Bert Whitman, 82, editorial cartoonist for the Phoenix Gazette who transformed the radio serial “The Green Hornet” into a comic strip. The Brooklyn-born Whitman taught himself to draw, and in 1924, at age 16, began working for the Los Angeles Times. He went on to a succession of newspapers, and created a steady stream of political cartoons, comic strips and comic books. He drew the “Hornet” in the early 1940s. When he was working for the New York Post in the late 1940s, he created another comic strip, “Debbie Dean,” about a social worker. On Monday in Phoenix in his sleep of unknown causes.