Each day, millions of comics fans can't help but see a little bit of themselves or someone they know in Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn. The award-winning Lockhorns panel gently spoofs the state of marital bliss, poking fun at the foibles of both partners to the amusement of a worldwide audience in more than 500 newspapers. Their snappy repartee and witty banter has made them a perennial favorite.
The bickering couple's daily bouts began in 1968 with the comic collaboration of prolific cartoonist Bill Hoest and his wife, Bunny. Hoest also produced Laugh Parade and Howard Huge for Parade magazine, and the newspaper comics Agatha Crumm and What A Guy!
Since the death of her husband in 1988, Bunny Hoest has been making sure the laughter lives on with the help of her assistant, artist John Reiner.
Bunny Hoest is one of the most widely read cartoonists today, reaching nearly 200 million diverse readers every week. She produces The Lockhorns, Laugh Parade and Howard Huge for Parade magazine and the long-running Bumper Snickers for The National Enquirer.
Known as "The Cartoon Lady," the dynamic and versatile talent has 25 best-selling anthologies and a host of exciting new projects in the works.
John Reiner, who started out as an assistant to the late Bill Hoest, has not only taken over production of Hoest's classic comic panel, The Lockhorns, but also produces Bumper Stickers for The National Enquirer and Howard Huge and Laugh Parade for Parade magazine.
The Lockhorns, distributed by King Features Syndicate, chronicles the marital misadventures of Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn.
Born in 1956 in New York City, Reiner was raised on Long Island, graduating from Smithtown High School in 1974 and from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1978 as a psychology major.
In 1974, he met MAD magazine artist Mort Drucker, who encouraged him to pursue cartooning as a career. The next year, Reiner was hired by Captain America creator Joe Simon to work on his humor magazines.
He also worked for Marvel Comics and did freelance advertising art, humor illustrations and political caricatures until Drucker hired him in 1984 to work on King Features' comic strip Benchley. In 1986, Hoest hired Reiner to assist on his three leading features, The Lockhorns, Agatha Crumm and What A Guy! By 1988, Reiner was assisting with all the Hoest features, and he has continued working on them since Hoest's death in 1988.
Reiner won the 1994 National Cartoonists Society award for "Best Gag Cartoons."
Loretta's loudmouthed, leering husband, Leroy, is brash, opinionated and abrasive, but you can't help but love him nonetheless. He watches women and sports while watching out for his suspicious spouse. Fortunately for her, most times he is parked in front of the television, sound asleep.
She is Leroy's stabilizing influence, except when she cooks or gets behind the wheel of their long-suffering car. Then she's every bit as dangerous as Leroy's uncontrollable mouth. When she's not keeping her husband out of trouble, she's off to "shop till she drops." But no matter what problems come their way, Loretta and Leroy realize they're together "till death do us part." And they wouldn't have it any other way!