Cartoons Through the Years

These funny, poignant, and creative illustrations have brightened our pages since the magazine’s start in 1985. As we continue our look back over the past quarter century, we thought readers would enjoy sharing a laugh or two with us.

We did our best to track down the artists who’ve provided the inspiration for this collection. Most of the cartoons on the following pages are by William Haefeli (rhymes with “safely”) and ran during the 1990s, when the magazine consistently ran cartoons in its pages. A resident of Los Angeles, William says he continues to be a summer visitor on-Island, “usually coming early in the season to attend to the classic summer bungalow on East Chop that my sister and I inherited.” Since 1998, he’s been primarily doing cartoons for The New Yorker (

“It’s nice to be remembered as part of the mix from years gone by,” William says. “I have fond memories of doing work for the magazine and the Gazette....I have not always been as successful as I am now and always appreciated the support and encouragement I got on South Summer Street.”

From time to time the magazine has run stand-alone cartoons and in recent years has been more apt to use illustrations, often by Chris Burrell. A journalist, illustrator, and radio producer living in East Boston (, Chris used to work for the Vineyard Gazette. We thought his illustration for a story on the social anxiety that can happen at cocktail parties was a great piece to stand alone in this roundup.

The Vineyard Gazette has provided many a connection to the cartoonists who’ve had work in the magazine. Steve Durkee, the newspaper’s art director, came up with a fitting one for the Clinton era. Former Gazette staff artist and editorial cartoonist Mark Hurwitt lived on the Vineyard year-round from 1971 to 1990 and published the comic book Martha’s Vineyard Comics & Stories. Mark currently works as a freelance illustrator in New York City, contributes editorial cartoons to several publications, and has work in gallery exhibitions and private collections (

Some of these cartoons come from the very early years of the magazine when William E. Marks was the publisher. One is by Bill Ewart Jr., who still lives on-Island. He moved to the Vineyard thirty years ago and was an active cartoonist in the eighties with a comic strip in The Martha’s Vineyard Times for a year. He’s also designed T-shirts and logos, and began a business in the early nineties cartooning on beach stones. Now the Edgartown resident is a photographer and sells post cards, in addition to his day job (for twenty years) at Cronig’s Markets.