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Brian Crane’s “Pickles” now in 800 papers

Fantastic news for Pickles creator Brian Crane. Washington Post Writers Group has announced that Pickles has crossed the 800 paper milestone earlier this month. It was first launched in 1990.

From the WPWG:

Crane began the strip 22 years ago, while he was working full time at an advertising agency. He would drive home, have dinner with his wife and kids, then head to his converted-garage studio and work on the strip until midnight. “Fortunately, I had, and still have, a wife and children who were very supportive of what I was trying to achieve,” he explained. “If I tried doing the same thing now it would undoubtedly kill me.”

Although Earl and Opal Pickles were originally modeled after his wife’s parents, Crane has discovered that he’s gradually been turning into Earl. “If I had known that was going to happen, I would have made him a lot better looking,” he joked. But he says he’s grown into the part. “It used to be that when I spoke to groups of people about my work, their first reaction when they saw me would be, ‘We thought you’d be a lot older!’ I never get that reaction anymore.”

While Earl and Opal have had a tough time embracing new technology, Crane enjoys the interaction with fans that is now more immediate. “I used to get a lot more cards and letters. Now it’s mostly email and Facebook comments,” but he says he draws the line at Twitter. “I just can’t bring myself to go there.”

Being a cartoonist has a great upside. Crane says that even after 22 years, he still gets a kick out of seeing his work appear in the funny papers. “And there’s no better feeling than knowing you may brightened someone’s day and put a smile on their face.” But it can also be challenging. “The bane of my existence is still having to come up with a new idea every single day, and knowing that it probably won’t end until I drop dead at my drawing board some day, probably smudging a freshly-inked Pickles comic strip.”

Pickles was named best newspaper comic strip by the National Cartoonists Society in 2001.

Tom Racine has a great interview with Brian on his Tall Tale Radio podcast. You can also check out his studio on his The Cartoonists Studio website.

Community Comments

#1 Steve Skelton
February/14/2012
@ 7:17 pm

Congratulations, Brian!….well deserved and it couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow. Still laughing about the ding dong strip.

#2 Larry Levine
February/15/2012
@ 5:13 am

Congratulations!!!

#3 BOB QUICK
February/15/2012
@ 8:39 am

I predict over 1000 soon. Congratulations. It’s a great strip.

#4 John Hover
February/15/2012
@ 10:37 am

truly one of the greats! congratulations Brian!

#5 RYAN BROWN
February/15/2012
@ 11:01 am

Congratulations Brian! Pickles is easily one of top 5 comic strips out there.

#6 Andrew Caddell
February/15/2012
@ 12:12 pm

My dad asked me last night before I was about to eat my cheeseburger if I wanted any pickles? I said . . . “You mean Earl and Opal?”. :) Great job Brian and keep up the great great great work. :)

#7 daniel boris
February/15/2012
@ 12:22 pm

What Ryan said. Congrats, Brian!

#8 Mark_Tatulli
February/15/2012
@ 12:49 pm

Wow, that’s almost as many papers as TUNDRA has!

#9 Phil Judd
February/15/2012
@ 2:15 pm

Well deserved…it’s one of the few strips in the paper I laugh out loud at and save for thr fridge…great humour and a great style…hope you keep growing strong…

#10 Darryl Heine
February/15/2012
@ 3:36 pm

2 papers in my area I get access to Pickles:
Chicago Tribune
Daily Herald

#11 Jimmy Delach
February/15/2012
@ 3:57 pm

When “Calvin & Hobbes” ended its’ run, the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times and the Tampa Tribune picked up the same two strips as replacements: Dilbert and Pickles.

Congrats on hitting the 800 paper milestone.

#12 John Read
February/15/2012
@ 8:29 pm

Congrats on your success, Brian! I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas next weekend at the Success in the World of Comics seminar.

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