Comic Characters and Cartoonists

Snoopy, Olive (Emi Burdge) & Popeye (Randy Milholland), Dilbert and Scott Adams, Noah Voelker, Jason Chatfield, and Thomas May.

It’s Snoopy’s world, and Gen Z is just living in it – apparently.

For months, social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram have been flooded with memes, clips and stills of Snoopy in action, clipped from decades-old comic strips and animated TV specials.

Snoopy merch everywhere is selling out, from the online exclusive Build-a-Bear to many of the items in Peanutscollaborations with apparel brands like Aeropostale.

© Peanuts Worldwide

“I think there is a staying power to Snoopy specifically that people are continuing to identify with,” Hannum said.

But why Snoopy, and why now?

Here’s what to know about the craze — and what Peanuts and pop culture experts think might be behind it.

Rachel Treisman for NPR explains the soaring popularity of Snoopy among young people.


Olive & Popeye are back with a new twice-weekly webcomic here at Comics Kingdom, where fans are family. The strip stars two of the most iconic and classic characters that have been around for nearly 100 years, with a rich history in comics.

Olive and Popeye, published twice weekly, is done alternately by webcomic creator Randy Milholland and comic writer and artist Emi Burdge (following Shadia Amin’s departure).

Randy, best known for the Something Positive webcomic, which has been running since 1999, is also the latest cartoonist to write and draw Popeye for King Features after creating a special Popeye series for Popeye’s Cartoon Club in 2020. He has loved Popeye since childhood, and his knowledge of the Popeye universe is encyclopedic!

Emi Burdge graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Sequential Art. They’ve worked professionally as a freelance artist for 15 years, working in various styles. They’ve done work with many groups promoting Girls’ and women’s empowerment, and they see Olive Oyl as a beacon of feminine strength.

Nadya Martinez profiles Olive, Popeye, Randy, and Emi for the Comics Kingdom Blog with an audio interview.


Poynter takes “A look back at the best and worst of the news media in 2023.”

© Scott Adams

A cartoonist made the list for “Dumbest Comments:”

I have to be honest. I hadn’t thought about “Dilbert” in years. But then the cartoon’s creator and writer made headlines after making racist comments on social media. Citing a poll and using a phrase popular among some white supremacists (“It’s OK to be white)…


After he graduated from Trinity Lutheran High School in Seymour in 2020 and arrived on campus at Purdue University in West Lafayette, he attended a callout meeting for the student-run newspaper, Purdue Exponent. This was his chance to finally get his hand-drawn comics published.

Shortly after starting at Purdue, Voelker had one of his comics in print.

“I was super excited,” the 22-year-old recently said. “I always thought it would be cool to have it printed, and I’ve got the whole stack of newspapers, every issue that I’ve been printed in.”

Voelker wound up with quite the stack of newspapers as he continued contributing comics on a weekly basis until graduating Dec. 16.

© Noah Voelker

Zach Spicer for The Tribune interviews former student cartoonist Noah Voelker.

At the start, Voelker’s comic strip was called “The B Side,” referring to the B side of a cassette. After realizing it sounded like he was ripping off a huge inspiration of his, Gary Larson’s comic strip “The Far Side,” he changed it to “Thirty Cubits.”


December 4, 2024 will mark 20 years to the day that I did my first live caricaturing gig in Perth, Western Australia. It was awful…

I did a terrible job and I gave the money back to the client out of pure guilt. I shudder every time I think about that wedding…

After 19 years I can say, with shaky conviction, that I have some experience doing this to make ends meet. I’m now one of the only people left in Manhattan who are available to do live caricatures at corporate and private events….

The caricature phase of Jason Chatfield’s cartooning career was going swimmingly, even through the digital revolution – “Then came A.I.”

Jason asks: “Is A.I. Art Killing the Live Cartooning Business?”


In December 1906, Tom May drew an editorial cartoon titled “Forgotten” for the Detroit Evening Journal, a publication that is no longer in service, that has continued to inspire the work of the Goodfellows Club.

In an interview later on, May said he hoped to “spoil Christmas for every man and woman in Detroit who had remembered only themselves.”

Here’s the story of “Forgotten,” as told by May in 1921:

“The day after Christmas about a dozen years ago, our weekly visitor, the German laundress, arrived at our home before breakfast. It was not our wash day.

