Friday, July 6, 2007

For your reading pleasure - THATCH by Jeff Shesol

I thought I would do these posts once in a while, where I would showcase lesser-known strips introduced in the past 30 or so years ago.

So I thought I start out with Thatch.

Thatch was a comic strip drawn by Jeff Shesol. It was originally a college strip that ran in Brown University's student paper.

The title character was a everyman who struggled through life and politics. He had an alter-ego, Politically Correct Person (P.C. Person), who was a streotyped sensitive liberals who feared of offending people. Other characters were Tripp, Thatch's womanizing, obnoxious roomate; Kate, the editor for the college paper; and Sloane, who, as the cartoonist described in the strip's first and only book collection, a "heartless, shallow rich bitch." Tripp would try to date Sloane, only to fail (most of the time).

(The black and white samples above were the original college strips, and were scanned from the book collection put out by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, from 1991.)

Thatch was later picked up for syndication by Creators Syndicate. Its syndication run began in late 1994.

Things, however, changed. Jeff Shesol, the creator, was offered to become a speech writer for President Bill Clinton. Shesol wasted no minute agreeing the deal and promptly ended the strip. The final Thatch appeared in April 11, 1998, after only few years in syndication.

Below is the final Thatch.

Since then, Shesol has written many political books, but no cartooning. The character, more likely, won't return in one form or another, although you'd never know.


Pzazz said...

Thanks for the post about a little-known gem! I wish there was a full Thatch archive on-line somewhere!

Irith T. Bloom said...

Thank you so much for sharing these strips! I loved Thatch back when I was in college, and wish there were a collection of all of the strips -- both from the Brown University days and from syndication -- available. Jeff Shesol does have a few strips posted online, but those are the only other ones I could find (

Thank you again!