Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > News Story and Obituary Archive

Bill Bates, 1930-2009
posted June 19, 2009


Bill Bates, the long-time cartoonist at the Carmel Pine Cone and a one-time artist for the San Francisco Examiner, died on May 21 at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula from complications that arose out of a 2008 heart attack. While the work was carried in local publication and on web sites at the time, it looks like it just made it to regional/national publication in the last few days, or somehow otherwise jumped into current news circulation.

Bates was from Texas, and according to the various obituaries spent some time as an artist for various cruise lines after a stint in the military. During the cruise line job he sketched passengers and other details of individual trips and then presenting customers with a chance to buy the resulting work. He would later keep a sketchbook of his travels to over 125 countries around the world.

Bates became attracted to the Carmel area after attending a cartoonist function there. In the 1980s, Bates attended weekly meetings in Carmel at Cardinale's Coffee Shop with other area cartoonists such as Hank Ketcham, Gus Arriola and Eldon Dedini -- all of whom preceded Bates in death. Bates supplemented his Carmel Pine Cone work with the operation of a local cafe until 2001, cartoons for The Monterey Herald, and book collections and other uses of his cartoon art.

A stand-alone page remembering the artist, including some of his work, can be found here.

He is survived by his wife and eight children. Bill Bates was 79 years old.