“She answered our look of surprise by telling how she had spent a large part of her own Christmas watching a little girl who lived in a hovel across the street.

“With the coming of nightfall, she had crossed the street and asked the child what she had been looking for so patiently all day. With tears in her eyes, the little girl answered that she must have been very naughty because Santa had not brought her one single thing.

The Messenger-Inquirer reminds us though Christmas is over the needs of many children is never ending.

“Have yourself a merry merry Christmas

Have yourself a good time

But remember the kids who got nothin’

While you’re drinkin’ down your wine” – Ray Davies Father Christmas

15 thoughts on “Comic Characters and Cartoonists

  1. Jesus, D.D., you sure know how to unsettle a guy!

    It’s worth following the Messenger-Inquirer link for the rest of the story.

  2. In re Poynter’s list: Stop the presses! Dilbert was in the New York Times?! Even after they canceled all the reputable editorial cartoonists?

    1. The New York Times has never, in its 173 years, run cartoons. They are too snobby for that. I have no idea what this guy is talking about. (Well, to my great shame they started a little “widget” on the third page when they redesigned it a few years ago, but it’s just a different picture of a person reading the newspaper.)
      For a while, according to Wikipedia, The Times had an online weekly round-up of editorial cartoons from other publications. This may have been printed in the international edition, which is where the Netanyahu seeing eye dog cartoon ran that put an end to it.

      1. I stand corrected. The Times has had one comic strip and the magazine runs literary excerpts sometimes, including graphic novels.

      2. The New York Times did, indeed, run cartoons, once. I believe that Chuck Jones’ comic strip CRAWFORD was its sole strip. It appeared in 1976 and 1977.

  3. I’ve loved Popeye, man and boy, for over 65 years. Re: the above version–and indeed the whole Popeye cartoon club, I understand that art style that is not on model or even close to Seger/Winner/Zaboly/Sagendorf/Fleischer or other sanctioned styles are inevitable, though I don’t like 95% of them. But like the above, the dialogue and storylines are so “off” that there’s not even a chance that I’d ever want to get used to the art. And when you claim to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the characters, well, I require at least a bit of proof of that. I know we should be happy that we’re getting new material decades after the last attempts, but nothing done post-Sagendorf passes muster for me, and yeah, that includes London and Eisman. I pray King retains the Sagendorf reprints, because someone needs to see what the real thing is supposed to look like.

    1. I like to compare it to the 2011 Looney Tunes Show, all your favorite characters in ways they were never meant to be.
      The write-up also misses the historical context of Thimble Theater, Olive was a flapper, the independent go-getting women of the roaring twenties. She herself wasn’t “ground-breaking” or anything.

    2. If you go back and look at Milholland’s work on Popeye’s Cartoon Club, I think you will see that his knowledge of Popeye is indeed encyclopedic, and I do not think that his drawings of Popeye are much of a departure from the existing models. I like his work very much.

      I expect that your criticisms really are directed at the writing and drawings of Olive Oyl, by Emi Burdge and Shadia Amin. These are indeed a departure from the standard version and understanding of Olive. I like them myself, but they are certainly vulnerable to the criticism that they are not of Olive as we know her.

    3. I liked George Wildman’s later (not Joe Gill) Charlton version enough to follow it over to Gold Key where he partnered with Bill Pearson. To be sure, at the time I was mostly ignorant of Segar’s original or Sagendorf’s follow-up. But still retain a (nostalgic?) fondness for WIldman’s Popeye.

      1. I agree! I was fortunate enough to correspond with George starting in 1971. Great guy! We became friends and even collaborated on three stories at the end of his career. Likewise, the post-Gill writers, Nick Cuti and Bill Pearson, became friends and collaborators. Fine gents!

  4. I’m pretty sure that the cruelest joke the editorial board of the ‘Times ever pulled was in 1965 or ’66, when they permitted either Revall or Aurora plastic model kit company to put a faux Sunday funnies section with their latest wares featured in it. Millions of little kids like myself were enthralled and overjoyed to find Mommy and Daddy’s favorite paper would have comics at last!!!!

    Alas, the following week, it was gone, but I kept it when we moved to the suburbs later that year as a wistful reminder of a wish that sort of came true.

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