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Released August 12, 2003

ARTIST CREATES SOUTHERN MISS COLORING BOOK

HATTIESBURG - Hattiesburg artist and syndicated cartoonist Ricky Nobile will be in Jackson to autograph copies of his Southern Miss Golden Eagle coloring book Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. Rickey will be signing copies of his coloring book at Lemuria Book Store, located at 4465 I-55 N in Banner Hall.

"We have always supported local artists and writers along with those around the nation, and we are excited to have Ricky coming to Lemuria," said Bill Kehoe, special events manager. "The Southern Miss Coloring Book fits wonderfully in our children's section, 'Oz.'"

"I wanted to create something that would promote tradition at Southern Miss to young people," said Nobile. "Everybody who knows me knows I bleed black and gold."

The book features three children on a campus tour, starting at the All-American Rose Garden, which marks the entrance of the university's Hattiesburg campus. On their journey, they visit the Hub, tailgate before a football game and march with The Pride of Mississippi band and the Dixie Darlings.

They also visit prominent Southern Miss locations on the Gulf Coast. At Stennis Space Center, the students ride a space shuttle, visit the 100-year-old Friendship Oak Tree at the university's Gulf Park campus and observe the variety of sea life at the J.L. Scott Aquarium.

"There is something for everyone who loves Southern Miss in the coloring book," said Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames.

Thames has purchased copies of the book for his office to give to visitors. "Whether we have children who visit our office, or Southern Miss supporters with children or grandchildren, everyone loves the book. It is a really novel idea that is getting great attention."

Nobile, 54, toyed with the coloring book idea for about two years before going forward with the project. "It took six months to decide on what subjects to draw, do the artwork, get it approved and go to print," he said.

Nobile spent 30 years selling newspaper advertising before starting a freelance cartoon business two years ago. His editorial cartoons are published in 35 papers across Mississippi. He took a cartooning correspondence course while in high school in Moorhead and majored in art at Mississippi Delta Junior College and The University of Southern Mississippi.

"I've always been a part-time cartoonist since I was a cartoonist at the Student Printz, the student newspaper at Southern Miss, in 1968."

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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