Riverside cartoonist puts on holiday display
|Cartoonist Charley Krebs of Riverside poses Wednesday in front of one of his holiday cartoons on display at the Riverside Village Hall, 27 Riverside Drive. A collection of about 20 pieces of Krebs’ holiday-themed work will be on display until Jan. 4. (Staff photo by Matthew Piechalak)|
Charley Krebs has put a lot of thought into creating hundreds of cartoons on everything from Chicago politics to the struggles faced by local jazz musicians.
But one of the more enjoyable, and less challenging, subjects for him to draw are the holidays.
“It gives you the opportunity to do something that’s pretty positive and happy by nature,” he said. “It’s not a sad scene that you’re depicting.”
A collection of about 20 pieces of Krebs’ holiday-themed work is currently on display in the foyer of Riverside Village Hall, 27 Riverside Road, until Jan. 4.
The cartoons, which are being presented by the Riverside Arts Center, were originally printed in Suburban Life, Chicago Jazz Magazine and other publications between the early 1990s and 2012.
Santa, the Grinch, the Ghost of Christmas Past and a newsboy delivering papers that say “Happy Holidays” are just a few of the characters that can be found in the cartoons on display, which have been enlarged to poster-size.
Krebs said he began drawing cartoons as a kid, when he found inspiration through DC and Marvel Comics, Mad Magazine and cartoon strips like Peanuts and Dick Tracy. His skills continued developing during his time as a cartoonist for the student newspapers at Morton East High School and Morton College.
Besides freelancing for various publications after graduation, Krebs has worked as an art director and cartooning instructor.
As a resident of Riverside for almost 30 years, Krebs said it means a lot to him to have his work displayed in the village.
“When you live in a place like this and you get this kind of recognition, it’s very, very cool,” he said, adding that he enjoys the art scene in Riverside. “It’s satisfying and a bit surreal to be recognized for what I’ve created here as a working artist.”
Garry Henderson, founding member of the Riverside Arts Center, said in a statement that Krebs is a person who pays attention and is “able to comment on community as well as world affairs in a funny, witty and warm matter.”
The Riverside Arts Center also did a “career-retrospective” showcase of Krebs’ work in 2008, a few years after he finished a more than 20-year tenure with Suburban Life.
Since then, besides the current exhibit at village hall, Krebs’ cartoon work has been featured in two dozen displays. Permanent displays of his work also can be found at the Riverside Public Library and Mollie’s Public House.
“I always thought it was a nice shorthand way of drawing people into a topic or drawing attention to a situation or a person that, maybe, readers otherwise wouldn’t have taken the time to read a full-blown article about,” Krebs said of editorial cartoons.
About Charley Krebs
EDUCATION: Morton East High School and Morton College
NOTABLE: Krebs has won 11 state and six national journalism awards for his cartoons and created CD album covers for various jazz artists, such as saxophonist Shawn Maxwell
MORE INFO: For information on the Riverside Arts Center or Krebs’ holiday cartoon display, call 708-442-6400.
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