Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Tribute to Bill Gallo. My Babe Ruth.

When I was a kid, the one thing I couldn't wait to see everyday was the Gallo cartoon in the Daily News.
He wasn't just a sports cartoonist to me. You see, I wasn't very good in sports. To be honest, I sucked.
But I could draw. Bill Gallo was my Babe Ruth. While my friends were admiring Mantle, Seaver and
other sports stars, I was admiring the man who drew them.

I met Bill for the first time when I was in the 8th grade. My dad called him and told him I loved him, followed him
and wanted to be like him some day. We met up at Daily News building on a Saturday morning. The place was kind of empty. He was all mine. But he made me feel like I was just as important to him.

We became friendly from that day on. I was lucky enough to see him in action as the President of the National cartoonist Society at their annual dinner each year. Bill even wrote my letter of recommendation for School of Visual Arts. The college I attended.

It's been 40 years since our first meeting. But, to this day, when I look at one of his drawings I feel like that 13 year old boy standing next to his drawing table watching him finish up the day's cartoon.

The mark you made can never be erased.
God Bless you Bill.


  1. That's very touching, Joe. Bill Gallo is a New York original, and he'll be sorely missed.

  2. Very nice tribute. I'm sorry for your loss but I'm glad he lives on in your work.

  3. That was a beautiful story you shared Joe, Thank you. Sorry for the loss of your friend God Bless

  4. This gave me chills. Upon hearing the news this morning, i was expecting a tribute - I didnt realize the two of you were so close.

    This post was the silver lining for me. New York, the sports journalism community, and the world of boxing has lost an icon. I take comfort in knowing that your cartoon's carry on the Gallo tradition. I check this blog religiously; for me its reminiscent to flipping back the pages of the News looking for the latest Gallo sketch when I was a kid.

    R.I.P Mr. Bill GALLO

    my condolences and thanks to you Joe


  5. Sorry for your loss Joe. It's cool that you got to know him so well.

  6. Gallo was one of my favorites.

    I remember this one sketch Gallo did of a lil boy leaning over what was a almost dead horse with I believe a jockey's whip and Bertha telling the kid there is no use beating a dead horse. The horse? The Mets. I always think of how that image just captured what i was feeling at that same time.

    Very nicely done Joe.

  7. Reading your commentary made the hair on my neck stand up and brought a tear to my eye ... mentors are so valuable ... recognizing them even more valuable ... good for you. Just think who he(Gallo) can sketch now!

  8. Very touching Joe. I have the same exact sentiments. Everday day as a youngster, I looked forward to his drawings and perspective.

    On that note, I did not know he was such a major infuence on you.

    Your work always reminded me of Bill's and would privately call you the modern day Bill Gallo, which I'm sure it's the biggest compliment you can receive.

    Keep up the great work and hopefully one day we'll be able to see your stuff published by a New York paper and be just as influential to some young aspiring artist as Bill was to you.

  9. Joe,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I was saddened by the news and couldn't wait to see your post in honor of Mr. Gallo's passing. As New Yorkers we were extraordinarily lucky to have him-- he captured our essence in ways very few if any artists have ever been able to do.

    And his incredible talent was so unique, I was always certain that when he passed so too would his unique style of journalism. Luckily, though many people have yet to realize this, Bill Gallo had a disciple-- someone who through decades of study learned in the style of the great master and then brought his own sensibilities to the table.

    I'm not sure if it could happen or if it would even appeal to you but I selfishly hope the News passes Bill's torch to you. I suspect he would be pretty pleased with that as well.

    Anyway, thanks so much for your touching reflection.

    He will be missed.


  10. I knew if someone could draw a fitting tribute to Bill Gallo, it would be you.

    Very well done. Thanks for sharing.
    Mr. Gallo and his wonderful drawings will certainly be missed.

  11. If there aren't enough reasons to follow the Mets, following Joe's blog is reason enough.