The National Cartoonists Society is reporting the sad news of the death of Brad Anderson, creator of “Marmaduke,” at the age of 91.
Born in 1924 in Jamestown, NY, Anderson was an artist from a young age who after serving in the Navy during World War II got a B.F.A. in Fine Arts. After a brief stint in advertising, Anderson followed his passion for cartooning to become a syndicated strip artist in 1954 when he launched both “Marmaduke” and the shorter lived “Grandpa’s Boy.”
The story of a Great Dane and his put upon owner’s family, “Marmaduke” became a popular and reliable piece of the comic strip mainstream. Even today after over 60 years in paper, the strip boasted over 500 local papers as clients. “Marmaduke’s” daily gag strips highlighted the lumbering lead’s ability to ruin his owner’s day by dragging him into any ridiculous situation while its longer Sunday strips often included a “Dog Gone Funny” segment where readers and dog lovers wold submit real life tails of peculiar pooches. The strip was adapted into a cartoon by Ruby-Spears in 1980 and a film starring Owen Wilson in 2010.
Anderson was assisted on the strip by several artists over the years, though in recent days “Marmaduke” also included the work of his son Paul. The NCS doesn’t say what the cause of death was outside the fact that it was unexpected, nor do they say what the fate of the strip will be.
Our thoughts to Anderson’s family and fans.