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Re: “"Suspect Device" cartoonist Greg Peters dies

When I first came across Greg's art, I was willing to do whatever it took to work with him. So I started with flattery and wrote a profile on him for a local magazine.

I learned that his first comic strip was published in his fifth grade year-end newsletter. It was a biting criticism of the school's firing of his beloved Miss Polly. “Man, they just fired her,” Peters told me a the time (2006, I think). “They just wanted to push their Bolshevik regime into the classroom.”

As Scott Jordan told me for the story, "Who else could imagine Mike Foster in a Mexican cantina, Bobby Jindal starring in Driving Miss Daisy or Foster Campbell as the superhero Gasman?"

It was the guy who had an undying love for his fifth grade teacher.

When local governing bodies started debating those so-called baggy-pants laws, Greg crafted a strip that portrayed a flying Superman scanning a hurricane-stricken Louisiana. “I guess I better triage the crises and tend first to the most serious!” Superman says. “Hey you! You in the white boots! Pull your @#%&*$ pants up!”

I went on to collaborate with Greg several times. Once, for a legislative session wrap up, he redesigned the Beatles’ famous “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover, replacing Paul McCartney’s head with that of Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s, and many other hilarious touches. I framed it and it hung in my office for many years.

Our collaborations peaked, though, when we tricked Jordan into letting us do a review of a legislative session using sequential art. The goal was to make it look like a graphic novel and we chose Lewis Carroll and Ralph Steadman as our inspiration.

I kept coming to Greg with ideas, but he had a laser-like focus on one element. "Damn it, Alford!" he would scream. "The Jabberwocky, man. Fit in the Jabberwocky."

I can't recall if we ever did and I wish I could find a copy now. We pushed Jordan to the wall missing deadlines and I loved every minute of it, even if the finished product didn't quite match our caviar promises to the editor. I always promised myself I would try again. Sometime in the future.

Greg was one of a kind. I wish I had known him better.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!"

27 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by JeremyAlford on 08/02/2013 at 2:05 PM

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