Blondie was created by my father, Chic Young, in 1930. Blondie began her cartoon life in the same flighty, pretty-girl flapper image of my father’s earlier strips (some of which, in his own words, were better not remembered!).
For historical purposes, they were: The Affairs of Jane, Beautiful Bab, and Dumb Dora (appropriately subtitled, She’s Not So Dumb As She Looks). Anyway, Blondie Boopadoop was a gorgeous flapper who had a ton of boyfriends...one of whom was Dagwood Bumstead. Dagwood, in those days, was the bumbling, playboy son of billionaire railroad tycoon J. Bolling Bumstead. In his town, J. Bolling not only owned all of the property on his side of the track, but also all the property on the other side of the track....plus 3,000 more miles of the track!
Dagwood wasn’t exactly a successful playboy. For instance, his polo pony would stop and eat grass in the middle of the field during a chukker. And once, when he became lost in his own mansion, he experienced the humiliation of having to join a sightseeing tour to get back to the living room.
All of a sudden, the Great Depression was upon us. With families facing disaster, farms being foreclosed, tenants being dispossessed, and nothing on the horizon but despair...this comic strip about a flighty blonde and her boyfriend’s millions was not so funny anymore. The Blondie magic began to evaporate as more and more newspapers dropped the comic strip. Blondie was headed for ignominious doom and extinction.
Then, a miracle happened! Blondie and Dagwood fell in love. Really in love. More than any comic characters before them. They made plans to get married which, at the time, was a bold departure in comics.
So, in true storybook fashion, love conquered all obstacles. After a tumultuous engagement that included a 28-day, 7-hour, 8-minute, 22-second hunger strike, these two unlikely misfits tied the matrimonial knot in the memorable comic strip wedding scene of Feb. 17, 1933.
Dagwood, of course, was immediately disinherited by his parents for marrying “that gold digger blonde.” When J. Bolling wrote him out of his will, Dagwood and Blondie 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 became concerned with real life: making ends meet, raising a family, eating and sleeping. And, these four same topics are still the primary ingredients of the strip to this very day.
Beautiful wife of Dagwood Bumstead. Her good looks serve as validation for Dagwood to operate without all his oars in the water. She is warm, gentle, sweet, loving...and her heart belongs solely to Dagwood. She owns and operates her own business: “Blondie’s Catering Service.” Her own brand of unique logic can solve problems that might confound the most brilliant scholar.
Surely, the greatest victim of circumstance the world has ever known. He loves food, sleep, baths...and most of all, his wife and children. His chronic problems are: running into the mailman and getting to work on time. He is not above defending a principle or his family with brute force. He is famous for his super-duper sandwiches.
Blondie and Dagwood’s teenage son. He resembles Dagwood somewhat in appearance, but seems to be more level-headed and stable. He is a star athlete on the high school football and basketball teams.
Blondie and Dagwood’s teenage daughter. She has her mother’s good looks. She is an “A” student and a member of the high school varsity cheerleading squad. Cookie is a typical teenager in all respects...especially when it comes to boys.
Daisy, the family dog, is ever-faithful (except at bath time) and, although she never "speaks," her expressions say it all.
Dagwood’s best friend and next-door neighbor. He finds himself often caught, inexplicably, in the web of Bumstead-inspired plans which have gone astray. He and Dagwood are tuned to the same frequency.
Blondie’s best friend, next-door neighbor and business partner. She is an attractive brunette who enjoys doing anything and everything with Blondie. She and Blondie are able to commiserate together over the zany schemes of their husbands.
Neither rain nor sleet, nor being knocked down by Dagwood's hasty morning exits will ever keep this mailman from his appointed rounds.
Owner of Lou’s diner where Dagwood eats his many lunchtime meals. He’s covered in tattoos, always has a toothpick in his mouth and his diner isn’t exactly a five-star restaurant.
Frumpy wife of Julius Dithers. When riled, Cora is apt to refer to her husband as a short, fat, sawed-off, tin-can Napoleon. She exerts control over her husband in every conceivable way, but primarily by verbal fusillade and the unmitigated violence of her ever-present umbrella. She loves Blondie to pieces and would do anything for her.
Julius C. Dithers
Founder of the J. C. Dithers Construction Company and Dagwood’s irascible boss. A tyrannical dictator who is constantly abusing his employees, both verbally and physically.
He has ice water in his veins and is certain that the most important quantum in life is
“the God Almighty dollar bill!” He is lord and master of all he surveys, with one notable exception...his wife! Deep down inside of him, he claims to have a heart that beats and bleeds for all humanity.
The neighborhood boy who fulfills the child-role character in the comic strip. He is Dagwood’s little pal, as well as his nemesis.