Richard Crowson

Editorial commentator

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.

You might have heard him play with his band Pop & The Boys or with his wife at their standing gig at Watermark Books & Cafe. Richard is also KMUW's editorial cartoonist.

Ways to Connect

We were chatting at my house the other day about Halloween. We do a bit of decorating for it - nothing fancy like they do in College Hill, but a few strands of orange lights, an autumn leaves wreath, stuff like that. It was interesting to compare Halloween decorating today with what we did during my 1950's and 60's childhood.

Library of Congress via

So wife and I spent a few days out of town recently, which meant we had to deal with that most gut-wrenching and fretful of all issues: What do we do with the dogs?

Elderly dog, Lucy, had a wonderful, loving drop-in dog sitter. But young, bouncy Labradoodle, Perry, got to stay at a local doggy B & B. There he could bark and romp to his heart’s content, sniffing the posteriors of the other rowdy guests at will.

I’m trying to stay optimistic, weather-wise, but my favorite annual event is coming up in less than two weeks in Winfield...

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”

That is a quote from the great Jackie Robinson, who broke the Major League Baseball color line, wearing number 42 for the Dodgers.

Here in Wichita, I know a guy who took Robinson’s quote seriously. He hopped out of the grandstand and clambered onto life’s field. On his way to the diamond, he enlisted about 600 kids from the heart of Wichita.

I’ll never forget the evening I performed Chopin’s “Etude in G# minor, Opus 25,” on a $75,000 banjo gifted to me by Earl Scruggs. My concert was a command performance for the Queen of England. During one of 26 standing ovations, it was announced that I had won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. I had drawn a cartoon that anticipated the calamity of global climate change, resulting in multinational actions which completely ended the climate damage and pretty much saved the world.

“Everybody wants to go to heaven. But nobody wants to die.” I’m not sure which blues singer first came up with that line, but it certainly has the ring of truth. And it sure seems to fit our perpetual fiscal dilemma. In fact, the sentiment could even more specifically be sang this way:

You get used to losing things as you age. Wallets. Cell phones. Even my favorite baseball cap disappeared for a couple of months, then materialized under a couch cushion. (It was found there because my wife had looked under that cushion for my car keys.)

But there’s one vital possession that a person like me should never lose. One of the most treasured tools in the cartoonist’s toolbox is a thing called “a sense of humor.” And mine is gone.

Binge-watching Netflix
And shopping on Amazon
Videos of pet tricks
And following Kardashians
Basketball, football, and Taylor Swift sings
These are my favorite distracting things

When the headlines sound like “end times”
Trump outrages galore
I simply tuck my head down into the web
And distract myself once more

Facebook and X-Box
Twitter and Snapchat
A Googilion new ways to obsess and distract
Back when the Internet was first on the scene
Who knew it’d become a distraction machine?

City of Wichita bean-counters are reportedly considering some cuts at CityArts, our downtown facility that provides arts education and instruction, gallery exhibition space and a small gift shop. But they say it’s too early to get concerned, so I thought I’d just get musical: