American cartoonist born in Summertown. Tennessee, in 1905. In the early 1920s the young Joe Parrish began drawing political cartoons for the Nashville Banner, filling not only the professional shoes of earlier Nashville cartoonists Bill Sykes and Carey Orr, but their stylistic ones as well; his cartoons were filled with animation and relied on likenesses instead of caricature. Parrish stayed with the Banner for four years and then switched to the Nashville Tennessean, where he remained for another seven. In 1936, on the suggestion of Carey Orr, he moved to the Chicago Tribune. Parrish retired in 1972, but he continues to draw his long-running Sunday feature. Nature Notes, for the Tribune.
Parrish is an accomplished member of what must be called the Billy Ireland school of political cartooning. He drew with little mechanical or crayon shading, instead using handsome, crisp pen lines and crosshatching. Mis likenesses were almost photographic, and his situational cartoons aimed for the funny bone without sacrificing their political point. His front-page, full-color Tribune cartoons in support of Senator McCarthy’s campaign to expose Communist subversion stand as some of America’s strongest cartooning work. His part in the doomed crusade to keep America from entering World War II was also notable.
the World Encyclopedia of Cartoons 1981