Bill Rechin, 80, a cartoonist known for the syndicated

Crock

strip that parodies life in a Foreign Legion desert outpost, died at home Saturday in Spotsylvania County, Va., of complications from esophageal cancer.

In 1975, Mr. Rechin, Don Wilder, and Brant Parker created the strip as a parody of the Foreign Legion classic Beau Geste.

The strip, which follows the adventures of Vermin P. Crock and an assortment of characters at a grim desert outpost, appears in more than 200 newspapers.

Mr. Rechin's son-in-law Bob Morgan said he and Mr. Rechin's son Kevin planned to continue producing the comic strip. - AP