Jay Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief of King Features died in a drowning accident yesterday while on vacation in Costa Rica.
This is sad and shocking news. I, like everyone else, am completely stunned.
As he did with many cartoonists, Jay wrote me personal notes with each submission I sent in, and I eventually became syndicated with King Features in 2005.
Sadly, I never got the chance to meet him in person. His wife died the night before our sales meeting and he wasn't able to attend.
I didn't know Jay well; in fact, I found him a bit of a mystery. But I respected his opinion immensely and I always wanted to please him. When Jay complimented your work you knew he meant it.
Here's the official press release from King Features.
Jay was a big fan and collector of alternative and underground comix and quite a knowledgeable comics historian. If there's Rock 'n' Roll Heaven, maybe there's Comics Heaven, too, and Jay is hanging out with E.C. Segar, and George Herriman, and Windsor McCay, and Charles Schulz and Will Eisner and assembling the best comics page ever.