Robert K. Bindig, a cartoonist and commercial artist whose work during World War II was recognized by the Library of Congress, died Wednesday in Sisters Hospital. He was 86.
The Buffalo native was a graduate of Buffalo's Technical High School and worked in a newspaper art department prior to being drafted into the Army in 1943. His artistic talent helped keep him out of harm's way during the war; instead, he was assigned to illustrate military manuals and publications. In 1945, he was sent to the Philippines to work on propaganda leaflets.
He often sent home letters to his wife with colorful drawings on the envelopes that gave a sense of what he was doing or thinking.
When the war ended, he was shipped to Korea, where he created a comic strip for children in a Korean newspaper.
Mr. Bindig was discharged in 1946 and worked for a decade at two advertising firms before starting his own company, Bob Bindig Advertising Art. His clients included Rich Products, Fisher-Price and National Gypsum, and he was credited with creating the image of Buster T. Bison, mascot for the Buffalo Bisons baseball team.
Mr. Bindig won the Best Advertising Illustration Award for 1988, given by the National Cartoonists Society. From 1985 to 1995, he worked on the "Adventures of the Big Boy" comic book.
The Library of Congress in 2000 selected some of his work -- including many of the envelope drawings he had sent back home -- for the "Art of War" Web site, part of the Veterans History Project.
Mr. Bindig, who retired in 1995, enjoyed collecting old comic pages drawn by what he called the "real greats." He also was an active Boy Scout leader in Orchard Park, where he lived for many years.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, the former Dorris Krull; three sons, David, Terry and Mark; and two daughters, Wendy and Amy.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 South Buffalo Road.