Welcome, Rob Pudim

Welcome, Rob Pudim

The Durango Telegraph this week welcomes new cartoonist Rob Pudim, whose quirky and clever caricature cartoons have appeared in the newspapers and entertained readers of mountain towns in the West for decades. 

And we’re pretty pumped to have him. Although he lives in Longmont, Pudim has built a reputation for having the pulse on communities he works for, getting to know the low down and dirty issues. News aficionados in the region may be familiar with Pudim’s work in Silverton, Lake City and Ouray. When approached by the Telegraph earlier this month to become the paper’s regular cartoonist, he responded within hours: “No problem. Send me some back issues so I can get an idea of what is happening around town.”

Pudim says, growing up, he always had a talent for drawing, but he never considered it as a way to make a living. He was raised in a Pennsylvania coal town, with a strict and not exactly encouraging father. “I thought being an artist was a kind of unfortunate thing and doing art for me was sort of like masturbating. It is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but I did it in private and washed my hands afterwards. Oh, and I knew I was going to do it again.”

While attending the University of Colorado, he started paying his tuition by drawing editorial cartoons for the student newspaper. After college, pursuing a career in the medical field, old school friends now working in journalism would call him up, asking if he’d whip up those cutting yet comical cartoons he was known for. “I never went out and pitched or promoted myself to newspapers,” he told the Lake City Silver World in 2018. “It just grew from word of mouth. One day I realized that I was making more money from my drawing than I was at my real job.”

Over the years, he’s contributed to untold numbers of newspapers in the West, and now actively draws for about 50 papers. He is known for his single-frame, satirical style. And he’s also a self-described “rabid tree-hugger” and staunch supporter of local news. “I just let my prejudices hang out, stick my tongue out and hope people will be amused. I have no control over how the reader will react to it and I don’t care. Feel free to come by my house and throw rocks at me.”

Well, now we welcome Pudim into the fold of Durango and all our craziness.

“I hope my work relieves tension and somehow allows one to distance oneself from a bad situation and see it in a broader perspective. Humor helps you roll with life’s punches rather than be knocked down by them. You may not be able to change what goes on around you, but you can control how you react to it. In an uncertain world, there’s a certain comfort in being able to laugh at it.”

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