Dwane Powell, the long-time editorial cartoonist for the News & Observer, and a stalwart of North Carolina political commentary, announced he was retiring Nov. 4.
Dwane Powell is retiring today as editorial cartoonist for The News
& Observer after spending 35 years lampooning the high and mighty
of Tar Heel politics, from dressing former Republican U.S. Sen. Jesse
Helms in a cave man outfit to putting a weathervane in former
Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt's pompadour.
Powell, who turns 65 this
week, drew more than 8,000 editorial cartoons that pointed out the
foibles, the contradictions and affectations of the state's elected
Powell worked briefly for newspapers in Arkansas, San Antonio and Cincinnati before coming to Raleigh in 1975.
N&O was what I really considered a dream job for a cartoonist,"
Powell said. "It was a paper that had a strong journalistic ethical
standard. It was in a capital city. And they offered me the freedom to
do what I wanted to do."
Among Powell's favorite subjects were
Helms, the rock-ribbed conservative; Jimmy Green, the often
investigated Democratic lieutenant governor; or "any politician doing
In 2008, Powell had a showdown with his paper when they planned to cut his position to part-time. Rather than take the pay-cut and loss of benefits, Powell said he'd quit first. After strong support from readers, the paper backed down and came to a compromise with the cartoonist.