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.