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Saratoga Cartoonist John McPherson Actually Is ‘Close To Home’

The Saratoga-based artist's popular comic strip is syndicated in some 700 newspapers around the world.

Saratoga-based cartoonist John McPherson’s 'Close To Home' is a favorite among newspaper readers around the world. (John McPherson)

Cartoonist John McPherson used to crack me up when I had cancer. I got a ton of Close To Home cartoons and greeting cards when I was bald and stuck at home in my jammies. And even as friends were mailing them to me from across the country, I was in on the not-so-secret secret: He was drawing his famous funnies right here in Saratoga Springs.

First published in 1992, McPherson’s Close To Home now appears in some 700 newspapers around the globe, including The Washington Post and The Miami Herald, as well as online. (The strip’s an easy “like” for fans of Gary Larson’s bygone The Far Side.) People also get giggles and guffaws from McPherson’s Close To Home page-a-day calendars and 20 cartoon books.

For McPherson, who’s lived around here for nearly 35 years, “humor comes from stress,” as his characters wrestle with the stuff of daily life, such as marital squabbles, terrible teens, screaming babies and trips to the dentist. And yes, it’s Saratogians that trigger his comedy. “I like small cities that have a real sense of community,” he says.

I think I can speak for the rest of Saratoga in saying “thank you,” John. We need somebody to laugh with us—and at us!

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Karen Bjornland

An award-winning writer, Contributing Editor Karen Bjornland has been contributing to saratoga living for 12 years. Her work has also appeared in Adirondack Life, the Albany Times Union and Schenectady's Daily Gazette, among many other publications. She lives outside of Saratoga Springs in Greenfield Center.

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