meet the cartoonists, David and Lee Horton”

  1. Larry Huffman says:

    Lee and David, I would like to talk with one or both of you about your mom and dad. I first met them when I was at WIU, and then I worked with your dad at the Illinois Community College Trustees Association and at Kankakee Community College. I recently documented your dad’s efforts over a 10-year period to beautify the KCC campus, and I hope you’ll both get to see that document. I’d appreciate it if one or both of you would reply back and perhaps share an email address or phone number.

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