Rodewalt, Vance Ronald

Rodewalt, Vance Ronald, cartoonist (b at Edmonton 7 Oct 1946). Raised on a ranch near Lake Isle, Alta, and educated in Edmonton, Rodewalt's artistic talent came naturally. He won a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts when he was 10 years old but didn't attend. His first cartoons were about horses and ranch life and appeared in Western Horseman as Wranglin' Dudes. "Because I was rural and my parents couldn't afford to send me to art school, whenever I got to town I'd go to the newsstands and go through all the comics and magazines and study the drawings," he once said. "I got a good feel for what people were drawing, and was influenced by Hank Ketchum [Dennis The Menace] Walt Kelly [Pogo] and Bob Montana [Archie]. When I got old enough to understand satire, Mad magazine became my bible."

Encouraged by cartoonist Yardley Jones, who was then with The Edmonton Journal, Rodewalt got his first job at The Roughneck, a petroleum industry magazine. He joined The Albertan as editorial cartoonist in 1969 and remained there until it folded in 1980. After a brief stint at The Calgary Sun, he joined The Calgary Herald in 1982 and has been there since. Initially his cartoons were punctuated by a couple of birds, which became so popular in their own right they were syndicated between 1974 and 1979 as The Byrds, a one-panel comic strip. Rodewalt's work has appeared on various magazine covers, and he has freelanced for Marvel Comics and Cracked magazine.