San Francisco and the World
Visiting San Francisco in 1971 with his partner in the production of rock music posters, Kerry decided to pop into The Chronicle unannounced, hoping to show his art portfolio to cartoonist Robert Graysmith, who later achieved fame as the author of the book and subsequent motion picture about the Zodiac murders. The receptionist advised that Mr. Graysmith was not in but, after Kerry explained who he was and what he did, she asked if he would like to meet the Features Editor? Somewhat overwhelmed by his good fortune, Kerry was escorted in to meet Stan Arnold.
(See In Memorium, G. Stanleigh Arnold)
This was the chance meeting that would change Kerry's life. Arnold, The Chronicle's Sunday and Features Editor, had been instrumental in launching the careers of Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Gary Larson (The Far Side), Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), William Hamilton (of The New Yorker), Phil Frank (Fraley), and Cathy Guisewaite (Cathy). He had also played a key role in the early stages of Charles Schulz' march to immortality, as the Peanuts gang warmed their way into American culture.
Arnold, who died in 1997, would become Kerry's mentor, manager, car pool partner, best friend and fishing buddy.
Shortly after that fortuitous first meeting, Kerry began a life of two cities, migrating back and forth between Vancouver and San Francisco, and contributing to both daily newspapers, among other clients.
But San Francisco was indisputably big time and Chronicle Features, under Arnold and Stuart Dodds (principal marketing executive when Kerry began and Arnold's successor as editor) had become one of the most formidable syndication services in the newspaper world. Eventually, Kerry Waghorn moved to San Francisco, where he lived for 10 of the happiest years of his life.
Gradually, something else began to evolve within his work. Out of his art and cartoon creations, a unique gift began to dominate, and that was his talent for caricature, seeming to be able to drag the depths of a subject's soul and personality, into the visible plane.
Chronicle Features launched Faces in the News by Kerry Waghorn in 1977.
"I felt truly gifted during that era - with Stan Arnold's guidance and Stuart Dodds' incredible salesmanship, my work started appearing all over the world," Kerry remembers.
Over 9,000 images later, his current agent, Kansas City based Universal Press Syndicate (now the world's largest independent and most respected syndicator), helped him celebrate his 30th anniversary in 2007.
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Universal Press Syndicate
Chronicle Features was purchased by Universal Press Syndicate of Kansas City in 1997, a subsidiary of Jim Andrews and John McMeel's ANDREWS MCMEEL UNIVERSAL, founded in 1970.
Today, Waghorn enjoys the most extensive caricature service in the world. Waghorn's caricatures appear as a daily feature in many countries. His drawings have been published in more than 400 major newspapers and magazines world-wide, representing about 60 nations. Among the journals that have published his inimitable creations are the Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, New York Daily News, Atlanta Journal, Montreal Gazette, Japan Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Hamilton Bermuda Business, Korea Times and New Zealand Herald.
Included among the more familiar personalities who have acquired their original caricature by Waghorn are Tom Selleck, Chevy Chase, Michael Ovitz, Bryan Adams, Billy Joel, Bruce Willis, David Bowie, Michael Eisner, Malcolm Forbes, Michael Jackson and numerous U.S. and world political leaders.
Waghorn is regularly commissioned by international companies, publications, organizations and governments.
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Without the direct professional ties to San Francisco and the retirement or passing of many close associates, the "City by the Bay" had less relevance. Kerry decided to return home in 1993.
He bought a waterfront house on Bowen Island, a Vancouver retreat that feels as remote as a resort, but which is just 45 minutes from the heart of the city, including a 15-minute ferry trip.
"It was a wonderful way to come home, sitting on a patio overlooking the ocean - whether working or just daydreaming - once again feeling very much part of the west coast of Canada."
Over the course of years, however, despite Bowen Island's proximity to the larger city, it became increasingly inconvenient professionally, difficult for couriers and business associates, and somewhat behind the curve in terms of modern communications infrastructure.
One of his sideline projects during 2005 and 2006 was illustrating a book, a comprehensive expose of Canada's health management, titled Squandering Billions. This required frequent meetings with the late journalist/author Gary Bannerman and co-author Dr. Don Nixdorf, a noted Canadian health professional.
Amid all this, he sold the Bowen house and resettled where he had grown up, in North Vancouver, just across the harbor from downtown.
Kerry's parents and a brother, who all are in good health, also live in North Vancouver. He remained a bachelor until 2009.
A few years ago - following an encounter arranged by a mutual friend - Kerry rekindled a relationship with Amber, who had been his prime romantic interest during school years. Even though they had drifted apart and life had taken them in different directions, they had never forgotten each other. Amber and Kerry were married in April 2009.
Kerry has little time for hobbies, but enjoys dominos and fishing for the big Pacific Coast salmon. Among his most memorable adventures since returning home have been long boat trips up the coast as far as Alaska with his friend, former song writer and recording star Terry Jacks (Seasons in the Sun, The Poppy Family et al.), an environmentalist and passionate outdoorsman.
He is also enjoying a new dimension in his work, experimenting with different media in colored images.
"For 20-years I worked in nothing but black and white and most of the newspaper demand still is to publish in grayscale. But, gaining momentum for 10 years now, particularly the explosion of the Internet and how it multiplies exposure for any published item, is the demand for color."
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