Mike Peters is recognized as one of our nation's most prominent cartoon artists for his outstanding work as both a political and comic strip cartoonist. His favorite expression "WHAT A HOOT" certainly sums up his outlook on his life and work which are inexorably entwined. Mike's warm, easygoing and zany demeanor is evidence that his personality matches his creative talents. As so eloquently phrased by a colleague -- "Mike is the Peter Pan of the cartooning world; he's boyishly charming, good with a rapier and doesn't spend a lot of time on the ground. And he doesn't seem to want to grow up".
Mike has been interested in cartooning, and particularly political cartooning, since childhood. Born October 9, 1943, Mike was educated in his birthplace of St. Louis, MO, where he graduated from Christian Brothers College High School in 1961. In 1965 he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington University and immediately began his career on the art staff of the Chicago Daily News. The following year he began two years of service with the U.S. Army as an artist for the Seventh Psychological Operations Group in Okinawa. After Vietnam, his mentor, the renowned W.W. II artist Bill Mauldin, helped him find a cartooning position on the Dayton Daily News in 1969. That was the beginning. In 1972, his editorial cartoons became syndicated nationally. In 1981 Mike was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Journalism and in 1984 the award-winning Mother Goose & Grimm comic strip was born -- all with the help of Marian, his wife, best friend and business partner of 35 years.
Mike's humor appeals to all age groups and all nationalities. His work is syndicated in newspapers worldwide and frequently appears in national publications and on national television. He has become familiar to thousands through his many appearances on shows such as Good Morning America, The Joan Rivers Show, The Today Show, Equal Time, MSNBC, CNNFN and C-SPAN. Peters is also a popular lecturer and makes appearances at editor and publisher conventions, on the college lecture circuit and before political groups. The University of Dayton awarded Mike with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in 1998.
Mike's political cartoons, syndicated by King Features Syndicate, appear in over 400 newspapers worldwide. His political work is featured frequently in such publications as Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, and The New Republic (several of which have also featured him in articles about political cartoonists). Peters is particularly proud of his animated editorial cartoons, "Peters Postscripts" which aired on NBC's Nightly News in 1981. It was the first time animated editorial cartoons appeared regularly on a prime-time network news program. Peters also has done a 14-part interview series, The World of Cartooning with Mike Peters, for PBS.
The Comic Strip Mother Goose & Grimm appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide and consistently places in the top 10 most popular ratings. Licensees distribute Grimmy products all over the world, and the Grimmy TV show continues to air in several countries. Mother Goose & Grimm is included in the Toon Lagoon theme park at Universal Studios that opened in July 1999.
When time allows, Mike's passion for storyboarding animation blossoms creations such as "Night of the Living Fred" for Steven Spielberg's Dreamwork's team (1998).
Mike is on the Board of Trustees for the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, FL, the Board of Advocates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and is a member of the National Cartoonists Society. He is a member of the Defense Orientation Conference Association, a civilian group formed by the Defense Department which is dedicated to the understanding and studying of national security on an unclassified basis at all levels. He is also an Honorary Member of the American Association of Therapeutic Humor based in St. Louis, MO.
- Mike Peters On WITF Radio
Mike Peters' political cartoon books include The Nixon Chronicles (1976), Clones, You Idiot, I Said Clones (1978), Win One for the Geezer (1982), The World of Cartooning with Mike Peters: How Caricatures Develop (1985), The Gang of Eight (1985), On the Brink (1987), and Happy Days Are Here Again (1991).
