Jeffrey Brian PertNovember 27, 1958 ~ April 4, 2014 (age 55)
Iconic Maine cartoonist Jeffrey B. (Jeff) Pert, 55, of Brunswick died
unexpectedly April 4, 2014 in Portland.
Jeff was born on November 27, 1958 in Bath, Maine, the son of Perleston L.
(Bub) and Jacqueline E. Pert.
He grew up in Winslow, Maine, where he formed many lifelong friendships, and
graduated from Winslow High School in 1977. He cherished memories of
lobstering with his grandfather in Phippsburg, and his garage band days in
high school where he was front man for the band Jade.
He studied English at the University of Maine at Augusta before attending
Emerson College in Boston, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts
in Mass Communication. Even though he attended college out of state and
spent a few years working in California, he referred to himself as ³a Maine
(born and breaded, like a clam) cartoonist.²
Jeff's cartooning career began in the mid-1980's with editorial cartoons for
the Brunswick Times Record and other newspapers around the state. This led
to nine Maine Press Association awards and to co-authoring the books On the
Road with George & Barbara in Vacationland! and George & Barbara's Christmas
Crisis with fellow cartoonist Thomas Wilson.
Jeff 's cartoons appeared in magazines including DownEast and Yankee.
Through a creative partnership with his brother Jon, many of these cartoons
are featured on T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, and other merchandise sold
in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. A selection of his cartoons appeared
in his 2012 book, Cartoons from Maine: How's the Water, Bob? from DownEast
books, as well as several small press and independently produced chapbooks
and collections. A largely self-taught artist himself, he conducted
cartooning workshops and presentations for local audiences, from school
classrooms to the Merrill Auditorium.
He was an avid reader and writer of horror and dark fantasy. He was a
long-time member of a local writers group and was selected to attend the
Odyssey Writing Workshop in New Hampshire in 2006, which became a pivotal
experience for him.
His day jobs included internal communications and training at L.L. Bean, a
stint as an archival assistant at DreamWorks Animation in Los Angeles, and
copy coordinator at WGME-TV in Portland. His daily life included doting on
his dog, Woody, and cat, Zelda. A favorite spot for his rare leisure time
was the family cottage in Phippsburg. Jeff surrounded himself with what he
loved--pop culture, books, friends, family, animals, and--above all--a sense
He was known for his irreverent, off-beat downeast humor, and his devotion
to his friends and family. In conversation, he would downplay his strength
and perseverance in pursuing his dreams, but he was unstinting in
encouraging those around him to follow theirs.
Following a battle with cancer in 2011, he wrote to those close to him,
saying ³After this year, I'm just grateful to be alive. I now know how to
enjoy life more, and also know that, no matter what may befall me, I don't
need to worry--people like you have got my back.²
He is predeceased by his father, Perleston L. (Bub) Pert. He is survived by
his mother, Jacqueline E. Pert of Topsham; his sister, Judith K. Pert of
Roslindale, MA; his brother and sister-in-law, Jonathan D. and Deb Pert of
Falmouth and his sister and brother-in-law Jennifer P. and Morris Russo of
He is also survived by Bob the lobster and a cast of cartoon characters
including various moose, squirrels, and curmudgeons.
Visiting hours will be held from 4:00 pm 7:00 pm on Wednesday, April 9,
2014 at David E. Desmond & Son Funeral Home at 638 High Street in Bath,
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Fetching Hope Canine Rescue at
To share your thoughts and condolences with the family, please visit www.desmondfuneralhomes.com