Discuss as:

RIP Dave Thorne, Father of Hawaiian Cartooning

I’m sad to report that my friend, cartoonist Dave Thorne, often refered to as the father of Hawaiian cartooning, has died at the age of 82.

Thorne was well known in Hawaii for his funny cartoons and his commitment to educating and reaching out to kids with his work. He would often travel around the island and give “chalk talks” to young people, inspiring them to grab a pen and start drawing.


Up until October of last year, Thorne had been drawing “Thorney’s Zoo”, a gag strip filled with funny animals, for Sunday’s edition of Honolulu Star-Advertiser. I can probably count on one hand the number of newspapers across the country that commission cartoonists to draw local comic strips. Thorn also taught cartooning regularly at UH Manoa for twenty-three years before retiring in 2001.

Here’s a video from 2011 of Thorne as he sketches for kids at the McCully-Moiliili Public Library in Hawaii:

There’s a nice Facebook tribute page up with people from across the country weighing in and drawing cartoons in Dave’s honor.