Brad Anderson, the creator of the beloved comic strip "Marmaduke," passed away on Sunday, Aug. 30th. He was 91. He continued to draw the strip until his death, assisted by his son, Paul Anderson.
"Brad was one of the most prolific and talented cartoonists I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and also one of the most humble," said cartoonist John Hambrock, the creator of "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee." "His warm, gracious smile and gentle words will be missed."
"Marmaduke" was launched in 1954 and has become one of the most well-known and enduring comic strips ever published. It continues to be a popular staple on comic pages, syndicated by Universal uClick to over 500 newspaper in 10 countries. In fact, attempts to cancel the cartoon have drawn protest from readers of The Toronto Star, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times, among others.
"People who've had a pet in their lives, or wish they had, will identify with the antics of this loving dog," said Anderson. "He doesn't lecture or get political. He's good-natured and kind, lives a dog's life, gets into mischief and takes care of his family, generating smiles along the way."
An animated version of "Marmaduke" was paired with the popular "Heathcliff" cartoon during the 1980s, and a feature film of the Great Dane (voiced by Owen Wilson) was released in 2010.
Born in 1924 and raised in Portland, N.Y., Anderson gravitated toward drawing at an early age, selling his first cartoon when he was just 15 years old. After enrolling in the Navy during World War II, Anderson continued cartooning, eventually graduating with an advertising degree from Syracuse University.
Following a brief stint working for an advertising agency in Utica, N.Y., in 1953, Anderson began to focus more on cartooning. In addition to launching "Marmaduke" in 1954, Anderson also drew a comic strip called "Grandpa's Boy" from 1954 to 1966.