By Janee Law
The comic strip worlds of “The Lockhorns” and “Howard Huge” have collided with an exhibition now on view at Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.
“The Lockhorns Meet Howard Huge: Comic Cartoons by Bill & Bunny Hoest” exhibit, which opened Friday, brings together the comedic stories of Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn, a bickering long-time married couple, and the delightful tales of Howard, an oversized Saint Bernard.
“The Lockhorns” was originally created by the late Bill Hoest in 1968, and is continued today by Bunny Hoest, his widow, with award-winning cartoonist John Reiner. Today, “The Lockhorns” is distributed by King Features Syndicate, translated into 12 languages and featured in 500 newspapers across the globe.
“Howard Huge,” meanwhile, was created by both Bill and Bunny Hoest in 1980.
To bring them together through an exhibition, featuring nearly 80 pieces of original works of “The Lockhorns” and 36-framed original signed “Howard Huge” cartoons, Bunny Hoest said, was “a brilliant idea.”
“I think that it’s going to attract a lot of young people because a lot of my fan base are young people who identify with their parents or grandparents,” Hoest, a longtime Town of Huntington resident, known as “The Cartoon Lady,” said. “A lot of people also like dog cartoons and the 'Howard Huge' cartoons are a magnet for people who love humor about dogs. He’s a very loveable dog and he’s very beloved by the readers.”
Throughout the years, Hoest said she has created over 25,000 pieces of work for “The Lockhorns.” Along with “Howard Huge,” Hoest has also created “Laugh Parade,” “Bumper Snickers,” “Agatha Crumm,” “What A Guy!” and “Hunny Bunny’s Short Tales.” Both Bunny and Bill Hoest will be honored for their contribution to the arts and culture of Long Island during Heckscher Museum’s Celebrate Achievement Benefit on Oct. 28.
Hoest called Heckscher Museum of Art a “jewel” of Huntington, adding that she’s appreciative to have the comics featured there during the exhibit, running through Nov. 5.
Michael Schantz, Heckscher Museum’s executive director, said the exhibition is a family affair that will be well received. “Bunny has a tremendous following in the community so we anticipate a very good attendance and rave reviews because it’s fun stuff,” he said. “We need humor more than ever today so we’re glad we’re able to present it at this time.”