August 20, 2012
Robby McMurtry, 1950-2012
The artist, teacher and graphic novelist Robby McMurtry died on August 1 after being shot by a deputy sheriff in the small town of Morris, Oklahoma
. He was 61 years old.
Okmulgee Sherriff's department officers were dispatched to the home the artist shared with his wife when an unidentified family member called in to say McMurtry was suicidal. The officers found McMurtry in the yard of the home with a machete. When being talked to by the officers, he apparently ran at the officers with the weapon. One officer attempted to tase McMurtry but failed. The other shot and killed him.
McMurtry was of Comanche, Irish and Cajun descent. The story about his death notes that he painted the mural that is in the city's library in addition to his comics and gallery paintings.
According to a Facebook page in honor of McMurtry
, a ceremony was held within a week of his passing. A testimonial page here
is filled with the thoughts of friends and family members.
According to an author's profile
, McMurtry grew up with awareness of the underground comix movement, which would have corresponded with his late teens and early twenties. He attended the Oklahoma College Of Liberal Arts and use that school's printing department to make his own comics. He graduated in 1973.
McMurtry began as an instructor for the Tulsa Indian Youth Council and worked his way through a series of Tulsa area arts and education jobs before moving to Morris as the Artist-In-Residence at the Morris Public Schools. He became that system's cultural coordinator for the Indian education program in 1988, and an art teacher in 1999.
His comics work was a series he called "The Underground History Of Indian Territory. Earlier titles were Native Heart: The Life And Times Of Ned Christie, Cherokee Patriot And Renegade
, published through CreateSpace; and Gunplay: The True Story Of Pistol Pete On The Hootowl Trail
, with New Forums Press. McMurtry last published work was The Road To Medicine Lodge: Jesse Chisholm In The Indian Nation
, which looks like it came out in 2011.
thanks to John R. Platt for bringing this to my attention; I certainly missed it the first time around
posted 10:05 am PST
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