The first book of Mike's collected comic strips was simply titled: Mother Goose and Grimm, and was published in 1986. Subsequent volumes include The Portable Mother Goose and Grimm (1987), Oh God, It's Grimm (1987), Steel Belted Grimm (1988), Four Wheel Grimmy (1989), Grimmy Come Home (1990), It's Grimmy (1990), Grimmy: Best In Show (1990), Grimmy: Pick of the Litter (1990), Grimmy: Night of the Living Vacuum (1991), Grimmy: Top Dog (1991), Grimmy and the Temple of Groom (1992). TOR Books published his most recent collections Grimmy: The Postman Always Screams Twice (1996), Grimmy: Friends Don't Let Friends Own Cats (1996), Grimmy: King of the Heap (1997), Grimmy: Good Dog, Bad Breath (1999), Grimmy: Always Stop & Smell the Hydrants (1999), Grimmy: Cats & Pancakes Stick to the Ceiling (1999), Grimmy: In a Class by Himself (1999), Grimmy: Mailmen Can't Jump (1999), Grimmy: My Dad was a Boxer (1999), Grimmy: The Horrors of Global Worming (2000), Grimmy: The Revenge of Grimmzilla (2000), Grimmy: It's a Dog Sniff Dog World (2000), Revenge of the Fireplugs (2001), Grimmy Goes Postal (2001), Grimmy's Flea Circus (2001), Compost Happens (2001), Grimmy's Cat Tails (2001), Grimmy: One Sick Puppy (2001) and The Mother Goose & Grimm Treasury: A 20 Year Collection (2005). Grimmy is also published in albums and comic books in France, Norway, Sweden and many other countries around the world.
Greeting Cards: Represented in both political and comic strip cards, nationally & internationally. In excess of 1, 200,000 Gibson Egreetings were sent in 1999.
TV Shows: In September 1991, Mike brought his popular Mother Goose & Grimm comic strip to television with a weekly Saturday morning animated series on CBS. The half-hour program featured all the established Mother Goose and Grimm characters plus a variety of zany new comic personalities. Riding on the heels of a successful first season, "Grimmy" remained the #1 cartoon show for its time slot. In 1992, "Grimmy" moved to the coveted 12:30 p.m. EST (11:30 a.m. PST) time period, targeting a wider audience base -- teens and college kids. "Grimmy" now airs throughout the world.
"Peters Postscripts" aired on NBC's Nightly News in 1981. It was the first time animated editorial cartoons appeared regularly on a prime-time network news program. "The World of Cartooning with Mike Peters" was a 14-part interview series, for PBS.
"Night of the Living Fred" is a continuing 7-minute segment of a 30-minute animated show called "Toonsylvania." The show takes place in middle America featuring the lovable Deadman family, a nuclear family of zombies, Deadgar, Stiffanie, Fred, Ashley and their dog. The show was produced by Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks team.
Appearances: Besides many local television appearances, Peters has also appeared on NBC's Today Show, ABC's Issues and Answers, Good Morning America, the CBS Morning News, The Joan Rivers Show, Equal Time, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN's Washington Journal, MSNBC, and CNNFN.
Mike has lectured and made appearances for The Inland Press, National Scholastic Press Association, The Smithsonian Associates, The Barrister's and The Library of Congress. College appearances include Iowa State University, University of Alabama, West Virginia University, Washington University, Earlham College, Oberlin College, Alma College, Georgetown University, Harvard University and MIT.
Awards: His awards include the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Award for political cartooning (1975), ACLU-Ohio Award (1980), Pulitzer Prize (1981), Distinguished Alumni Award, Washington University (1981), Headliner Award (1983, 1988, 1993), WICI Headliner (1983, 1990), NCS Award for Editorial Cartooning (1983, 1984), NCS nomination for Cartoonist of the Year (1985), the Ohio Governor's Award (1985), National Planned Parenthood "Maggie" (1985, 2000), Esquire's Top 40 Achievers (1988), WICI Man of the Year (1988), Humane Society Man of the Year (1990), Cox Newspapers Citation (1988, 1990), the Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year (1992), Best of Cox - Editorial Cartooning (2001, 2003, 2004). In 1994 the Dayton Daily News celebrated Mike's 25 years as their editorial cartoonist with a "Roast." Many respected cartoonists gathered in Dayton for this spectacular event that entertained over 500 people including Senator Howard Metzenbaum and Senator John Glenn. The Governor of Ohio, George Voinovich, designated September 24, 1994 as "Mike Peters Day." The University of Dayton awarded Mike with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in 1998 and he was inducted into the Sigma Chi Hall of Fame in June, 2005.
Other awards include Ohio Associated Press (1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1988), three Overseas Press Citations, Overseas Press Award (1990), two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, two Cleveland Press Awards and two Cincinnati Press Awards. His cartoons are shown in numerous galleries across the country including the Chuck Jones Showrooms, the permanent collection of the Milton Caniff Library at Ohio State University, the Charles Schulz Museum and the Library of Congress (Washington D.C.).
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