A landmark victory for sports comic ‘Win, Lose, Drew’

Cartoonist, animator and illustrator Drew Litton is celebrating 35 years of his comic strip, Win, Lose, Drew, on Aug. 21. Andrews McMeel syndicates the sports-themed feature, which has appeared in newspapers across the country, particularly in Colorado where Litton is based, as well as online at GoComics.com, where new strips are updated twice a week.

“Drew’s work recalls the glory days of editorial cartooning, when most every local paper worth its salt (or sodium substitute) had both a political and a sports cartoonist,” said AMU Editor Reed Jackson. “With a light touch and a sharp mind, Drew captures the timeless, rich and chewy paradox at the heart of organized athletic — not to say human — endeavor: that it’s completely meaningless and absolutely everything at the same time.”

In his career, Litton has attended — and covered — the crème de la crème of sports moments, including Super Bowls, World Series and All-Star games. In 1993, the National Cartoonists Society awarded him with Sports Cartoon of the Year. Litton spent nearly 30 years as the full-time sports editorial cartoonist at the Rocky Mountain News. He also has worked with ESPN, The Chicago Tribune and Tegna Broadcasting, as well as done freelance work for numerous individuals and teams, such as the Denver Broncos and Colorado Buffaloes.

Litton’s passion for comics began at a young age, reading them in the paper with his grandfather and watching the Saturday morning TV lineup. Strips like Pogo, Dick Tracy and Peanuts were especially influential to him, as were ongoing episodes of Underdog, Woody Woodpecker, Mighty Mouse and Beany and Cecil.

“Those cartoons and large bowls of Cap’n Crunch were my major source of nourishment in those days,” said Litton. “They still are.”

The idea for Win, Lose, Drew began shortly after Litton attended college at the University of Texas at El Paso, a school with a laughable football reputation.

“Throughout my youth I was subjected to the single worst college football program in the country. UTEP football was truly awful. It bore no resemblance whatsoever to the sport we recognize as football, but it was always good for a few laughs,” Litton said. “So, I developed this kind of warped sense of humor about sports, I’m convinced, as some sort of survival instinct.”

Litton parodied this and his journey to becoming a cartoonist in an autobiographical illustration.

“I’m celebrating my 35th year of national syndication and I’m thrilled to be a part of Andrews McMeel,” said Litton, who has selected a handful of cartoons in honor of his memorable milestone.