Mell Lazarus, the cartoonist behind such comcis page staples as Miss Peach and Momma has passed away at age 89. Lazasua was a past president of the NCS as well as a Rueben Award winner and an NCS Medal of Honor recipient.
The National Cartoonists Society page has more information:
Mell was beloved by all at the NCS. He was funny, charming, and full of stories, many we cannot repeat here. Talk to any NCS member who spent time with Mell, and they will surely have a funny Mell Lazarus story. “Here are a few facts about Mell that he told me over the years,” says friend Tom Gammill, “He was a high school drop-out who later joined Mensa. For a time he lived in Palm Springs down the street from Milton Caniff. He was in Times Square on VJ Day and told me ‘everybody was banging that day.’” And he loved the NCS. In an interview Mell said, “we have the best club in the world. They’re all terrific guys and girls. It’s a body of people like no other industry. They all become relatives very fast.”
Mell is survived by his wife Sally, three daughters Marjorie, Susan and Cathy, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Lazarus drew his two signature strips for 32 years, ending his work on Momma (aided by his wife Sally Mitchell) only recently. His broad humor was a consistent benchmark on any comics page, even though as a kid I marvelled at this strange world where people had their eyes on one side of their face.
This post at TCJ has more information in an obituary by RC Harvey.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed that the first comic strip I included in this obit was actually a parody of Mell Lazarus. My apologies.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.