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Bill Kunkel (1950-2011)

Received the shocking news from Arnie Katz yesterday that Bill Kunkel died, apparently after a fall in his house. He was 61 years old. I never met Bill and only got to know him through e-mail correspondence after he started sending his cartoons to Chunga. We loved his biting, bizarre sense of humor. He signed his cartoons "Potshot," which was a fine tag for his wicked wit.

Arnie, who knew him for thirty years, wrote, "A man of vast and varied talents, Bill was a professional writer of both non-fiction and fiction, the co-founder of the world’s first video and computer game magazine (Electronic Games), a game designer, a comic book writer and a cartoonist." Wikipedia has more on his professional accomplishments, including a stint writing Richie Rich for Harvey Comics and as a columnist for a couple of different pro wrestling magazines.

Recently Bill wrote to me that his eyesight was failing, and he was preparing to send us as many cartoons as he could before he could no longer see. He sent us two batches, including something we've been planning to use for the back cover of the next issue. Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote to him quoting a comment from a LOC D West sent to Chunga: "On a much more positive note, the Bill Kunkel Satan cartoon was brilliant. I laughed. Hell will never seem the same again." As I commented to Potshot, "Dude. You made D. West laugh!"

Bill was pleased at the thought. He wrote back on August 23rd, "Thanks for sending that along, Randy -- made my day. Have another batch of cartoons, btw, just have to get some postage, but you should be well stocked for now."

I only knew him through his cartoons and these e-mail exchanges. I can't believe that I will never be hearing from him again. It just doesn't make any sense. My condolences to his wife, Laurie, and to all his friends and family. It's a grievous loss.

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