The High Point Enterprise
Fred Flagler, Staff Writer
Force of the cartoon as a medium to express what words and even pictures fail to do is strongly appreciated by Bob Snider, a printer by trade and a cartoonist by hobby.
About this time of year, Bob is in demand for appearances on Christmas programs at factory parties. His forte is drawing caricatures while presenting a running commentary “in the light vein.” He figures he can do about 40 cartoons along with gab in about 20 minutes.
With a modest evaluation of his own technique, Bob credits the success of his performance mainly on the reception cartoons get generally. “Folks like the comics,” Bob says. And he explained that few newspapers, with the possible exception of the New York Times have managed to survive without the comics.
“Anything that casts a shadow on the lighter side of life seems to go well,” Bob says. And he explains that the comics and cartoons offer a look at the brighter and lighter side.
“In my opinion the effectiveness of the most famous strips-the real comics-is in the thought, not the drawing itself,” Bob said. He confided that the most successful humorous cartoons and comic panels are crudely drawn compared with the serious serialized stories that have become a part of many comic sections. The funny ones, he believes, are the most popular. And the funniest ones are those with about 90 percent thought and 10 percent drawing.
The cartoon is a formidable weapon in politics. He says the cartoon can do a better job of ridiculing than most written editorials, and manages to carry home points that lip service, radio, newspaper and magazines cannot.
It was about ten years ago that Bob made his first public appearance as a cartoonist. Most of his friends know him as the hard-working printer around at Edgar Snider’s print shop. But he has made enough appearances as a cartoonist to attract quite a reputation in his own right in that field.
For the most part of his work is complimentary. He appears on civic programs without charge, but then often his is engaged for special events where he is paid for his talent.
Bob honestly admits that perhaps dull lectures in school provided a boon to his drawing ability. When things got dull, and they often did, Bob would pull out a piece of paper and begin drawing caricatures of his fellow classmates, even the teacher.
Back in his school days at High Point high school, Bob’s classmates used to look forward to the home-room period that came just before the school day ended. After changing classes all day, the students would return to their home room where they had started in the morning. Usually by that time, Bob had a sheaf of cartoons prepared. He had drawn them while listening to lectures.
Bob kept up his desire to draw, but he never had any formal training in art. At High Point College he was staff artist for the “Hi-Po” student newspaper, and was called on frequently to help prepare posters-using the cartoon technique.
In addition to gaining some extra money, and what’s more having a lot of fun with his hobby, Bob has found it has worked to an advantage at his job in printing, and at home too. Some time ago he designed an advertising piece in which he used type figures to compose a cartoon. For instance he used a large letter “O” for a head and a couple of “i’s” for eyes and an upturned “v” for a nose. The effect won the praise of many for its uniqueness. At home he has found his cartooning ability a great entertainment value for his two sons, Robert Clifton, Jr. and Walter Wyatt.
Content to draw as a hobby and diversion, Bob has never aspired to join the professional ranks. He believes though that more people could draw if they would try, and again he emphasizes his formula-more thought before picking up the black crayon.
“Even the worst situations have their funny angles,” Bob says, “and even in these serious times, humor will go a long way toward making life more livable.”
These words were written about my Dad almost sixty years ago. What a great way to remember him on this Father’s Day. He always ended his talks with the following poem, which I thought was lost until my friend John Pruett found it for me.
A smile costs nothing, but gives so much.
It enriches those who receive it without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he cannot be made rich by it
Yet a smile cannot be bought, borrowed or stolen,
For it is something that is of no value to anyone-until it is given away.
Some people are too timid to give you a smile.
So give them one of yours,
As no one needs a smile so much
As he who has no more to give.
Happy Father’s Day Dad!