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Cartoonist Jeff Pert Brings Lobster Humor to Westport Island

Maine life through the eyes of crustaceans…

Over 20 people came for — and got — a few laughs tonight courtesy of Cartoonist Jeff Pert and the Westport Community Association.

Pert peppered his tale of becoming a Maine cartoonist with a collection of his quirky moose and lobster cartoons.

Spurning life in the city and dreams of becoming a film maker post college, Pert left LA (Los Angeles, not Lewiston/Auburn) and Boston behind and returned to Maine. He worked for L.L. Bean for 13 years and started doing political cartoons for the Brunswick Times Record. Against the backdrop of Maine, L.L. Bean and fond memories of hauling lobster traps with his grandfather in Phippsburg, Pert’s imagination and cartooning talent turned to Maine wildlife and crustaceans — most notably moose and lobsters.

Drawing on cartoon inspiration from the likes of Peanuts‘ Charles Schultz, On the Far Side’s Gary Larsen and Dennis the Menace’s Hank Ketcham, it’s probably natural that Pert might start thinking about what lobsters say when facing a pot of boiling water. Those thoughts and the “Hey Bob how’s the water?” cartoon started him on his rise to cartooning fame. In his words, moose and lobsters, two of nature’s oddest creatures, do half the chuckle work for him. He just puts them in everyday human situations.

Pert cannot yet make his living exclusively with his images — but his brother does. His brother creates merchandise with Pert’s cartoon images and has made them a fixture in gift stores throughout Maine and elsewhere. Down East Books has published Pert’s first book of cartoons: Cartoons from Maine: How’s the Water, Bob? Other projects on the drawing board include another book, a “surf and turf” cartoon strip and cartooning dysfunctional dogs.

Life is good when your job is fun and it brings some fun into the life of others. …Now if he could just figure out how to get our best Island “laugh-er”, Pat Smith, to listen and laugh at all his talks, life would be that much more fun…

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