I was saddened to learn that one of my favorite cartoonists, Wayne Stayskal, has passed away this week. Wayne retired from editorial cartooning as the conservative cartoonist for The Tampa Tribune in 2004. He was a great guy, and a rare, funny conservative, with a simple, sketchy, charming style. Columnist Cal Thomas wrote a nice obit for Wayne here on Townhall.com.

Devoted Cagle.com fans will remember Wayne from the first ten years of our site. Wayne was an enthusiastic Cagle.com contributor and I often featured him on the front page and in special topical sections devoted just to Wayne. Wayne was a staunch defender of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Wayne laughed about how often he drew variations on the same cartoon of a burglar being frustrated by a gun wielding homeowner – there really were a lot of these, and they were all funny.

In our early years, when Cagle.com  was partnered with Slate.com and MSN.com and we were getting lots of traffic, I often put up special sections of Wayne’s cartoons. The most popular were “Cartoon Shootouts” between Wayne and all the rest of the cartoonists, with Wayne as the sole voice defending gun rights versus all the rest of the cartoonists demanding gun control. Wayne loved these and enjoyed the crazy email responses he got, sharing many of the emails with me. These online, cartoon shootouts were wildly popular.

I’m grateful for the time and conversations I had with Wayne in our early years. I appreciate Wayne’s support. His work stands the test of time and remains brilliant. Wayne was a gentleman and a friend and a great talent.  I miss him.

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