Press-Republican

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March 12, 2012

Iconic cartoonist, artist dies

PLATTSBURGH — Sid Couchey died Sunday.

The much loved Essex man, 92, was a cartoonist who drew such characters as Richie Rich, Little Dot and Little Lotta for Harvey Comics.

Those familiar faces appeared in many of Couchey's own art over the years; he also painted a series of images of Lake Champlain monster, Champy, influenced by the Great Masters.

Recently, he and his daughter, Laura Abate, collaborated on a book featuring Champy that introduces children to the styles of Monet, Picasso and other artists.

Sid was widely known in the region, for his art was often on exhibit at such places as the Depot Theater in Westport and the Ticonderoga Cartoon Museum. And he used his talent to promote events and to entertain family, friends and the community at large.

In 1964, he was one of six founders of the Adirondack Art Association in Essex.

Sid and Calvin Castine of Champlain created two comic books reviving the memory of old-time movie star Tom Tyler, born in Witherbee, who starred in many westerns and played the roles of the Phantom and Captain Marvel.

Sid was a charter member of the Do Nothing Club, and after hurling the first pitch at a Montreal Expos/Cleveland Indians game in 2002, he established the tongue-in-cheek First Pitch Hall of Fame in Essex.

He was the first and so far only inductee.

Sid, wintering in Inman, S.C., with his wife, Ruth, was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma on Feb. 23. The aggressive cancer quickly took its toll, said Sid's daughter-in-law, Suze Couchey.

"He went very peacefully," she said Monday by phone.

A service for Sid will take place in Inman and another will be held in Essex in late spring or early summer, Suze said.

Email Suzanne Moore at: smoore@pressrepublican.com

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