Bud Blake created Tiger in 1965 as a result of doing something we have all dreamed about: He walked out on his job.
Blake was the executive art director for the Kudner Agency in New York City, a top-line firm. But all the time spent commuting, at meetings, on administrative details and traveling meant less and less time at the drawing board, where he was happiest. So Blake left, going to his personal drawing board to create a series of one-panel cartoons that he brought to King Features Syndicate, which signed him on to do a daily panel called Ever Happen to You? He also was doing free-lance work at the time for a variety of advertising accounts and magazines such as Business Week and Family Circle.
But Blake still wasn't satisfied. He dreamed of a daily and Sunday comic strip. Pencil in hand, he watched his children and the neighborhood kids at play, and created Tiger, which King Features Syndicate started distributing in May of 1965.
Blake was born and grew up in Nutley, N.J. He was fond of woodcarving, so he left high school to work the carnivals, state fairs, boardwalks and so on as a demonstrator for a penknife company. He attended various art schools and between art jobs was occasionally a drugstore soda jerk or a lifeguard. He joined Kudner in 1937.
He took time out for a three-year stint with the infantry during World War II.
The National Cartoonists Society selected Tiger three times as the year's best humor strip. Blake, who died in 2005, was nominated multiple times for the society's top honor, the Reuben Award.