Cartoonist Bob Heim says he wasn’t born with a pencil in his hand but evidently picked one up shortly thereafter and promptly stuck the graphite point into his forehead. His mother likes to tell this story and point to a little blue mark on Bob’s temple, visible into adulthood, that marks the spot of his early misguided efforts. Heim was raised in a a rural area near Williamsport, Pennsylvania, ("the birthplace of Little League baseball," he says), by his father, who worked at a dairy, and his mother, a housewife.
Heim, 69, who now lives on the campus of Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, has more than made up for his childhood faux pas by turning a motley career – from commercial pilot to journalist to traveling salesman to PR director for a bank – into fodder for his hilarious cartoons. "Maybe I’m just a late bloomer," he says. He has been a fulltime cartoonist since 2004, and in 2003 he formed a company called Heim House International to sell his cartoons throughout the world via the Internet. Fifty of his color cartoons will be on exhibit at the Gallery at the University Medical Center at Princeton through March 2. A wine and cheese reception opens the exhibit on Friday, January 21, at 4 p.m.
Heim’s cartoons have appeared in Washingtonian magazine, Chicago magazine, American Banker, Barron’s, King Features Syndicate, and New Woman. He is particularly proud of his large collection of rejection slips from the New Yorker, especially one that is a hand-written note. He has exhibited in hospitals and art leagues, and at Bell’s Union Street restaurant in Lambertville. "To me rejection slips mean I’m working," says Heim. "If you keep working, you still have a chance."
Cartoons by Bob Heim, the Gallery at the University Medical Center at Princeton, opening reception, Friday, January 21, 4 p.m. On view to March 2. Free. 609-497-4192. For more information on the cartoons of Bob Heim visit www.heimhouse.com/about.htm