The Christian Science Monitor called Blondie "America's favorite comic-strip version of traditional middle-class domesticity." The London Independent dubbed her "the ageless heroine of one of the most successful strips of all time." And Time magazine proclaimed Blondie "America's most enduring housewife."
Blondie is all about us. It reflects the universal family with universal humor.
Since it first appeared in 1930 Blondie has continually grown in circulation and is today the most popular strip in comic history. Blondie is syndicated by King Features to more than 2,300 newspapers, is read daily by an estimated 250 million people in 55 countries and in more than 33 languages.
Dean Young credits Blondie's durability to his determination to keep the strip contemporary and human. "It's important that readers feel affectionate toward the Bumsteads--that's what this comic strip business is all about," says Dean. "That's why I've kept our long-running gags that are part of the character's nature--Dagwood's eating, sleeping, knocking down the mailman, and other notorious habits.
"At the same time, I don't want the characters to become anachronisms," he says. "So I work to keep the strip up to date."
When Blondie ended her 60-year stint as a housewife by opening her own catering business on Labor Day 1991, the news created a media blitz. Popular syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman wrote, "Not since Nora left the Doll's House has one wife's change garnered quite this much attention."
Working as a cartoonist obviously comes naturally to Dean Young, who began assisting his father, Blondie creator Murat B. ("Chic") Young, in 1963. When Chic died in 1973, Dean inherited the strip and continued to work with Jim Raymond, Chic's long-time artist. He collaborated with artist Stan Drake from 1989 until Stan's death in 1997, when Denis Lebrun took over as head artist.
Dean Young was born in Flushing, New York . He was a State High School Swimming Champion and graduated from LaGrange College where he was cartoonist for the college newspaper. After college he worked as an advertising account executive. In 1968 he was named Outstanding Young Man of America by the Jaycees.
Dean now lives in Florida. When he isn't working on the strip, he pursues his favorite sport, spearfishing, around the world. He has been State Florida Spearfishing Champion 10 times, and twice placed second in two national tournaments. Young sponsors two Spectre power race boat teams, team Dagwood and team Blondie. The teams raced in the Super Boat International Miami Grand Prix in March and competed in the New York Grand Prix during the Blondie 70th anniversary weekend - September 8th, 9th and 10th - winning top honors in their class. In addition to the race, the three-day celebration featured three strips in 2,300 Blondie client newspapers, and live appearances by the happy - and happily-married! - couple.
Dean is the co-author (with Rick Marschall) of Blondie and Dagwood's America (Harper & Row, 1981) and has published several Blondie anthologies. Through the years, his Blondie characters have inspired movies, radio shows, a TV series and two network animated musical specials. Young recently launched http://www.blondie.com, Blondie's very own place in cyberspace.
As for any resemblance to Dagwood Bumstead, Dean Young replies, "Part of the success of the strip is that I've always thought of myself as an ordinary family person, and I think the strip reflects that. I guess you could say I'm Dagwood's alter ego, but, hopefully, with a little more finesse."