The editorial pages at The Times have been the beneficiaries of Tom's vision, wisdom and decency in recent years. Tom is an extraordinary talent ... but also a calm and friendly presence, a thorough professional and a friend.
JIM NEWTON, Editor of the Editorial Pages, Los Angeles Times
Man, it was fun working with Tom. ... not just his bold creative judgment, but his deadpan wit [and] grace under pressure.
BOB SIPCHEN, Editor, Sunday Current section, Los Angeles Times
I had the great good fortune to work with Tom at The Times. He was one of the good guys—not only a fine human being but one of the true pros who built the paper into what it became in its peak years. Any history of the Times must include his contribution.
DREX HEIKES, Articles Editor, Sunday Current section, Los Angeles Times
Tom is probably the calmest and most reassuring art director I’ve ever worked with. The deadlines are usually one to two day turnarounds, but he never loses his cool. This is the kind of person that makes you want to work harder and stay up later than usual.
EDEL RODRIGUEZ, Illustrator
There is no difference between a good art director and a good friend. ... His respect for illustration and artists is very special and has a once in a generation feel.
STEVE BRODNER, Illustrator
In his calm, gentle manner, he urged me to trust my initial instincts and respond to his assignments in a visceral way. Sometimes the best art direction is to let the artist just do what they do best. That is a risk most publications will not, or believe they cannot afford to take. Tom encouraged illustrators to embrace their gut reaction to a story and present the strongest sketches. …Tom felt like a good friend to those who worked with him.
DAVID GOTHARD, Illustrator
One of the best art directors I have ever worked with and I've worked with quite a few. Always a lot of freedom and genuine respect for the artists.
RANDY ENOS, Illustrator
Tom was a mentor and would generously spend time with me discussing what I was trying say and what the paper wanted to say, it was so much fun. After 23 years a call from Tom is still a thrill and on one of my last pieces he calmly asked me, "Richard, are you ready to spring to action?" Yes! My wife could always tell when I was talking to Tom because she said that my voice would change and slow down.
RICHARD DOWNS, Illustrator
Over the past eight years it has been my great pleasure to work on the Opinion pages with Tom. His understated art direction made it a pleasure to work with. Always cool and calm, never dictatorial.
SUSAN TIBBLES, Illustrator
I'm tremendously grateful to have had the chance to work with Tom as a staffer, and later as an illustrator after my departure from the Times. Tom's intelligence and vision always brought out the best in a concept or project, and his manner was never less than first-rate.
STEVE SEDAM, Illustrator and graphic designer
The unflappable Tom is an exacting pro and one of the best people I've ever worked with. A grand sense of humor plus a consummate eye for the right art solution—he has both of these talents aplenty. May the world be as good to you as you have been to your 'family' of artists.
LOUIS DUNN, Illustrator and graphic designer
Here are some kind words from Los Angeles Times colleagues and freelance illustrators I have worked with. The quotes have been edited for brevity. To see these remarks in full and in their original context, click on the word-balloon icon on this page.