Longest Running Comic Character at 120 Years

The St. Louis Post Dispatch has regularly featured the Weatherbird on its front page since 1901. Since February 11, 1901 to be exact.

The Weatherbird didn’t appear every day that February, but beginning March 4, 1901 the comic character became a regular front page feature during the week (it would take a few years for Weatherbird to greet readers on Sunday mornings).

Weatherbird was created by Post Dispatch artist Harry B. Martin. Martin introduced a prototype in the Post Dispatch classifieds earlier in February and again in the classifieds on February 12, 1901:

The Want Ads bird is black, has shoes and a  hat, and the February 2 version even has the ever-present cigar that would be a Weatherbird trademark until much later that same century.

Wikipedia has a list of artists who have drawn the cartoon character over the years:

  1. Harry B. Martin (1901 – 1903)
  2. Oscar Chopin (1903 – 1910)
  3. S. Carlisle Martin (1910 – 1932)
  4. Amadee Wohlschlaeger (1932 – 1981)
  5. Albert Schweitzer (1981 – 1986)
  6. Dan Martin (1986 – present (as of 2016))
Above: Weatherbird from 1906, 1926, 1946, 1986, 2006

Beth O’Malley, for the Post Dispatch, offers some two dozen views of the 1901 Weatherbird
by Harry B. Martin as part of today’s anniversary.

The Post Dispatch notes in an item today:

Weatherbird has appeared on the Post-Dispatch’s front page since Feb. 11, 1901. In earlier appearances, the ‘Bird often illustrated the weather, but more recently, he quips on various news topics.

The Weatherbird is the oldest continuously running daily cartoon in American journalism.

Dan Martin is the current bird illustrator; he’s been drawing the bird nearly every day since 1986.

Previous Weatherbird artists are: Harry Martin, Oscar Chopin (son of author Kate Chopin), S. Carlisle Martin, Amadee Wohlschlaeger, and Al Schweitzer. 

You can send your birthday wishes to our favorite bird  on Twitter.

Dan Martin celebrates with a cartoon for the Weatherbird Twitter feed:

Happy birthday to Weatherbird! It looks like he’ll be around for another 120 years
if the human race and newspapers can survive.

Weatherbird and art © Post Dispatch/Lee Enterprises

One thought on “Longest Running Comic Character at 120 Years

  1. My day is made brighter by the knowledge that this is a thing that exists. Thank you for that.

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