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About Bill Rechin
About Brant Parker
About Crock
About Don Wilder
Crock & His Supporting Cast
Paperback Releases
Recurring Gags of Crock
Things to Know About Crock

About Crock:  "Crock" is part of a trio of great comic strips with "B.C." (by Johnny Hart) and "The Wizard of Id" (by Brant Parker and Johnny Hart).  All three comic strips share the same distinctive style of art and punchline comedy.  I love all three strips, but "Crock" is my favorite.  It's also the least successful...go figure!  All three strips have had a very long life, but "Crock" hasn't seen the merchandising or other media attempts like its predecessors.

    "Crock", unfortunately, has never been a focal point of merchandising or other media crossovers.  However, the strip has been long-running and is well-liked, and reprinted many times in book form.  The biggest thing for "Crock" is a presence at the Universal Studios' Florida theme park, Islands of Adventure.  Crock's Fort is part of the Toon Lagoon attraction.

    Crock and related characters have also been used to promote various government agencies and goodwill campaigns.  Perhaps the most significant is the American Cancer Society's anti-smoking campaign.

Things to Know About Crock:
  • "Crock" was created by Bill Rechin, Don Wilder, and Brant Parker and first appeared on Sunday, October 26, 1975.  Field Enterprises originally distributed this strip.  It is now owned by King Features Syndicate.
  • Brant Parker left the strip in its early years.  The team became Bill Rechin (artist) and Don Wilder (writer).  Rechin's name is the one we always see at the bottom.  When Don Wilder passed away, Bill Rechin took over the strip completely.
  • "Crock" is a completely American comic strip depicting the French Foreign Legion.  To date it is the longest-running parody of the Foreign Legion classic novel, "Beau Geste" (1924).
  • "Crock" has a worldwide readership of over 200 newspapers (as of 2011).
Recurring Gags of Crock:  Crock draws a lot of its humor from recurring gags.  Here is a list of some of those scenarios.
  • The "sweatbox" in the desert gag.  A sweatbox is quite simply a small, iron box meant to hold one prisoner.  There are almost always two sweatboxes side by side, and the prisoners converse.  These prisoners are typically members of Crock's own army, locked away for insubordinance.
  • The animals of the strip seem to have their own conversations.
  • The letters between Fig and Probity.
  • Grossie pursues Maggot and is always shot down (until they get married).
  • Cook's lousy food and service.

Crock & His Supporting Cast:
  • Vermin P. Crock, the Commandant
  • Captain Poulet, Crock's cowardly right-hand man
  • Captain Preppie, a vain and useless officer
  • Clevis, another of Crock's soldiers who always seems to get beat up
  • Cook
  • Edna & Walter, the vultures
  • Figowitz (Fig for short), one of Crock's soldiers and always in search of a kind word
  • Fred & Rosie, the goats
  • Grossie, camp follower and later wife of Maggot
  • Hawthorne, another of Crock's soldiers
  • Lost Patrol
  • Maggot, the simple-minded grunt
  • Manchez, the bandito who always seems to be around the fort
  • Mongolian Peabird Salesman
  • Nebookanezzer, the stone idol in the desert
  • Pretty Boy, leader of the Arab bandits
  • Probity, Fig's attractive, wayward girlfriend and penpal
  • Roxie, the sexy, blonde camp follower and friend of Grossie
  • Quench, a camel
  • Schemeese, the Frenchman who is always set to be executed by Crock's firing squad, and survives each time
Paperback Releases:  I will add more information as I find it, but here is a list of known "Crock" books of strip reprints I've found.
  • Crock (1977, Fawcett/Gold Medal).  Reprints strips from 1975-1977.
  • I Hate Mondays (1978, Fawcett/Gold Medal)
  • You'll Pay For This...All of You! (1979, Fawcett/Gold Medal)
About Brant Parker:
  • Brant Parker was the "big name" behind the comic strip and undoubtedly helped "Crock" build its early fanbase.  Parker had already made a name for himself with the comic strip, "The Wizard of Id", which he created with Johnny Hart of "B.C." fame.
  • Brant Parker, Bill Rechin, and Don Wilder were the creators of "Crock".  Parker left the strip very early on, but Rechin and Wilder stayed with it.
  • Brant Parker was the first member of the original "Crock" team to pass away on April 15, 2007 at age 86.
About Bill Rechin:
  • Bill Rechin was born in 1930 in Buffalo, New York.
  • Before "Crock", Bill Rechin had some experience in comics.  His most notable accomplishment up to that time was an obscure comic strip called, "Pluribus", set in America's founding years.
  • When "Crock" was created, the creative team consisted of Brant Parker, Bill Rechin, and Don Wilder.  Bill Rechin's art style was a close match to Brant Parker, who was best-known for his creation of "The Wizard of Id" with Johnny Hart.
  • Rechin is the one whose signature we always see in the strip.
  • In 1986, Rechin and Don Wilder co-created another strip, actually panel, called "Out of Bounds", a sports comic.
  • Bill Rechin was president of the National Cartoonist Society for part of 1988.
  • Rechin received the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award of 1992 for his work on "Out of Bounds".  By 1993, the panel was discontinued by King Features.
  • Brant Parker was the first member of the original "Crock" team to pass away on April 15, 2007 at age 86.
  • Don Wilder, Rechin's last original cohort, died on September 24, 2008.  Rechin has continued to carry on the strip.
About Don Wilder:
  • Don Wilder was born on June 23, 1934 in Middlesboro, Kentucky.  He lived in Knoxville, Tennessee in his early years.
  • Wilder earned a bachelor of arts degree at East Tennessee State University and took graduate courses at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  While in college, Don made cartoons for the campus newspapers and sold his work to major magazines.
  • Don later worked as a techinal illustrator, visual media coordinator, and publications specialist for Lockheed Aircraft, RCA, and General Electric.
  • An interesting notion for comic strip creators, Don Wilder worked for the CIA in the 1960s, for 17 years, as a technical illustrator and visual-information specialist.
  • Wilder moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia to take the CIA position.
  • Don Wilder was fairly new to the comic world when "Crock" debuted.  He was the genius writer of the trio (Parker, Rechin, Wilder).  Don was also an artist.
  • He became a member of the National Cartoonist Society and National Press Club.
  • In 1986, Wilder and Rechin created a cartoon panel called "Out of Bounds" that was a send-up of sports.  It ran until 1993.
  • Brant Parker was the first member of the original "Crock" team to pass away on April 15, 2007 at age 86.
  • Don Wilder died on September 24, 2008 at age 74 from a year-long battle with lung cancer.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Angie, who was only 37 when she passed.
  • Don is survived by two sons David and Michael, their children, and a longtime companion by the name of Anne Bagshaw.  So long, Don, and thanks for the laughs!