Harry Bliss '82
Harry Bliss, a 1982 Rush-Henrietta graduate, is a celebrated author-illustrator whose creative works appeal to both children and adults. He is one of the most sought-after cartoonists in the world. His work has been described as “deceptively simple” and “for people who take their humor very seriously.”
Mr. Bliss is an internationally syndicated cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker magazine, where he has contributed 18 covers and hundreds of cartoons since 1997. In addition, his self-titled single-panel cartoon, “Bliss,” appears in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. “Harry Bliss is the real thing,” declares Tribune Media Services, which distributes the cartoon for publication. “His New Yorker cartoons and covers have earned him loyal fans across the country.”
So, too, have the many books that Mr. Bliss has illustrated for children. His first book, “A Fine, Fine School,” by Sharon Creech, went on to become a New York Times bestseller. He also has illustrated popular books such as “Diary of a Worm,” “Which Would You Rather Be?” and “Countdown to Kindergarten.” He also illustrated “Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth,” written by Alison McGhee, which was chosen by Child magazine as one of the best books of 2004. His latest book, “Bailey at the Museum,” was released in September 2012.
Vermont Life magazine did a feature story about Mr. Bliss, examining his journey from self-described lonely teen to internationally known artist. The story quotes James Sturm, co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies. “Harry is wickedly funny, incredibly personable, and comfortable in a crowd,” Sturm says. “He’s kind of a throwback to the days of vaudeville, when cartoonists did performances, called Chalk Talks, and were men about town. Harry is also very self-deprecating. His wit is turned inward just as often. You get the idea that he almost needs humor to survive, which makes his work so much more urgent and important.”
Growing up in Henrietta in a family of successful painters and illustrators, Mr. Bliss went on to study painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and illustration at The University of the Arts and Syracuse University. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.