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Tiger

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I introduced this feature in August, 2005.  Bud Blake passed away on December 26, 2005.

About Bud Blake
About Tiger
Paperback Releases
Things to Know About Tiger
Tiger & His Supporting Cast



About Tiger:

    I love this comic strip!  It's fun, harmless, and yet reflective.  Tiger and his friends are small children, preschool to elementary age.  How they see the world around them is just like we might have seen it at that age.  It's a lot more realistic than most comic strips, and it's given cute characters with funny quirks to give it real personality.  Tiger is a small boy who wears big T-shirts and an oversized cap.  He's called Tiger for the same reason a bald guy is called "Curly".

    Bud Blake is the mastermind behind this strip.  "Peanuts" often reflected upon the cruel blows life gives us as kids, "Tiger" is all about the fun of growing up.  The kids in "Peanuts" are slightly older, and I'm sure Tiger would have these same problems if he were 8 or 10 or 12.  Thankfully, Bud Blake always kept his strip bright and cheery.  He created the strip to appeal to children and adults, and it does.  "Tiger" is one of those strips that is very easy to get into and to get hooked on.

    "Tiger" was a well-liked comic strip, but it just didn't make a successful crossover into other media.  The biggest thing to come out of "Tiger" was an eight issue comic book series in 1970-1971.  Among readers, and certainly among other cartoonists, Bud Blake's artwork and writing styles received much praise.  "Tiger" is really timeless.  Kids are almost always going to look something like they do in this strip...kid fashions haven't changed overly much since 1965.  In addition, kids are always going to have certain viewpoints about the world around them.

    Bud Blake retired in 2004, and the strip went into reruns.  "Tiger" has continued to appear in reruns since Blake's death on December 26, 2005.  Any strip that has that kind of staying power is something special!


Things to Know About Tiger:
  • "Tiger" debuted on May 3, 1965 by Bud Blake and was distributed by King Features Syndicate.  At the peak of its popularity, "Tiger" was in more than 400 newspapers worldwide!
  • "Tiger" was never made into a cartoon show or live-action show.  This was a missed opportunity, because "Tiger" could have slid so well into film or animation.  Look at the mileage "Peanuts" has received!
  • "Tiger" also wasn't merchandised a lot.  The biggest thing to come from "Tiger" was a comic book series from the Charlton publisher.  It ran eight issues from March, 1970 to January, 1971.
  • The National Cartoonists Society named "Tiger" the best humor strip in 1970 and 1978.  In 2000, the NCS gave "Tiger" the best newspaper strip award.  It had an additional nomination in 1998.
  • Bud Blake was 85 when he retired in 2004.  The "Tiger" strip then appeared as reruns, and continued as such after Blake's death in 2005.  At the time of Blake's death, the reprints were still in over 100 newspapers worldwide!
  • Tiger was an ALL kids (and dog) cast.  There were never any adults pictured, although they were often mentioned.
  • "Tiger" is essentially a gag strip, but there was frequently some social satire.  Nothing heavy, but significant.
  • Stripe was based on a dog Bud Blake had when he was little, named Jenny.
  • Hugo was based on a boy that used to beat up on Bud when he was a kid.

Tiger & His Supporting Cast:
  •  Tiger-  If Tiger has hair and eyes, we don't see them.  He's the leader of the neighborhood kids.  Tiger wears an oversized baseball cap and a baggy white sweatshirt.  If you pay attention, he has a different team name or caption on his shirt in almost every strip!
  •  Punkinhead-  Tiger's dummy kid brother who, quite surprisingly, has a lot of insight.  He has a sort-of "Moe from the Three Stooges" haircut with a perpetual cowlick.  He wears a red hooded sweater, long, polka-dotted necktie, and has untied shoelaces.
  •  Stripe-  Tiger and Punkinhead's always agreeable and "always there" dog.  Incidentally, he is spotted.  It's quite obvious Punkinhead named him.  Stripe is a friend to all the kids, but he seems to click with Punkinhead the best.
  •  Hugo-  The fat kid, and not-too-bright.  He has a red crewcut and a snaggle-tooth.  Hugo is Tiger's best friend and he never ceases to be hungry.
  •  Bonnie-  She's the "Lucy From Peanuts" of Tiger's world.  Bonnie is pushy and wisecracking, with black hair and a loud, sarcastic personality.  She's quite the opposite of Suzy.
  •  Suzy-  The other end of the spectrum for young girls.  Where Bonnie is loud and pushy, Suzy is soft-spoken and more girly.  She has long, blonde hair, wears dresses, black leotards, and white Mary Jane shoes.
  •  Julian-  He's the bookworm of the troupe...complete with glasses!
Paperback Releases:  I will add more information as I find it, but here is a list of known "Tiger" books of strip reprints I've found.
  • Tiger (1969, Grosset & Dunlap/Tempo Books)- Reprints strips from 1966-1968.
About Bud Blake:
  • Bud Blake was born on February 13, 1918 in Nutley, New Jersey.  He also grew up in this town.  His real first name was Julian.  He later named the bookworm character from "Tiger" Julian.
  • Bud's father and sister were both in the commercial art field.
  • Bud dropped out of high school before graduation.  He did a bunch of odd jobs until 1937.  It was that year he landed a job with Kudner Advertising Agency.  He stayed with them until 1954, although he was away for awhile during WWII when he was in the U.S. Army Infantry.
  • Working with an advertising agency meant a lot of travel, responsibility, and frustration.  Bud tired of this and decided to pursue cartooning.  It just so happened King Features Syndicate was looking for someone to replace H.T. Webster, who had recently died.  Webster did a cartoon panel, so Blake was signed on to do a cartoon panel.
  • From 1954 to 1965, Bud Blake did a cartoon panel that went through a number of name changes through the years including "Home Sweet Home", "Growing Pains", and "Ever Happen to You?" to name a few.
  • King Features then wanted Blake to come up with a strip to rival "Peanuts".  "Tiger" was born!
  • "Peanuts" was an awesome strip.  "Tiger" was an awesome strip.  Besides the fact that both strips have an ensemble cast of children (and one dog apiece), there was little similarity.
  • Bud was widowed in 1988.  He had a son named Jay, who grew up to be a physicist, and a daughter named Marianna, an artist.