Monday, April 23, 2007

R.I.P. Johnny Hart and Brant Parker

I can’t believe I missed it, but thanks to a nice tribute strip from “Non-Sequitur,” I finally found out that Johnny Hart, the creator of “B.C.” and the co-creator of “The Wizard of Id,” died of a stroke on April 7, 2007 at the age of 76. Hart’s long-time collaborator, Brant Parker passed away shortly thereafter, on April 15, 2007 at the age of 86. Parker died of complications resulting from Alzheimer’s disease and a stroke suffered in 2006. Hart debuted “B.C.” in 1958, and joined with Parker to create “The Wizard of Id” in 1964.

Both “B.C.” and “The Wizard of Id” will continue for the foreseeable future. Hart worked on “B.C.” until the day he died, but had been aided by family members over the last few years. The family will continue to produce the strip. “The Wizard of Id” was taken over by Jeff Parker, Brant’s son, in 1997. Jeff Parker and members from Hart’s family will continue to collaborate on the strip.

As a little bit of trivia, Hart’s anteater character from “B.C.” was the inspiration and model for the UC Irvine mascot.

P.S. – A belated “Happy Earth Day!” (which was yesterday) to all. I spent mine taking walks with my family and watching the Discovery Channel/BBC’s “Planet Earth” marathon. Just so you know, I think “Planet Earth” really has to be seen in HD to be truly enjoyed (sadly, I do not have this capability).

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