Charley Krebs

Charley Krebs, 59, died on Nov. 10, 2016 at his Riverside home after a battle with cancer. 

Mr. Krebs was a music lover, a passionate White Sox fan, and an award-winning cartoonist. A Cicero native, he was part of the first class to attend Morton College, received a merit scholarship, and served as editor of The Collegian, the school newspaper. 

After college, he landed a job as a paste-up artist, and then parlayed that into a job as a cartoonist for Life Newspapers, where he did five cartoons a week for 30 years. Mr. Krebs received 17 state and national cartooning awards, including two state and two national first-prize designations. 

He was also featured in Chicago Jazz Magazine, New City, Copley Newspapers and, among other publications. Always cartooning on the side, Mr. Krebs spent 14 years as an art director at two international educational travel tour companies and was a staff illustrator for a major marketing/business company. 

“I never realized how many different and creative applications there are for the art form of cartooning, and I’m grateful for the chance to find out,” he said. “I basically won the job lotto with a dream gig collaborating with brilliant people from all over the world.” 

His work has been widely exhibited, including a career retrospective in 2016 at the Riverside Arts Center and presentations at the Geneva Historic Society, the Aurora Public Arts Commission, and many other galleries, theatres, coffeehouses, libraries, festivals and music venues. 

Mr. Krebs defined cool, and he lived in one of the coolest places in Riverside, a walk-up loft apartment above Higgins Glass on East Quincy Street. The place had a greenhouse and rooftop view of the community where Mr. Krebs could work and entertain his many friends. 

He said that, “Cartooning does keep you young. You need to keep up on things. Your reference points have to be recognizable for readers of all ages. You have to maintain that sense of sarcasm and skepticism that a younger person has to keep the work and subject fresh. You want to keep that kind of edge.” 

Mr. Krebs is survived by his mother, Geraldine A. (Elwarth) Krebs; his siblings, Jacqueline A. Krebs and Christopher J. (Stephanie Colbert) Krebs; and his nephew, Christopher P. Krebs. He was preceded in death by his father, Charles B. Krebs. 

A memorial celebration of life service is being planned.