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|Size||150 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 23,000 items)|
|Abstract||Cartoonist and author, Doug Marlette (1949- ), of Hillsborough, N.C., created the nationally syndicated comic strip Kudzu in May 1981. His political cartoons and other work has appeared in major newspapers and news magazines. Marlette has also been involved in numerous other projects including Kudzu, A Southern Musical, the musical adaptation of his comic strip, which he wrote in collaboration with Jack Herrick and Bland Simpson of the Red Clay Ramblers. Marlette won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1988. The Doug Marlette papers include original art and art reproductions divided into three series: the Kudzu comic strip, both original artwork and reproductions of daily and Sunday comics, along with unpublished and incomplete strips; political cartoons in both original artwork and reproduction; and other artwork, including work relating to books and other projects. Other papers include correspondence, writings, clippings, other files, and photographs. Correspondence, 1972-1995 (bulk 1988-1990), includes letters and related materials that Marlette received from family, colleagues, fans, and critics, some relating to his 1988 Pulitzer Prize and some to his career moves. Writings include drafts of Marlette's 1991 autobiography, a draft of a screenplay; and copies of speeches and articles. Clippings are chiefly articles and images Marlette collected, 1971-1998. Other files include materials relating to Marlette's personal and professional interests. Pictures are of Marlette and others, including some relating to Kudzu: A Southern Musical.|
|Creator||Marlette, Doug, 1949- .|
|Curatorial Unit||Southern Historical Collection|
Processed by: Josh McKim, February 2001
Encoded by: Josh McKim, February 2001
Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, February 2021Back to Top
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.
Doug Marlette was born in Greensboro, N.C., in 1949. Marlette's father served in World War II and, after the War, as a United States Marine Corps medic. His mother was a homemaker. Marlette has two siblings. In 1980, Marlette married Melinda Hartley; their son Jackson was born in 1986. The Marlettes' home is in Hillsborough, N.C.
During Marlette's childhood, his family followed his father's postings to different Marine Corps stations. From Greensboro, they moved to Durham, N.C. In 1962, the family moved to Laurel, Miss., where Marlette attended Sunday school at Magnolia Street Baptist Church. In 1966, they moved to Sanford, Fla., where Marlette, still in high school, worked as a staff artist for the Sanford Herald, contributing drawings for the sports and editorial pages. From 1968 to 1969, Marlette attended Seminole Community College and began his political cartooning career working for Ralph Dunigan at the Orlando Sentinel-Star . After two years of community college, Marlette transferred to Florida State University in Tallahassee and began working as editorial cartoonist for the Florida Flambeau, the campus newspaper. Marlette then worked for six months as a staff artist and sometimes editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida. In 1972, Marlette returned to North Carolina as the editorial cartoonist for the Charlotte Observer.
In June 1975, King Features began national syndication of Marlette's work and he published his first book, The Emperor Has No Clothes. In 1976, he received a citation from the Overseas Press Club for foreign affairs cartoons. Marlette published his second book, If You Can't Say Something Nice, in 1978, and his third, Drawing Blood, in 1980. Marlette was granted a one-year Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University, in 1980, the first cartoonist to win the award. He spent 1980-1981 attending seminars, meeting scholars and artists, and attending classes. Upon completing the Nieman Fellowship, Marlette returned to the Charlotte Observer and began publishing the daily comic strip Kudzu in May 1981 in addition to his editorial cartoons. Jefferson Communications, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Newsday Syndicate distributed the comic strip nationally. In 1982, Marlette published his first Kudzu book.
In 1987, after 15 years producing editorial cartoons for the Charlotte Observer , Marlette joined the Atlanta Constitution and editor Bill Kovacs, formerly Washington bureau editor for the New York Times . One year later, Kovacs was fired from the paper, and Marlette resigned. He then went to work as an editorial cartoonist for Newsday.
Marlette's work has been collected in 17 volumes. He also wrote the screenplay for "Ex" with Pat Conroy. He wrote Kudzu, A Southern Musical , the musical adaptation of his comic strip, in collaboration with Jack Herrick and Bland Simpson of the Red Clay Ramblers. The play, produced at Duke University and at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., was published by Samuel French Company.
Marlette has won every major award for editorial cartooning, including the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for his work at the Charlotte Observer and at the Atlanta Constitution. He has received the National Headliners Award for Consistently Outstanding Editorial Cartoons three times, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for editorial cartooning twice, and first prize in the John Fischetti Memorial Cartoon Competition twice. His work has appeared in major newspapers and new magazines, and he has appeared on many nationally broadcast television and radio programs.Back to Top
The Doug Marlette papers consist of original artwork and art reproductions divided into three series: the Kudzu comic strip, political cartoons, and other artwork. Other papers include correspondence, writings, clippings, subject and other files, and photographs.
