Donnie Pitchford’s comics featured in library exhibit


Donnie Pitchford -- hard at work dreaming up another episode of Lum and Abner.

The M.P. Baker Library of Panola College will host an exhibit of cartoons, illustrations, and associated artwork by Donnie Pitchford from March 19 to April 18 in the Fay Allison Gallery. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, March 20.

Pitchford holds a B.F.A. in Art Education from Stephen F. Austin State University and a M.A. in Art, Journalism, and Music from the University of Texas at Tyler.  Since earning his degrees Pitchford has worked in graphic arts, as an instructor for Hawkins and Carthage high schools, and as an adjunct professor for Panola College. Most recently he has worked as a freelancer for a variety of publications and art projects including serving as guest writer for the comic strip, Dick Tracy, but he is best known for his work as the writer, artist, voice actor, and audio producer for the Lum and Abner comic strip.

According to Pitchford, he decided to become a cartoonist at age five. Following his broadcast teaching career, he hit the ground running in 2011 with the Lum and Abner comic strip, based on the classic radio/movie series. With this endeavor, he’s been able to work with old friends and mentors George Wildman, Nick Cuti, Hy Eisman, John Rose, and others. Lum and Abner appears each week and includes an audio adaptation for blind friends.

Pitchford has earned multiple awards including “Who’s Who: Art” Kilgore College in 1979 and multiple state championships for his work with CHS-TV student teams, including repeated Best of Show, Best of Fair, First Place, Second Place, and Honorable Mention from 1988-2008. He has been honored as the regional Outstanding Educator for the Texas Society of CPAs, Student-chosen Outstanding Teacher in 2003 and 2008 and the 2010 Pine Burr yearbook for Carthage High School was dedicated to him. He was featured in the 2018 SFA Sawdust magazine and honored as the 2018 Distinguished Alumni of Spring Hill ISD Alumni Association.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public during the library’s operating hours Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and Sunday 4 – 9 p.m.. For additional information please call 903-693-2052 or email [email protected]