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By TOM ZUCCO, Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 23, 2000

Just browsing, thanks. . .


We saw so much of his work over the years that we probably forgot most of it. But there were some great moments: Al Gore at the free throw line, trying to sink a basket. He's holding a basketball made of iron, and a short chain is attached to his ankle. Printed on the ball is the word "Clinton." Then there was the drawing of the huge U.S. tank with cobwebs around its tracks. Janet Reno is perched in the turret, and Elian Gonzalez is playing on a swing tied to the tank's gun barrel.

That's just a peek into the delightful and thought-provoking world of Jeff MacNelly. A three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning and an award-winning cartoonist for his comic strip "Shoe," MacNelly died of cancer June 8 at age 52.

MacNelly did more than draw political cartoons and "Shoe." He somehow found the time to paint. Drawing inspiration from time spent hanging around one of his favorite places, Key West, MacNelly produced dozens of paintings that are on sale at the Gallery on the Green in Key West.

But you don't have to go there to see them or a lot of his other work.

MacNelly.com, Jeff MacNelly's official site, is a must even for those who have never heard of the tall, white-haired man who once said he got noticed only because people thought he was Phil Donahue.

You can find more than a hundred of MacNelly's editorial cartoons dating back to last June. Every "Shoe" cartoon from this year is there, too, plus a short biography, including a story about how MacNelly's son was killed in a 1996 mountain climbing accident.

Among the best of MacNelly's paintings is a work that shows a man aboard a yacht named Dot Calm. There is a breathtaking sunset, but the man is sitting in the back of the boat fixed on the artificial glow from his laptop computer.

MacNelly at his finest.

You can order a reproduction ($120-$1,800) or an original ($4,000 and up) of a painting or a cartoon through the site, or you can do what a lot of people probably do: just click on a title, call up the work, and smile.

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