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Apr 7, 2012

 I guess people are taken from us too early to remind us how precious every minute we do enjoy with one another here on Earth is.
It's been over a week now that I heard the shocking news that my colleague, friend, fellow former AAEC Prez and ediotrial cartoonist, Rex Babin passed away.
It's very weird accepting the fact that I will never see him again. For the last twenty years of AAEC conventions I would look forward to immersing myself in his passion for what we do...that being, to graphically expresss ourselves about the issues of the day.
Spending time with my friend Rex was a badly needed recharging of my batteries as he WAS the very definition of an ediotrial cartoonist. He understaood the reason for our existence as staff newspaper editorial cartoonists was to visually comment on local issues. Rex's visuals were origianl, completely devoid of any stylistic impression from any other cartoonist influences.....his cartoons were pure Rex and nobody elses.
Rex also had BALLS...like during an AAEC panel discussion with a Newsweek editor about the selection process of cartoons for that highly regarded national magazine...when Rex stood up and asked the editor his question. How does it feel to have every cartoonist in the country sucking up to you....? It wasn't a question that needed an answer but more of a statement to our fellow cartoonists that Newsweek isn't why we draw cartoons...or at least it shouldn't be. I guess all the fawning over this editor just pushed Rex to the brink of speaking up....and I'm glad he did.
Rex had a great smirk of a smile that I always looked forward to seeing at every AAEC convention. It's a smile now that Conrad, Fisher, Fischeti, Mauldin and all the other ink slingers from years gone by now enjoy.
RIP my friend, your family is in our prayers.
www.sacbee.com/2012/03/31/4380418/rex-babin-sacramento-bee-editorial.html

-Milt Priggee

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