A Caricatured Life: Local cartoonists work nationally recognized

Savannah Vasquez
Deano Minton in his kiosk at the HarborWalk Village.

You may have seen him in his kiosk at the HarborWalk Village. Deano Minton of Cartoons By Deano, Inc. is hard to miss. He is the one hunched over his artists easel working on a new whimsical caricature of a young couple or a visiting family.

Although he is widely known in this area for his caricatures, Deano also does commissioned work for national publications and other businesses from time to time.

“I’ve done some work for publications such as Sports Illustrated For Kids, The Officer, D Magazine and the News Herald,” Deano said. “This time the record company contacted me, I think they found me through an online talent agency.”

The CD jacket design Deano was commissioned for last winter by Rebel Records was for a bluegrass band called Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice. Now, his finished artwork is turning some heads in the music business.

“I got nominated as one of the top five CD designs by the International Bluegrass Music Association,” Deano said. “It’s kind of like the Grammy Awards for Bluegrass musicians.”

When asked his reaction to this nomination, Deano said it was not something he was expecting.

“I was surprised because what they wanted was something like what I do for my customers as opposed to what I normally do for my publication work,” he said.

Deano explained that for the most part, his work for publications is a mix between hand painting, drawing and digital artwork. The biggest surprise for this project, he said, was that it was his cartoonish caricatures the record label was asking for.

The finished album entitled, “Trouble Follows Me,” depicts the main singer, Junior Sisk, running from a cartoonish bull, a farmer with a jar of whisky and what Deano dubs a “jilted country woman.”

“I spent the spring working on it,” Deano said. “The first idea was to put him in a city setting with a police man and a jilted woman chasing after him, but he saw it and said, ‘No I’m a country boy, put me in the country,’ so I had to redo almost the whole thing.”

The IBMA awards ceremony will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina in October but Deano said he is not holding his breath about coming in first place.

“I’ve seen the other four and they are really good,” he said. “I don’t know if I stand a chance.”

This is a humble view however, as Deano has been cartooning for close to 40 years and has traveled with his caricature work from Florence, Italy to New Orleans to Destin.

“I thought I would do it for three years until something serious came along,” he said of his caricature work. “It’s been 38 years and nothing serious came along so I’m still doing it…Guess I better start taking it seriously!”

Find Deano Minton at his kiosk at the HarborWalk Village, find his work online at or call 624-2618.