By Joe Gulick
Texas Tech defeated Rice 10-3 in Houston two days before this Oct. 20, 1980, Dirk West cartoon, giving the Red Raiders a 3-3 season record. Tech had an open date coming and then a big game at home against the University of Texas.
The Longhorns were 5-0 and ranked second in the nation at the time but weren’t in the Top 10 for long. SMU handed them a 20-6 loss the next Saturday and then Texas Tech defeated them 24-20. Baylor won the Southwest Conference Championship that year.
Dirk sometimes worked jokes based on national news items into his cartoons, and one surfaced here in the words of the Aggie. Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett had left a World Series game earlier that month, and it had been revealed the reason for his early departure was hemorrhoid pain.
This cartoon had a couple of inside jokes. The name of the stagecoach company, Citi-Stage, was based Lubbock’s public bus system, and a store was named Muggsy’s after Dirk’s nickname for his grandson, David Martinez.
Mary Ruth West, Dirk’s wife, recalls how Dirk used to put David on his lap while he drew cartoons and let him doodle in pencil on the paper along with Dirk. She thinks Dirk inked some of “Muggsy’s” drawings and incorporated them into cartoons.
Dirk had just published his third magazine-style cartoon collection and made them prizes in the Moss contest. Fifteen years later, he published a squarebound book collecting more than 350 cartoons.
Previous Dirk West Cartoons