Gannett Cartoonist Profiles Series, Part 3: Dean Young

Hold them side by side.

The “Blondie” comic strip created by Chic Young for Sept. 8, 1930 is told in four frames. A well-dressed playboy, Dagwood Bumstead, with a wiry body and dark, plastered hair, introduces a pert, curly-haired woman to his short, roundish father, a blustering railroad tycoon.

Exactly 93 years later, the “Blondie” comic strip put together for Sept. 8, 2023 by Dean Young — Chic Young’s son — and John Marshall of Binghamton, New York, unfolds in three frames.

Set in an old-fashioned barber shop, it reveals Dagwood, his hair style and manner virtually unchanged over the courses of decades, talking college football with the barber, Mike Morelli. The joke comes when Dagwood disses the barber’s alma mater as the clippers snip away at his signature antenna-like hair.

Blondie © King Features Syndicate

“Dad and I had the same creative sensibility for funny stuff.” said Dean Young, who started helping out his father, Chic Young, in the 1960s, then took over writing strip when he died in 1973.

Michael Barnes, at The Austin American-Statesman, profiles Dean Young and his Blondie comic strip.

“Blondie” is the third-longest-running newspaper comic strip that is still ongoing, after “Gasoline Alley” (1918-present) and “Barney Google and Snuffy Smith” (1919-present). None has run as long as “The Katzenjammer Kids,” which lasted 109 years between 1897 and 2006.

Although the strip’s overall look remains almost as Chic Young left it, a series of artists — Jim Raymond, Alex Raymond, Mike Gersher, Stan Drake, Denis Lebrun, Jeff Parker, and [John] Marshall — have drawn it.

“I do the gags and I know how to do a little ‘rough’,” said Dean Young, referring to rough drafts of the cartoons. “John gets the roughs and he interprets them and puts them into his own form, which is beautiful.”