Wow, they’re going fast. ‘Wizard of Id’ cartoonist Brant Parker has died at age 86, Parker of course collaborated on Id with Johnny Hart who passed away last week. Parker had given up drawing the strip some time ago and died in a nursing home.
The Kingdom of Id sprang to life in a New York hotel room when Parker and Hart papered the walls with two-dozen Wizard panels. After touring the impromptu gallery, a syndicate executive bought the strip.
Launched in 1964, Wizard appears in more than 1,000 newspapers.
Hart was already drawing the Stone Age strip B.C. when he sought out Parker to help wring humor from the Middle Ages. They had met in 1950 when Parker, an artist for the Binghamton Press newspaper in upstate New York, judged a high school art contest that Hart had entered.
While Parker drew the Wizard pictures, Hart came up with the gags that they refined together.
“It’s two different kinds of thinking, always,” Parker told the Los Angeles Times in 1986. “The trick is to find two people who are basically alike. … We both enjoy the same kind of humor, so it’s been a great relationship.”
Both B.C. and The Wizard of Id will continue under the auspices of Hart and Parker family members.
Speaking of Hart, there’s a nice report of his funeral here:
With a mixture of laughter and tears, hundreds of mourners said goodbye Friday to Johnny Hart, a man who was as well known for his generous Christian spirit as he was for his world-renowned comic strips.
Hart’s funeral, held at the Nineveh Presbyterian Church, included the testimony of family and friends who described the “B.C.” comic strip creator as an eternal child with a heart of gold.
“Johnny Hart loved children,” said Pastor Emrys Tyler, who officiated at the ceremony.
Hart, a devout Christian and a Sunday school teacher at the small country church for more than 15 years, died last Saturday after suffering a stroke in his Nineveh home. He enjoyed nearly every aspect of life, Tyler said, and made those he knew feel like a celebrity