I was so sorry to learn that Corky Trinidad died this morning.  Corky was a local treasure for Hawaii.  He was every cartoonist’s friend and a mentor to Hawaii’s young cartoonists. Corky was also incredibly prolific, drawing a mind blowing two cartoons a day, with a color cartoon on the front page of the paper and a second cartoon on the editorial page, for close to forty years.  

Some of our readers have noticed that Corky hasn’t been contributing cartoons to our site recently. He was diagnosed last October with pancreatic cancer. Corky was 69 years old.  His editor, Mary Poole, called me with the grim news. That’s Corky’s last cartoon, from November 25th, at the right.

I got to know Corky when I worked for a short stint as a cartoonist for the Honolulu Advertiser (the competing paper) and Hawaii’s Midweek newspaper. The Advertiser recently laid off their long time cartoonist, Dick Adair, who was also a great friend of Corky, and now Hawaii has no daily editorial cartoonist. Dick and a group of Corky’s cartoonist friends in Hawaii will be drawing tribute cartoons that the Star-Bulletin will publish soon.

Hawaii has it’s own, unique culture which Corky personified, and gave voice to in the newspaper. Corky was the ultimate local cartoonist; he connected with his local audience better than anyone else. Hawaii has a crazy stew of politics that is steeped in complex back-stories and cultural flavor that Corky mastered and served up with warm, gentle humor, every day. Corky only sent us his national cartoons, and I regret that our readers didn’t get the chance to appreciate Corky’s local impact.

A few of Corky’s best cartoons from last year are posted below, and an archive of the past eight years of Corky’s work can be seen here.  The Star-Bulletin has posted a pdf of a page of Corky’s cartoon highlights from over 40 years with the paper.  See the Star Bulletin’s obituary here.  Corky is survived by his wife Hana, an artist and dance director, and his five children: Lorenzo, Emmanuel, Pia Sprague, Lara Nishimura and Anela Trinidad; and two grandchildren, Kera Nishimura and Matty Sprague.  Corky’s website is here.