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Brian Crane’s Pickles turns 20

A hearty congratulations to Brian Crane, whose feature Pickles turns 20 years old tomorrow.

Brian attributes the longevity of Pickles to “dumb luck and clean living, I guess. It’s all been kind of a wonderful mystery to me. I never had a master plan, or anything like that. My only real goal was to do the best comic strip I was capable of doing each day and hope a few people out there would like it. Luckily for me, they did.”

As for Earl and Opal’s future, don’t expect any crystal-ball revelations. “I’m not a good long-range planner,” Brian admits. “I don’t know what Earl and Opal will be doing a year from now or even a month from now. I just start each workday wondering, ‘What could happen next?’ That way I get to be surprised like everyone else.”

Soon after Pickles’ debut in 1990, Brian “retired” as an art director for an advertising agency in Reno, Nev., to devote his full attention to his strip. In 1995 and 2001, Pickles was nominated for best comic strip of the year by the National Cartoonists Society, winning in 2001. Brian was also nominated for the coveted Cartoonist of the Year Reuben Award in 2006. Pickles has topped comics polls and reader surveys again and again. Today it appears in 647 newspapers around the world.

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s strip. Brian has a special strip with Earl and Opal Pickles humbly thanking their faithful readers and newspaper editors.

Community Comments

#1 Samantha Wikan
@ 12:22 pm

Congrats to Mr. Crane! I’ve always enjoyed Pickles. Earl is my favorite Pickles character.

#2 John Read
@ 1:06 pm

Brian, don’t you also “draw silly pictures while sitting at home in [your] underpants, eating donuts?”

#3 Paul Jon Boscacci
@ 1:21 pm

Congrats, Brian! Pickles is wonderful!!

#4 Bob Weber Jr.
@ 2:54 pm

Congratulations, Brian! I enjoy Pickles every day in the Arizona Daily Star.

#5 Vicki Jacoby
@ 3:01 pm

CONGRATULATIONS on 20 years! Pickles is one of my favorite comic strips!!

#6 Lucas Turnbloom
@ 4:21 pm

Congrats, Brian!!

@ 7:18 am

Seems like I can’t go a day without reading what Opal and Earl are up to. Here’s to another 20. Thanks Brian.

#8 Marcus Hamilton
@ 7:43 am

Congrats on 20, Brian. I enjoy seeing myself in “Pickles” everyday. Your strip is my wife’s FAVORITE, and I can’t convince her otherwise! Here’s to 20 more yreas.

#9 Marcus Hamilton
@ 7:45 am

Sorry for misspelling YEARS (yreas).
I had my bifolcals on upside-down.

#10 Karyl Miller
@ 1:32 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pickles. Congrats to Crane!

#11 don & carole hollenbaugh
@ 10:22 pm

brian, kudos to you on a remarkable run of 20 years. that, in my humble opine, has to be the sign of nothing short of pure genius mixed with blessings from our lord & savior jesus christ. my wife and I had the extreme good fortune to meet you during a continental breakfast in burley ID. last weekend. I cannot believe the good fortune we experienced, that was last sunday I think, the 25th. thanks again, brian for the portrait of earl. you will be hearing from me in the near future. my wife and I just returned to our home here just north of walla2 in the little town of prescott, wa. pop. approx. 320 souls. i think that i have looked forward to earl & opal for pretty close to 20 yrs. keep it coming. may god bless you & yours. in His grip. don & carole hollenbaugh, july 30, 2010 (by the by, we rec the tri city herald)

#12 Dave Stephens
@ 1:50 am

One of the all time greats – what a treat for these two and a half decades – time sure flies when you’re reading great cartooning!

#13 Bill Small
@ 8:37 am

Congrats Brian on 20 years. I love the strip. Don’t know if you read this but back in March 2002 you had a subject of webbed toes. Both Nelson and Earl have them. Any chance of doing something with the webbed toes again. My daughter loves the strip and has the webbed toes. It would be cool for her to see it again. Thanks.

#14 Brian Crane
@ 10:48 am

Hey, thanks for the kind words, everyone. You’ve all made my day. And Marcus, keep those bifocals upside down.

#15 Ray Cowan
@ 2:30 pm


I submitted some sample strips on January 4, 2011 and I haven’t heard from you and wonder if you’ve received them.

Please let me know.


#16 Harry Green
@ 4:20 pm


You are amazing not only in your art, but your perception of old people is spot on. Although I have a significant amout of deforestation on the middle of my head, I had to laugh at the March 7th strip. May you continue for many years.

#17 Ramona Hamilton
@ 9:51 am

Your frequent “good natured ribbing” about Earl’s hearing loss seems to be more insensitive than humorous to me. I have seen many people wince when such ‘humor’ is directed at them. A hearing loss is a handicap in more ways than one and should be viewed as such. May I suggest you turn your creativity to enlightening your readers to more compassionate understanding than “ribbing” regarding the problem.

#18 Rako Schulze
@ 3:51 pm

Brian, I enjoyed reading “Pickles” until Opal became mean. She is mean to her husband and to her grandson. Real grandparents are not like that. Her tongue has gotten so sharp that I do not bother anymore.

You have missed the mark. Go back to where older people are just funny. PLEASE!!

#19 Gail Diez
@ 1:45 pm

I love Pickles – Brian you are right on when it comes to people’s behavior – I have a 3 yr old grandson who asks the same questions that your child characters ask – just amazing how you capture ‘portraits’ of the family – grandma and grandpa are wonderful – I don’t think she is mean I think she is real! It is the first cartoon I read in the morning paper each day. Thanks for providing a laugh and a slice of real life!

Gail Diez

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