Our Holiday Issue 2018 cover was created by my good friend and world-renowned cartoonist Dean Young. For those of you who don’t know Dean, he is a resident of Clearwater Beach and has carried on the story of Blondie, Dagwood, their family and their dog since he inherited the job from his father, Chic Young.
Chic launched the cartoon strip in 1930, featuring a flighty, pretty-girl flapper and her bumbling playboy boyfriend Dagwood. Things went well for the fashionable couple until the Depression hit and the stories of their cavalier lifestyle became irrelevant.
Then a miracle happened. Blondie and Dagwood, who’d gotten engaged and married, were disinherited by Dagwood’s fabulously wealthy family — and then had to go out into the world and hack it like the rest of us. Settling down to a modest lifestyle with children and a dog, they had to cope with real-life concerns: making ends meet, working, raising a family, eating and sleeping. And these same topics remain the primary ingredients of the comic strip to this very day.
Even with good friends, there’s always something new to find out. In writing this story — the Publisher’s Letter for our 2018 Holiday Issue — I discovered that Dean, besides being a world-famous cartoonist, has another accomplishment to his credit: he was the State Spearfishing Champion for 13 consecutive years.