Kudzu comic strip original art is arranged chronologically into runs of daily comics and Sunday comics; there are also unpublished original sketches and incomplete comics. Also included are daily and Sunday runs of reproduced Kudzu comic strips and other reproduced Kudzu art. Political cartoons include examples from Marlette's work in the late 1960s at the Orlando Sentinel Star through 1997 and at Newsday. They are arranged chronologically (when the date is known) or in subject categories devised by Marlette. There are also unpublished sketches and incomplete cartoons. Other artwork includes both originals and reproductions of unidentified drawings, book covers, personal art, drawings from other comic strips, transparencies included in Marlette 1988 Pulitzer Prize application, book materials, and other items.
Correspondence, 1972-1995 (bulk 1988-1990), includes letters and related materials that Marlette received from family, colleagues, fans, and critics. Included are items relating to Marlette's winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and to events surrounding his departure from the Atlanta Constitution and arrival at New York Newsday. Of particular note are a 1972 letter from Jesse Helms, then WRAL-TV executive vice president, praising Marlette's cartoons and two 1986 letters from then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Other letters relate to business ventures and other matters.
Writings include drafts of Marlette's 1991 autobiography, In Your Face: A Cartoonist at Work ; a draft of a screenplay; and copies of speeches and articles. Clippings are chiefly articles and images that Marlette collected, 1971-1998. Other files include materials relating to prize applications; a 1964 inscribed school yearbook; and files on topics of interest to Marlette, including his litigation with the Hershey Foods Corporation over use of the company's logo, materials relating to his work at Newsday, and items pertaining to the Jerry Falwell v. Hustler Magazine Supreme Court case. Pictures are of Marlette and others, including some relating to Kudzu: A Southern Musical.Back to Top
Doug Marlette introduced the comic strip Kudzu in May 1981 upon returning to the Charlotte Observer after a one-year Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. The strip focuses on the fictional town of Bypass, N.C., its residents, and its visitors. Regular characters include Kudzu Dubois, Reverend Will B. Dunn, and Doris the Parakeet; there are also many supporting characters. Kudzu explores themes and social issues with a distinctly, but not exclusively, southern attitude. Although generally non-political, occasionally Kudzu delves into politics, especially in election years. The strip was first distributed by Jefferson Communication and Tribune Media Services, and later by Creators Syndicate, Inc. Marlette has published many books of Kudzu comics.
Artwork for the Kudzu comic strip is divided into an original artwork series and a series of reproductions.
Original artwork for the Kudzu comic strip, including six daily drawings and a full-color Sunday drawing per week. Also included is other Kudzu-related artwork, such as sketches, book covers, and promotional materials.
Daily Kudzu comic strips arranged chronologically and drawn on 9" x 18" card stock. Many are undated, some are identified by year only or day only. Also included are sketches and incomplete drawings, all on 9" x 18"card stock.
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Sunday Kudzu comic strips arranged chronologically and usually drawn on 18" x 24" card stock. Although the Sunday strips appear in color, these drawings are in black and white. Color is added to the drawings during a later stage of the production process.
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Original artwork relating to characters in the Kudzu comic strip, but not necessarily prepared for the daily or Sunday strip. Some drawings are sketches, others are in full color. Some of these drawings may have been intended for merchandizing or promotional purposes.
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Reproductions relating to the Kudzu comic strip, into separate runs for the daily strip, the Sunday strip, and other reproductions. Many of these reproductions are press copies created for Marlette by his publishing syndicate. There are also newspaper clippings of the Sunday strip, chiefly 1981-1983; separations used to add color to the Sunday strip; post-production color transparencies for the Sunday strip; and photocopies created for books being readied for publication.
Proof sheets with six daily Kudzu comic strips produced for Marlette each week by his publishing syndicate. Note that many years are missing several weeks of proof sheets.
Proof sheets of Sunday Kudzu comic strips in black and white. Note that many years are missing several Sunday proof sheets. Also included are newspaper clippings of the Sunday strip, chiefly 1981-1983; color separation; and post-production color transparencies.
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Original political cartoons and political cartoon reproductions. Doug Marlette began drawing political cartoons in 1968 as a staff artist for the Orlando Sentinel-Star in Florida. As a student at Florida State University, 1970-1971, he supplied cartoons to the Florida Flambeau, the campus newspaper. After leaving Florida State University, he joined the St. Petersburg Times in Florida for six months before being hired by the Charlotte Observer in 1972. In 1987, after 15 years with the Charlotte Observer, he joined the Atlanta Constitution, and then Newsday in 1988.
