s always, Joe, I appreciate your time. I can only imagine how busy you must be and you've always answered me personally. This means a great
deal. (And, I'm glad to meet you again...too...)
You didn't specify how extensive a "biography" you required, Joe. Often when engaged in this endeavor one can provide a great deal more
information than desired to the point of driving the reader somewhat balmy. So, you feel free to delete anything you deem unnecessary.
Biography - J. Ira Monroe
I was born in
Boston, a member of the 'baby boom' generation and traveled and lived in several overseas locals during my youth. My father was an Air Force pilot and moved often to bases as a training officer. Therefore, I
made my first transatlantic ship voyage as a pudgy child.
My beloved mother advises I was scrawling and scribbling on walls, floors, sheets and any other surface available any time I could secure
a writing instrument from 'toddler hood' onward. (Many would say that my present efforts could still be defined thusly.)
Many years hence through the ebb & flow of life, my wife, children and
I ended up here in Lincoln, Nebraska where the deer, antelope, buffalo and more than one currently disgruntled college football player roam.
As with most of us in the cartooning field, I've worked
at many different jobs over the years to feed my growing family...and my cartoon calling. I've been a cabbie, janitor, cook, farmer, truck driver, corrections officer...and even a private investigator these past
forty years or so.
And again, as with most of us, my art work has involved just about any medium, on any subject imaginable to any willing, paying client from published pen & ink drawings of
the necessary techniques in skinning and gutting catfish, a weekly agricultural cartoon strip in local newspapers, innumerable gag cartoons to the somewhat emotional warm and fuzzy of the greeting card
market. (I've loved most of the assignments, of course, and wouldn't have had it any other way.)
My extremely modest national work involved several cartoon posters in the educational
market for one of the amateur athletic organizations.
As a "personal slogan", which of course can be defined in many subjective ways, I've always enjoyed the quotation from Henry Ward
Beecher regarding this fascinating artistic endeavor;
"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." (Or, his cartoons? It often
Presently, I join my brother cartoonists on a regular basis baiting one hook after another trying to catch cartooning assignments, (which are somewhat
scarce here in the midwest), especially where I can employ my faithful troop of animal characters. Our studio name, "Bwana Art" is taken from the African Swahili word, 'bwana', which simply means
'mister'. It was bestowed upon us by a wonderful client many years ago due to the varied number of African animals in our character base. The name has held on ever since.
Our contact information is;
"Bwana Art" Studio
P.O. Box 4466
Lincoln, NE 68504
Joe, please advise me if this is sufficient information or if you need more. (If it's too much, by golly, I wouldn't be surprised. I realize, too, that I've been somewhat 'self-centered' in this
biography...but, perhaps it can be forgiven due to the very nature of such a review.)
Please accept my continued appreciation for your kindness, Joe, in taking of your time to help the rest of us!
You are a treasure!