German Village Gazette

Cartoonist's 'subtle sense of humor' displayed in exhibit


Cartoonist Jeff Stahler gets a profound sense of satisfaction when he sees his work posted in the most conspicuous of places.

"Having someone clip your cartoon and put it on a refrigerator is one of the biggest honors a cartoonist gets," he said.

Of course, a public exhibit is pretty nice, too.

Stahler's work will be featured Dec. 5-23 in the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St in German Village.

More than 35 originals, both color and black and white, will be on display and for sale. An opening reception is slated from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5.

Stahler, who lives in German Village with his wife, Jeanie, is the creator of Moderately Confused, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The single-panel cartoon, which appears in hundreds of newspapers across the country, is known for its observation of modern life and deadpan humor.

"I wouldn't say I have a warped sense of humor," Stahler said. "Maybe it's a more subtle sense of humor."

Originally from Bellefontaine, Ohio, Stahler graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 1977.

He made the rounds locally, working for Columbus Monthly and later as an editorial cartoonist for the Columbus Citizen-Journal, which is no longer in business.

He spent 20 years with the Cincinnati Post and seven with the Columbus Dispatch, before leaving in 2011. He still does editorial cartoons, picked up by newspapers throughout the country.

"There's something nice about being on your own," Stahler said.

Being both an editorial cartoonist and comic-panel artist seems natural, he said.

"I think one feeds off the other," he said. "It's a wonderful thing: You can create things and juggle between the two."

Growing up, he admired the work of such artists as Chester Gould who drew Dick Tracy, Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey) and Charles Schultz (Peanuts). Their work hangs on the wall in his house.

"You learn a lot from these people who have been around for so long," he said. "It's a learning curve."

Stahler, 59, has lived in German Village for seven years.

"It's such a friendly community," he said. "Everybody's your friend here."