Michael Cochran (1944 +/- — Still going strong)

This collection was published in 1982 by, A Whispering Sands Publication.

This is a type of cartoon collection that I call a regional or local collection.  In the US, at least, they are usually drawn by a newspaper cartoonist usually their  editorial cartoonist.  The subject matter is familiar to the readers of the paper, and maybe surrounding areas.  These collections are usually associated with larger cities and their newspaper.  In this case, while Santa Fe is not large, (68k in 2011) it is the capital of New Mexico, and as such rated an editorial section on par a with larger cities such as Albuquerque, New Mexico at 561k in the same year or say Salt Lake City, UT (190k in 2011) and their Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley.  Bagley will be in a later post.

In the case of the above book, it is part collection of editorial cartoons, part guide book, and part inside joke for the locals.

I tried to find more information about the author by searching the internet.  I followed a link to two biographies attributed to a Michael Cochran; one on Hopalong Cassidy the other on Les Paul.

I also found some information on his watercolor exhibit, and a photo of one of his works.

From the back cover we learn he had a collection of Vietnam cartoons, and a collection of articles from his college days.  I have neither collection.

Well, if the internet is less than forthcoming, we turn to a tried and true method of collecting information:  The US Postal Service.

Michael Cochran kindly returned my letter with penned answers to my questions.  Follows is an abbreviated Q&A.

VisualHumor.  At the time you published this book I see you were

an Editorial Cartoonist for the Albuquerque Journal.

Michael Cockran.  I was cartoonist for Albuquerque Journal, NORTH, Santa Fe Edition.

VH.  From the Internet I see that you were involved in at least two biographies; one of Hopalong Cassidy and the other on Les Paul.

MC.  I am not the author of these biographies.

VH.  You are an active member of the Santa Fe Artists Market, and have one of your works, “Forsythia” posted by the group on flickr.com.

MC.  I still am associated with the SFAM.

VH.  Would you share a little more information on your cartoon life and times.

MC.  After Journal North I was in Washington, D.C.  Worked for Orin, The Washington Post, UPI, WJR (Note:  It could also be WTR.  WJR is a talk radio station in Detroit, I do not know what WTR stands for.  Neither am I certain if Orin is an acronym or a person, or an orginazation-Ted)

VH.  Do you have, or did you ever envision other cartoon collections?

MC.  I just have the three little books.  I am a content watercolorist at this time of my life.

VH.  Do you have a blog.

MC.  No

VH.  How did you gravitate toward artwork, and do you work only in watercolor?

MC.  I was a cartoonist in newspapers at the age of 12.  Watercolors seem a natural transition.

VH.  Do you now cartoon.

MC.  I no longer cartoon or miss it.

VH.  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for fledgling cartoonists?

MC.  Just keep at it until someone realizes your talent.

VH.  Will you share a photo of yourself for the post?

MC.  I have no photos of myself.

Obviously a self-effacing gentleman.

Let us now look at a few cartoons from this cartoon collection/guide book/history collection, called The Cartoon Book of Santa Fe. Mark Nassutti has annotated some of the cartoons, and where indicated, I have included them with the cartoon.

Google has numerous photos of this staircase.  It is really amazing.

That, and parking.  Trust me, that and parking.

I will admit that I had not a clue.  But, in this case, the internet came through.  Thank you wikipedia, thank you.

This may have been SOP in the early eighties, but I wonder about now?

And so are we. So, until next time, thanks for reading.





About visualhumor

Enjoy viewing and collecting visual humor from around the world.
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4 Responses to Michael Cochran (1944 +/- — Still going strong)

  1. Hi Ted, nice write-up. I came upon your blog while looking for an image of the book’s cover. The only copy I still have is in a storage unit, and I was working on a quick post for my own blog. It’s great that you caught up with Michael, he and I lost touch years ago. We wrote this book when we worked for the Albuquerque Journal in Santa Fe in 1982. Michael was a funny, wild-haired, chain-smoking and philosophical Marine combat veteran, I was a straight-laced Ivy League newspaper reporter covering cops and courts. The idea was to poke some fun at Santa Fe’s unique foibles, historical as well as modern-day. We formed Whispering Sands Publications, raised some money from friends and family, and self-published the book. It was great fun, even the manual cutting and pasting of the manuscript on my dining room table to prepare it for the printer. Then one day 5,000 copies landed on my driveway. Oh, oh, I thought, now I have to sell these? Michael and I sold every book, going door to door to stores, hotels, restaurants and offices in Santa Fe for about six months. We cut and formed counter-top displays out of corrugated cardboard, spray-painting them black in my garage. It was a great experience. I was amazed to find you can still find copies through Amazon and Alibris, among others.


  3. Gary Kimsey says:

    How do I get in contact with Mike Cochran? He and I and three other guys spent six months in canoes retracing the trail of Lewis and Clark in 1973 and I drove him from Fort Collins, Colo., to Santa Fe when he decided to move there in about 1980. But I’ve lost contact with him. Garykimsey@yahoo.com. 970-221-2957, phone. May 8. 2015

    • visualhumor says:

      Hi Gary,
      I was able to send him a letter. I will send the address I used in November 2012, to your email address.
      Sounds like you guys had a ball. You must have paddled by my town, The Dalles, on your retracing of the trail.
      Thanks for the comment.

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