Bob Thaves

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Robert Thaves (October 5, 1924 – August 1, 2006) was the creator of the comic strip Frank and Ernest , which began in 1972.

Comic strip short serialized comics

A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the development of the internet, they began to appear online as webcomics. There were more than 200 different comic strips and daily cartoon panels in South Korea alone each day for most of the 20th century, for a total of at least 7,300,000 episodes.

<i>Frank and Ernest</i> (comic strip)

Frank and Ernest is an American comic strip created and illustrated by Bob Thaves and later Tom Thaves. It debuted on November 6, 1972, and has since been published daily in over 1,200 newspapers. The humor of the comic is based almost exclusively on wordplay and puns.


Thaves' desire to become a cartoonist began in his childhood. He had no formal training; instead, he practiced by studying and drawing the works of other cartoonists. He was so skilled he could identify the cartoonist of a comic strip without looking at the signature.

Cartoonist visual artist who makes cartoons

A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary, or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

A signature is a handwritten depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" or other mark that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and intent. The writer of a signature is a signatory or signer. Similar to a handwritten signature, a signature work describes the work as readily identifying its creator. A signature may be confused with an autograph, which is chiefly an artistic signature. This can lead to confusion when people have both an autograph and signature and as such some people in the public eye keep their signatures private whilst fully publishing their autograph.

Robert Lee Thaves was born on October 5, 1924, in Burt, Iowa, where his father, John, published local newspapers. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he received both a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology. While still at university, the first of his cartoons was printed in magazines. He continued to be interested in cartooning, and developed the Frank and Ernest strip while working as an industrial psychologist.

Burt, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Burt is a city in Kossuth County, Iowa, United States. The population was 533 at the 2010 census.

University of Minnesota public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses are approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) apart, and the St. Paul campus is actually in neighboring Falcon Heights. It is the oldest and largest campus within the University of Minnesota system and has the sixth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 50,943 students in 2018-19. The university is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota system, and is organized into 19 colleges and schools, with sister campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester.

Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, and all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties. As a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.

Frank and Ernest began appearing in magazines as early as the 1960s. It was first nationally syndicated November 6, 1972 and was eventually carried in 1,300 papers. It was the first single panel strip to appear in the "panel" format, and the first to use block letters for its dialogue.

He also drew the short-lived King Baloo strip, which ran during the 1980s. Its format was identical to Frank and Ernest, but featured the titular King.

His son Tom began collaborating with him on Frank and Ernest in 1997. The elder Thaves had planned on transitioning his son to take over the strip before his death. Bob Thaves died of respiratory failure in Torrance, California at the age of 81.

Respiratory failure inadequate gas exchange by the respiratory system

Respiratory failure results from inadequate gas exchange by the respiratory system, meaning that the arterial oxygen, carbon dioxide or both cannot be kept at normal levels. A drop in the oxygen carried in blood is known as hypoxemia; a rise in arterial carbon dioxide levels is called hypercapnia. Respiratory failure is classified as either Type I or Type II, based on whether there is a high carbon dioxide level. The definition of respiratory failure in clinical trials usually includes increased respiratory rate, abnormal blood gases, and evidence of increased work of breathing.

Torrance, California City in California

Torrance is a U.S. city in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Torrance has 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Torrance has a moderate year-round climate with warm temperatures, sea breezes, low humidity, and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year.

Ginger Rogers line

In a 1982 Frank and Ernest comic strip Thaves wrote about Fred Astaire: "Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards…and in high heels." The official Ginger Rogers website credits Thaves and uses his original line. Often the quote is incorrectly attributed to Faith Whittlesey. [1] Sometimes the quote is attributed to Ann Richards, who popularized the line in her 1988 Democratic National Convention speech, paraphrasing it as: "But if you give us a chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels, [2] " though Richards credited television journalist Linda Ellerbee for giving her the line. Ellerbee said she heard the line from a fellow passenger on an airplane. [3]

Fred Astaire American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and television presenter

Fred Astaire was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and television presenter. He is widely regarded as the most influential dancer in the history of film.

Ginger Rogers American actress and dancer

Ginger Rogers was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She is known for her starring role in Kitty Foyle (1940), but is best remembered for performing in RKO's musical films on stage, radio and television, throughout much of the 20th century.

Faith Whittlesey U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland

Faith Amy Ryan Whittlesey was a Pennsylvania Republican politician and White House Senior Staff member notable for her effort to communicate Ronald Reagan's entire policy agenda to U.S. opinion leaders and for bringing together for the first time in the Reagan White House evangelical, Catholic, and other conservative religious groups who opposed legalized abortion and were concerned about moral and cultural decline and the break-up of the family. These groups became a significant component of the Reagan coalition as they grew more politically self-conscious in the 1980s. She organized the White House Central American Outreach Group at the direction of Chief of Staff James Baker to provide information about Reagan's anti-communist policies in the region and was an active supporter of Reagan's defense buildup and the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).


He won several awards for Frank and Ernest including the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award for 1983, 1984 and 1986. He won the H.L. Mencken Award for the best cartoon in 1985 and he was selected as "Punster of the Year" in 1990.


The August 14, 2006 edition of the comic strip Candorville , the August 29, 2006 edition of the comic strip Arlo & Janis , and the September 10, 2006 edition of the comic strip Prickly City paid tribute to Thaves.

See also

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  1. "List of Websites That Have Attributed Thaves' Line to Whittlesey". Google . Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  2. "Ann Richards: Democratic National Convention Keynote Address". American Rhetoric. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
  3. Keyes, Ralph (2006) The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 77 ISBN   0-312-34004-4