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Tumbleweeds to end at request of cartoonist

I have just received confirmation from King Features that Tom Ryan will be ending his long running feature Tumbleweeds at the end of this year (December 29th for daily, December 30 for Sundays). Tumbleweeds was launched in 1965 making Tom’s feature a 42 year run that inspired a animated Saturday morning TV show in the 1970s, a musical in 1983 and a theme-park area in the MGM Grand (Vegas) called Tumbleweeds Gulch.

Community Comments

#1 Garey Mckee
December/20/2007
@ 10:57 am

Ok, in my apparent attempt to monopolize the discussion board this morning, I have to applaud Tom Ryan’s decision. Not to reopen the time worn classic debate over legacy strips, but I’m glad Tumbleweeds is one long running strip that won’t be passed off to another cartoonist or handed down. Besides, Tom’s character designs are so stylized and interesting I don’t think anyone else could do it justice, maybe with the exception of Jim Davis who worked as an assistant on Tumbleweeds.

#2 Joe Spitfire
December/20/2007
@ 11:01 am

In other news, “Classic Tumbleweeds,” a new feature by Tom Ryan Jr. Jr. Jr., will begin December 31.

#3 Larry Levine
December/20/2007
@ 11:32 am

I wish Mr. Ryan a Happy & Healthy retirement as Tumbleweeds gracefully rides off into the sunset.

#4 Eric Burke
December/20/2007
@ 4:44 pm

I loved this toon growing up, but I honestly didn’t know it was still running!

I learn the darndest things here…

#5 Chris Hardiman
December/20/2007
@ 7:37 pm

I’m glad that if he’s ending the strip with his career. “Tumbleweeds” is a gag-a-day strip, albeit a very clever one with strong characters, so it would definitely be a strong candidate for being carried on as a legacy strip. Still, like Garey said, no one could do it exactly like Tom Ryan.

#6 Michael Shonk
December/21/2007
@ 11:34 am

I am sad to learn of “Tumbleweeds” end. I first became a fan of the strip when I bought the Fawcett paperback collections around forty years ago. There was a period when the writing was awful but I continued to read the strip for it’s art. Just looking at the characters and the way they were drawn made me smile and wish Tom Ryan could give art lessons to some of today’s cartoonists. But recently the writing picked up and it returned to one of my favorites. I’ll miss it.

#7 George Allen
December/30/2007
@ 9:48 am

Tumbleweeds….well, I hope that whatever comic strip takes Tumbleweed’s place is one as decent and clean and funny as Tumbleweed’s has been for so many years. I know that all good things must come to an end but it is a heartbreak to see the end of an era.

Mr Ryan, have a great retirement, a great finish to your life and thanks for sharing your wonderful art & comic wit for so many years. You and all your Tumbleweed’s characters have made our lives better and certainly more funny.

Adios, mi Charrito Ray… adios.

#8 h saffell
December/30/2007
@ 11:43 am

Tumbleweeds will truly be missed….the San Antonio Express News dropped the daily run “years” ago, but still had sundays…..Thank Heavens for the websites that ran the cartoon….MUCH appreciated!

The gang’s humor won’t be matched for awhile or ever.

#9 Dan Flahive
December/31/2007
@ 3:41 pm

Tumbleweeds was one of my favorite western comic strips, the other being Stan Lynde’s “Rick O’Shay”.

Rick, Hipshot and the gang rode into the sunset many years ago, leaving Tom Ryan and his passle of characters behind to keep me amused.

Well, Mr. Ryan, it’s now your turn to saddle up, and ride into your sunset.

Thanks for all the laughs and memories; and one of my favorite phrases, “Me no like-um little man, hate-um guts”-Bucolic Buffalo

God bless, and thanks again…

#10 Bob Watson
January/2/2008
@ 6:27 am

Like Eric Burke above, for decades I had thought Tumbleweeds was already gone. I started reading the strip when it was new in ’65 and I was a kid. I loved the original drawing style and I swiped it in my own childhood cartoon drawings. My Cleveland area newspapers dropped it way back in the 70’s I believe. I only rediscovered the strip in 2002 when I started reading comics online. What a happy day that was for me!! I’ll miss the wild, absurd, anachronistic humor.
Congratulations on your well-earned retirement Mr. Ryan, may it be long and happy.