Original political cartoons in a variety of sizes, chiefly 11" x 13"and 19" x 24", divided into chronological, subject, and other runs. Where possible, Marlette's original order has been retained. Marlette ordered the cartoons by both year and subject. In the late 1970s, Marlette began organizing most of his cartoons by subject, but later switched to arranging them by year. There are, however, many cartoons that are not identified by year or otherwise.
Arrangement: chronological, then by subject.
Original political cartoon artwork arranged in Marlette's chronological scheme, with some dates further divided by subject. Cartoons done before 1972 include those from the Orlando Sentinel-Star, the Florida Flambeau , and the St. Petersburg Times. The undated Charlotte Observer political cartoons appear to have been created between 1972 and 1978.
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Arrangement: by subject.
Original political cartoons organized by subject. Most of these drawings are undated, although their particular subject matter dates many in the 1970s (e.g., cartoons relating to presidents can be dated by their terms in office).
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Other political cartoon artwork includes sketches and incomplete drawings. There are also three oversized drawings about the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta, the 1988 Republican Convention in New Orleans, and the 1992 Democratic Convention in New York City. See Series 2.2. for poster reproductions and transparencies of these drawings.
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Oversize Paper OP-5008/1-4
Includes drawing of a mostly nude man with the American flag dated 1988; Comic style drawing titled "Doug Marlette's Road to Atlanta: How We Got Here," illustrating political events in Atlanta, Ga., from 1987 to 1988; comic style drawing titled "Marlette's Road to New York," illustrating political events in New York from 1990 to 1992; and boardgame-like drawing titled "The Big Easy: How to Get to New Orleans Without Really Trying" by Doug Marlette, illustrating events in George W. Bush's political career.
Reproductions of Marlette's political cartoons, including more than 600 folders chronologically ordered by Marlette. In the chronological run, some cartoons appear more than once. Also included are political cartoon posters, transparencies, and a few groupings that Marlette organized for books or other purposes.
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Oversize Paper OP-5008/5-7
Includes color print of OP-5008/2, from The Atlanta Journal, with the caption "Doug Marlette is the recipient of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning"; color print of OP-5008/3 reprinted from New York Newsday; and color print of OP-5008/4 from The Atlanta Journal, with the caption "Doug Marlette is the recipient of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning."
Transparencies Marlette's 1988 Pulitzer Prize application; original artwork and matted reproductions from Faux Bubba: Bill and Hillary Go to Washington (1993), and matted proof sheets from other publications; about 300 original sketches, unidentified drawings, and family art; materials promoting personal projects, books, or newspapers; original artwork by Jeff MacNelly, Dik Browne ( Hi and Lois, 1972), and Ralph Dunagin; and a Sunday color drawing of a Batman comic strip from 1990.
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Letters and related materials that Marlette received from family, colleagues, fans, and critics. The correspondence is largely from 1988 to 1990 and includes items relating to Marlette's winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and to events surrounding his departure from the Atlanta Constitution and arrival at New York Newsday. Of particular note are a 1972 letter from Jesse Helms, then WRAL-TV executive vice president, praising Marlette's cartoons and two 1986 letters from then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton. Other letters detail business ventures and other matters.
Arrangement: by subject.
Drafts of Marlette's autobiography, In Your Face: A Cartoonist at Work (1991); speeches and reviews, an unidentified draft screenplay; and a "Kudzu Feature Film Treatment" written with Pat Conroy and Peter Rosenthal.
Newspaper, magazine, and journal clippings about or related to Marlette's artwork, including feature articles about Marlette, letters to the editor, and stories that used his artwork as examples or illustrations.
Materials relating to Marlette's professional and personal interests. Included are materials relating to prize applications, including the 1988 Pulitzer Prize; a 1964 inscribed school yearbook; and files and various topics of interest to Marlette, including his litigation with Hershey Foods Corporation over use of the company logo, materials relating to his work at Newsday, and items pertaining to the Jerry Falwell v. Hustler Magazine Supreme Court case.
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Photographs and slides of Marlette and others. Some depict Marlette at work. Included are a photograph of Marlette attending a 1975 Association of Editorial Cartoonist convention, two photographs of Marlette appearing on C-SPAN in 1987 or 1988, and one photograph of Marlette with an actress from Kudzu: A Southern Musical in 1997.
|Image Folder PF-5008/1|
|Image Folder PF-5008/2|
|Image Folder PF-5008/3|
Oversize papers (OP-5008/1-7)
Oversize volume (SV-5008/1)
Pictures (PF-5008/1-3)Back to Top