Kurt Davis Mitchell
July 24, 1952 – July 1, 2020
Kurt Davis Mitchell, 67, passed away July 1. A freelance artist and writer, his work graced the pages of the Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun-Times among others. He also worked in video game development.
In later years he self-published over a dozen comic books, graphic novels and short story anthologies. Among the better-known are Cannon Boy, Tao of the Stubbie Pencil, Scratched from Dreams, and a revised version of his children’s classic Poor Ralph. An Oak Lawn Community High School graduate, he held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millikin University, where he was in the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Hobbies included music (clarinet and tenor sax), toy collecting, genealogy, and wines.
He is survived by his brother Jon, sister-in-law Ester, nieces Monica and Lydia, and nephew David. A service will be held Friday, July 17th at 11:00am at Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 W. 103rd Street, Oak Lawn 60453.
In consideration of the safety of our guests and associates, Blake-Lamb Funeral Home will adhere to the current gathering restrictions in the state of Illinois, which allow 50 or fewer guests at services. Proper social distancing must be practiced and all guests will be required to wear face masks at all times. Thank you for your cooperation.
Kurt Davis Mitchell
October 3, 2020
Sorry to see that such a talented and kind person has left us.
As a grade school classmate I recall Kurt always sketching. I am grateful to have known him then. He was pleasant and considerate to all
August 16, 2020
I’ve know Kurt through the Chicago art world for many years. His dedication, talent, style and friendliness were impressive. Many good conversations. Missed and remembered
August 8, 2020
My teacher at Ray college, my mentor in art. Many years after Graduation and the process of life, Kurt and I made contact again. I reached out to him and invited him to visit. He came to a gig at which I was drawing caricatures and stayed to watch and talk. Teacher and student reunited. I then invited him to my house and we sketched together and talked trade and the journey life had taken us.
After some time we came to talk about faith. He related his history of being a Lutheran and his struggle in faith. I invited Kurt to join me at Bible Study Fellowship. His faith flourished and I was honored to listen to him share his insights into Scripture and witness his gentle devotion to Jesus Christ. He asked riveting questions (always the gadfly), challenged me to think thoroughly through propositions just as much as he would challenge me to think through my drawings. Kurt and I had many spirited conversations on art and faith, my life is richer for it.
Kurt loved Christ deeply. Trusted Him with his soul and was faithful even when struggling with loneliness and pain. I’ll miss my friend. I look forward to seeing him again in our Father’s house.
August 3, 2020
God bless you brother. AEKDB.
July 13, 2020
I am sad to learn that Kurt and his many talents are no longer with us. I remember in early grammar school Kurt being a standout artist, even then. At OLCHS, he was a topnotch student and an exemplary friend to those in his academic, artistic and musical circles. To me, Kurt was high school royalty, and I admired him from afar.
My sincere condolences to Kurt's family and friends.
July 12, 2020
Kurt was an extremely talented, thinking person’s artist and a loyal friend. No one could touch his Prismacolor pencil skills. He’d dump a fresh set from Brudno Art Supply into a basket of pencils worn down to a nub, and transform a blank sheet into a whimsical oversized portrait of a shifty-eyed gangster or proud chef.
Kurt was my first ‘Artist in Residence’. Together we turned our passion for publishing into a mission. Whether illustrating the story of Jonah as a mouse or ‘Poor Ralph’ a fable of faith, book projects let Kurt’s skills shine brightly.
We pushed each other to do better. He told me once that to make up for his drawing inadequacies, he piled on layers of detail. With time he made the switch to digital and kept busy.
His love for the Lord led him thru a life creating art in his unique style. Not long ago he boasted that he reconnected to a faith group he loved (and loved him.)
If the Renaissance masters are assigned work in heaven, Kurt will be joining them soon, pencils in hand.
July 10, 2020
in the late 70's early 80's kurt and i had lunch at the same asian
restaurant alot, on one lunch the waitress chewed us out for eating too many crushed peanuts from the condiment tray.
we had many laffs together !
rest in peace kurt
July 9, 2020
I remember one night in which Kurt and I had a long and heartfelt conversation. I listened as he told me about the loss of his cat, about how he had begun to pray with his cat when that impending loss became apparent, and how the cat had learned his routine of prayers and psalm readings and began situating himself accordingly, as if he was reminding Kurt to pray.
"Dogs are your buddies, your pals," he told me. "Dogs touch your heart. But cats touch your soul. There's something spiritual about cats. The ancient Egyptians understood that."
It was such a fascinating observation that I felt compelled to use this line a short story I wrote later on. A year or two later, when Kurt read the story, he said to me, "Wow, that was a great line. 'Dogs touch your heart, cats touch your soul'. Where did you get that from?"
I told him, of course, that he had said those exact words to me. He was astonished.
July 9, 2020
I met Kurt through our friend Ray Cioni in the 1970s. Kurt illustrated and designed the cover for my first book "Addicted to Mediocrity." He contributed to several film projects I was also working on. Kurt was a great artist, a great person, a true gem. It was my privilege to know and work with him.
July 4, 2020
Sincere and heartfelt condolences to all of Kurt's family for your loss. I worked with Kurt closely on two video games and several prototypes back in the mid-90s, and considered him a good friend and mentor. He was a pure, kind soul, a subtle but powerful teacher, yet eager to learn. His deep sense of humor and easy going demeanor helped keep me sane when things got stressful. His mastery of art styles and mediums was an inspiration, and his amazing body of work cannot be understated. Peace and love Kurt, you are already missed.
July 4, 2020
Kurt Mitchell was a beloved and devoted artist, writer, thinker, teacher, son and friend. To know him was to laugh, because Kurt’s wit highlighted every occasion together. I will forever cherish our “Pagliacci” duet at our New Years party, our outing together to the museum of Science and Industry as well as my red stubby pencil coffee cup! The stock phrase is “they don’t make them like that anymore”, but Kurt was one of a kind. He was an inspirational artist who revered the past and embraced the future. The world is diminished by his loss. God bless you, Kurt.
July 4, 2020
Kurt was an amazing artist, writer, and friend. I met him working at Viacom New Media and we ran in the same game and comic book circles. He was part of "Unemployment Club" in the mid 2000's and we tried to support eachother with laughter and lunch during tough times. Really wish we had been able to make Cannonboy into an animated series. I still have the test animation around somewhere. Gosh he will be missed. Love you Kurt!
July 3, 2020
To Kurt’s family, please accept my condolences for your loss. Kurt was a good friend that I met at Moraine Valley Church, a few years ago. I truly enjoyed his quick wit and his sense of humor! I learned a lot from Kurt by just listening to him speak. His bible knowledge sometimes amazed me!
To Kurt, you’re with your Savior, Jesus Christ, now brother. It doesn’t get any better than that! Thank you for your friendship and your fellowship in our bible studies. I’ll be seeing you again, my friend.