Tom Meyer began drawing cartoons while working for one of the most corrupt congressmen in U.S. history, Charles Wilson, a California Democrat (not the cool, gunrunning Charles Wilson from Texas played by Tom Hanks). It was partly for his mental health. But mostly it was because Wilson – who wasn't fazed by a House reprimand and censure and the scores of critical stories about him in the L.A. Times – was infuriated by the Doonesbury strips that ridiculed him for his role in the Koreagate scandal. Impervious to any other criticism, what got under this callous politician's skin was – cartoons. A lightbulb clicked on over Tom's head, and a cartoonist was born.
He quit to pursue cartooning full-time, and was soon appearing regularly in The Washington Post as well as magazines as diverse as The New Republic and The Conservative Digest. Within a year he was hired to be the full-time editorial cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle where he thrived from 1981 until deciding to leave in 2009.
His cartoons have appeared in countless venues, including The New York Times, Time, The National Journal, The Encyclopedia Britannica, and even the Smithsonian – to say nothing of the thousands of refrigerators and saloon walls around California. And along the way he has picked up scads of awards, including a Fischetti and awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Peninsula Press Club, and a James Madison Freedom of Information Award. In 2005, he received a Knight Fellowship to study at Stanford University.
Tom continues to draw California cartoons that appear in newspapers throughout the state, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, and he is a regular contributor to Cal Buzz, a website devoted to California politics. His California cartoons are syndicated through meyertoons.com.
He is happily married and has a 12-year-old redhead who also has a problem with authority. And can draw. Uh oh.