Cartoonist has Tucumcari roots

By William Thompson: Quay County Sun

Dustin Runyan, Tucumcari High School Class of ‘87, has recently had a book of his cartoons published nationally.
The subject matter is not typical cartoon fare — the characters are Christians who often find themselves in humorous situations.

“I always make a distinction between taking truth seriously and taking oneself seriously,” Runyan said. “In my cartoons the jokes come from laughing at ourselves as Christians rather than making fun of anything scriptural. The book is for Christians who are not taking themselves too seriously.”

Runyan’s book, Warrior Guys, was recently published by Bridge-Logos and is available nationwide at Christian bookstores and some of the bigger name bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

“It’s 95 pages, about 250 comic strips,” Runyan said. “It would be nice to make a living drawing cartoons.”

Many of Runyan’s comic strips involve two male characters who approach their Christianity in different ways.

“One of them is very tactful in discussing his Christianity with others and the other has almost no tact,” Runyan said.
“They complement each other well.”

Runyan said many art teachers consider cartooning a “third-rate” art form but Runyan had an art teacher at Tucumcari High School who encouraged him to pursue cartooning.

“Tex Haas was my teacher and he was extremely talented,” Runyan said. “He was able to recognize talent in others and develop that talent. He encouraged me to publish my first cartoons in the Quay County Sun.”

Runyan, who now resides in Silver City, mentioned Haase on the dedication page of his book: “In Loving Memory of Tex.”

Haas died in November 2002. Haase’s wife, Maria, said her husband knew Runyan had real talent.

“My husband talked quite a lot about Dustin’s talent,” Haase said. “He tried to get him published.”