Legendary gag cartoonist Sam Gross has died

Michael Gerber of The American Bystander magazine says he was informed that cartoonist Sam Gross has died at the age of 89.

From the Lambiek.net comics site:

"Born in New York City, Sam Gross began cartooning in 1962. His cartoons have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, Esquire, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping. Gross was the Cartoon Editor of National Lampoon and Parents Magazine. His cartoon collections include 'More Gross', 'An Elephant is Soft and Mushy', 'Your Mother is a Remarkable Woman', 'I am Blind and My Dog is Dead' and 'Catss by Gross'. In the late 1990s, he became involved in electronic publishing ventures with cartoons playing an important role."

Sam's most famous cartoon was probably this one, which originally appeared in National Lampoon:

On a personal note, Sam was the first person to ever pay me for my comics. In 1990, my first attempt at professional cartooning was to send one of the comics I drew in school to a magazine I revered, National Lampoon.

Sam was the Cartoon Editor at the time, and he called me into his office. I was beyond thrilled.

He started our meeting by good-naturedly yelling at me: "What are you doing with this comic?? There are three good ideas in this!! You should make this three different comic strips!"

He instructed me to re-write and re-draw the comic into three, and told me he'd buy all three. And he did.

Having a National Lampoon credit probably convinced a small New York newspaper into launching my weekly comic strip, which is still going.

It was always a delight running into Sam in New York cartooning circles, grabbing a drink or a bite, and he'd sometimes show up at my signings and appearances in support. He exemplified the type of New Yorker with the very thinnest layer of a gruff, cranky exterior that he wore as a joke, but who underneath was a sweet, generous, and talented man.

I'll be forever grateful to him, and I'll miss him.

Bye, Sam.

Here's an interview he did in 2014 with Gil Roth.