|Meet John Rose!
John Rose, a "keeper of the flame" of American rural
humor icons, joined us June 6, 2015 for the National
Lum and Abner Society's program held at the Ouachita
Little Theater in Mena, Arkansas. He performed his
"Snuffy Smith Chalk Talk" and assumed the role of
Snuffy for a new radio-style stage play in which Lum and
Abner met the bodacious hillbilly as well as the
legendarycrime-fighter, Dick Tracy!
Being the cartoonist for King Features’ Barney Google
and Snuffy Smith comic strip has been the greatest joy
of John Rose’s professional career.
John Rose always wanted to be a cartoonist. He started
drawing on his parents’ living room walls and continued
throughout his school years in the margins of his test
papers (hoping for extra credit).
The Virginia-born Rose graduated from James Madison
University in 1986 with a bachelor of fine arts degree,
double-majoring in art and art history. After graduation,
he drew freelance sports cartoons for newspapers in
Manassas, Va. He joined Byrd Newspapers of Virginia in
1988, starting at the Warren Sentinel and then moving to
the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. His cartoons have
won awards from the National Newspaper Association
and the Virginia Press Association. Besides appearing
in the Byrd Newspaper chain, his editorial cartoons are
distributed by the Scripps Howard News Service. He has
had two editorial cartoon collections of his work
published. The titles are Cartoons That Fit the Bill and
Now This Is Where I Draw The Line! His cartoons have
also been featured in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the
Year collections (Pelican Publishing) each year since
Since 1991, Rose has been creating Kids’ Home
Newspaper, a weekly children’s cartoon/activity page
that is syndicated with Creators Syndicate. This feature
has spawned three activity books: Fun With Pup!, More
Fun With Pup! and Christmas Fun With Pup! (Pelican
Publishing Company). His cartoon illustrations have
also appeared in books and magazines published by
Scholastic and Magination Press. He was also a writer
and inker for Archie Comic Publications.
Since mid-1998, Rose has been working on the Barney
Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip. He began as an
inking assistant to cartooning legend Fred Lasswell.
Rose became the strip’s full-time cartoonist after
Lasswell’s death in March 2001. “Working for Fred
Lasswell was a dream come true for me. He was more
than a boss…he was a wonderful mentor and friend.
Definitely the greatest cartoonist I have ever known.”
Rose enjoys meeting Snuffy Smith readers and
frequently does Snuffy Smith Cartooning Chalk Talks for
civic organizations, corporate groups, schools and
festivals. Rose is a member of both the National
Cartoonists Society and the American Association of
He lives with his wife, Karen, and daughters, Meredith
and Sarah, in the mountains of Harrisonburg, Va. In his
free time, he enjoys spending time with his family,
freshwater fishing and following James Madison
Read Barney Google and Snuffy Smith
Read and hear Lum and Abner:
For more information on Mena, AR:
to our interview with
recorded during the
Yesterday USA Live show,
Friday, April 24, 2015!