Doug Marlette, whose editorial cartoons often lampooned fundamentalist religion but whose folksy comic strip Kudzu celebrated a rural Southern Baptist pastor, was killed in an automobile accident July 10. He was 57.
The Pulitzer Prize winner, who recently joined the staff of the Tulsa World, died near Holly Springs, Mississippi, reportedly after a truck in which he was a passenger careened off a rain-slicked highway.
Marlette had been en route from the Memphis airport to Oxford, Mississippi. He was helping with a high school production of a musical based on his syndicated comic strip, which lovingly—but insightfully—depicted life in his native South. Marlette had just flown in from North Carolina, where he had delivered a eulogy at his father’s funeral in Charlotte on July 6.