Wizard of Id has been enchanting audiences since 1964, but the real wizards behind this comic classic were artist Brant Parker and writer Johnny Hart.
The pair began paving the path to the Kingdom of Id in 1950, when Parker, a staff artist for the Binghamton Press in upstate New York, was asked to judge a high school art contest. Among the entrants was a teenager by the name of Johnny Hart, whose work so impressed Parker that he arranged a meeting.
That lunch was the beginning of a close working and personal relationship. Parker and Hart discovered a mutual interest in cartooning, hired an agent and began submitting work to such magazines as the Saturday Evening Post,Collier's and Good Housekeeping. By the end of the decade, Parker was working as an art director at IBM and Hart had created the comic strip B.C., a prehistoric parody of modern man's foibles.
In 1964, Hart brought that comic concept even further up to date -- from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, to be exact -- added a castle of characters and took the premise of Wizard of Id to Parker.
More than a quarter of a century later, the magic is stronger than ever. Brant Parker passed the torch to his son, Jeff, in 1997, after a decade-long apprenticeship. Jeff Parker cowrites and draws Wizard of Id in his home studio in Virginia, where he works with his wife, Nicola. He continues to collaborate with the Hart family in Ninevah, N.Y., via phone and fax. You can visit their new website at www.johnhartstudios.com.
The kingdom they conjured up thrives as well. Wizard of Id is syndicated to more than 1,000 newspapers worldwide, has generated more than a score of trade paperbacks and consistently earns top rankings in readership polls.
The strip has also earned numerous awards, including Best Humor Strip Awards from the National Cartoonist Society. Parker and Hart each were awarded the NCS's Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year: Hart in 1971 and Parker in 1984.
In short, the riotous reign of Id's merciless miniature monarch seems secure -- and millions of loyal subjects around the world wouldn't have it any other way.