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Animal Crackers creator Roger Bollen passes away at age 74

Michael Sangiacomo of the The Plain Dealer:

Roger Bollen, writer and illustrator of the “Animal Crackers” syndicated comic strip, artist of dozens of children’s books and producer of television shows, died Saturday at Hillcrest Hospital. He was 74.

Bollen, who lived in Chagrin Falls, was a prolific creator who started out in newspaper comics strips and went on to illustrate more than 50 children’s books with his second wife, Marilyn Sadler. He later created shows for the Disney Channel that included “Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century,” “Handy Manny” and an animated version of “Animal Crackers.”

Roger had a prolific career. I enjoyed reading the story recounted by Funky Winkerbean creator Tom Batiuk who finally got to meet Roger after being declined twice for a meeting. Tom says, “he later told me he always turns down people the first two times to make sure they are serious.”

Community Comments

#1 Phil Judd
@ 2:27 pm

I loved this strip as a kid and am greatly saddened to hear of his passing. Another legend lost to the game. Animal Crackers was a very unique and wonderfully written strip not to mention the beautiful artwork…

#2 Darryl Heine
@ 4:18 pm

I also remember Roger Bollen illustrating a children’s annual report given away by Figgie International called “Ump’s Fwat”.

#3 Drew Litton
@ 12:41 pm

Roger Bollen was one of my earliest influences as a cartoonist. His simple line quality, hilarious character design and quippy humor were amazing. I too wrote to Mr. Bollen as a kid. I never heard back. It made me very determined to try as hard as I could to always be available to young artists who just wanted a chance to talk to a cartoonist and ask questions and have their work looked at. Honestly, I feel it is the least we can do for the next generation of cartoonists. Peace be with you Mr. Bollen. You were one wonderful cartoonist.

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