#11 mike c
January/2/2008
@ 9:48 pm

one of the funniest strips ever to grace the comics pages

#12 Larry B.
January/3/2008
@ 1:00 am

Sad way to start 2008, knowing that T’weeds won’t be there every day. I’ll miss the gang at Grimy Gultch far, far more than most of the other stips that have faded away.

To Mr. T. K. Ryan: Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for a great comic strip over the years. Always one of my favorites since I was a kid and very frequently made my day. Best wishes with your retirement and hopes that you find those elusive full ‘noles. =)

You were ONE of the BEST!!!!

#13 The Poster Formally Known as Mike
January/5/2008
@ 4:22 pm

Goodbye, Tumbleweeds….and good luck to Mr. Ryan.

#14 AL S.
January/8/2008
@ 9:41 pm

Sorry to see Tumbleweeds head off into the sunset.What a class act,T.K. First read comic in highschool in 1968.It was always hip .I’m glad I bought books back then and will add to collection.
Best wishes to Tom K. Ryan on his retirement.

#15 Larrywb
January/12/2008
@ 9:49 am

Mr. Ryan,

I’ll miss “Tumbleweeds,” but I take solace in the knowledge that you will have a much-deserved and pleasant retirement (although I can’t imagine you’ll completely retire!).

#16 Christopher C. Tew
January/31/2008
@ 5:56 pm

Tumbleweeds was the first cartoon I looked for when cartoons went to the web. Like others here, I loved it from the beginning and collected many of the paperbacks – long given away or lost during frequent moves. Mr. Ryan has a rare talent, and I’m thankful that he shared his good humor and art with us for so many years. He never let his public down. Best wishes, Sir, and a long a pleasant retirement!

#17 Gerald Kruck
April/29/2008
@ 6:12 pm

Thank you, Mr. Ryan, for the great and wonderful ride through the old west the way it ought to have been. I could never figure out why Tumbleweeds wasn’t given the acclaim it so abundantly deserved, it was superior to most of the other strips, especially the stuff that clutters the pages these days. I miss you, the cowboys, the girls, injuns, baddies, gamblers, undertakers, cows, dogs, horses, even the calvary, and principly, the unmatched humor. I hated to see the sunset, but everything’s gotta end. Good loafin’ Mr. R.

#18 Chuck Miller
August/24/2008
@ 12:38 am

Over the past years, I’ve seen the ending of such strips as Calvin & Hobbes, Pogo, and Peanuts. And now we have to see Tumbleweeds ride off into the sunset.

T. K. Ryan was gracious enough to allow me to utilize the Poohawks as mascots for my fantasy sports teams. They have won many championships and hopefully will continue to do so for at least a few more years.

Good luck, T.K.! Enjoy your retirement, and I’ll join you in that endeavor in January 2010!

#19 John R. Widener
August/24/2008
@ 10:21 am

Thank you for all the laughs. my favorite lines, which I once used to halt a heated political debate in a restaurant, is “As the coyote smiles at the catcus, so shall the lips of the chicken be puckered.”

#20 Charles Meyers
June/9/2009
@ 2:59 pm

Just a note to say how much I miss Tumbleweeds. Thanks to Mr Ryan and thanks for having the website where one can still read some of the old strips.

#21 Russ Marano
May/23/2010
@ 10:38 am

At a party in 1970 we were reading one of the fawcett books, #3 I think it was, and on one page, after reading the last part and all were looking at the book, everyone laughed for at least a half hour, uncontrollably..hysterically…I still remember to this day…it was the comic about the Dreaded Pepper Pox,and the punch line “where were we”…I’m laughin right now can barely type lol…..

#22 Mac MacNeill
January/29/2012
@ 2:36 pm

Re Tom K Ryan Jr. Is he publishing his ‘toon in newspapers?

#23 Mac MacNeill
January/29/2012
@ 2:37 pm

Does T K Ryan Jr. publish his ‘toons in newspapers?

#24 Michael O'Malley
November/7/2013
@ 2:20 pm

My lord! Tumbleweeds was one of a handful of strips that I truly enjoyed while growing up. I have not cast eyes upon it in years, but recently have found myself calling my aged, befuddled dog “Deputy Knuckles.” When my daughter asked about the name, I ended up “Googling” Tumbleweeds for her enlightenment, and here I am.

It certainly brought back fond memories to look through the website. Mr. Ryan, thanks for the enjoyment you gave me with this strip. Good luck in your retirement.

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