Today, Sept. 8, is the 80th anniversary of the comic strip “Blondie” first appearing in newspapers. “Blondie” features the married couple Blondie and Dagwood. But when the strip started in 1930, Blondie Boopadoop was a happy-go-lucky flapper. In 1933, she married her boyfriend Dagwood Bumstead, son of a wealthy industrialist. His parents disowned him for marrying the flapper, and the strip became one of middle-class familial struggles.
The strip led to a long-running film series and radio program throughout the 1940s. According to the University of Florida exhibit from the strip’s 75th anniversary, following the marriage, the dynamic of the strip changed. Blondie, formerly portrayed as ditzy, became the sensible member of the family. Dagwood, previously the straight man of the strip, became the comic strip’s clown, creating giant sandwiches and getting into humorous confrontations with his boss, Mr. Dithers.
Creator Chic Young drew “Blondie” until his death in 1973. His son, Dean Young, now writes the strip.
In 2008, “Blondie” was voted the most-read comic strip in The Oklahoman.
Image via Three Men in a Tub.
- Matt Price