Gísli J. Ástthórsson was born on April 5, 1923. He was known as a journalist, editor, writer, playwright, comic author and cartoonist. Ástthórsson completed his BA degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina in the USA in 1945 and was the country's first educated journalist.
He struck a new tone in journalism in Iceland and emphasized concise reporting independent of party politics. After completing his studies, Gísli joined Morgunblaðið, where he worked as a journalist for the next five years. He then had various jobs, both at sea and on land, and among other things founded and edited the newsletter Reykvíkingur which was published bi-monthly in nine issues in 1952.
He was also the editor of Vikan from 1953-1958 and Alþýðublaðið from 1958-1963. His first satirical cartoons were published during the Alþýðublaðið years, at the start of the first cod war in 1958.
His comic strip about Sigga Vigga, the fish processing girl in the rubber boots, also appeared for the first time in Alþýðublaðið, but later in Morgunblaðið, and in several books.
After Ástthórsson left the editorship of Alþýðublaðið, he worked for two years in the program department of the Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation, RÚV, but then turned to teaching in secondary schools. He then returned to Morgunblaðið in 1973, where he worked until 1993, when he retired due to age. It was during his years at Morgunblaðið that the satirical series "Thankastrik" started, but it continued 1n Dagblaðið, after Ástthórsson left Morgunblaðið.
Ástthórsson wrote novels, collections of short stories and plays, as well as paperbacks with the comics about Sigga Vigga and friends. Gísli J. Ástthórsson died on August 25, 2012.
On the occasion of Ástthórsson's centenary, his descendants handed over archives from his past to the National and University Library of Iceland, and an exhibition was opened in the Library on his birthday, April 5.