Tiger is an American comic strip created by cartoonist Bud Blake. Launched May 3, 1965, the popular, long running strip about a group of suburban boyhood pals was distributed by King Features Syndicate to 400 newspapers worldwide at its peak.
The National Cartoonists Society named Tiger the best humor strip in 1970, 1978 and 2000, with an additional nomination in 1998. Blake drew the strip until he was 85, two years before his death on December 26, 2005. Asked if he could continue to produce the strip, Blake told an interviewer, "Sure, I could keep doing it. But I can’t. I’ve had enough." After Blake retired, the strip continued to appear as reprints, and as of December 2005, according to the syndicate, Tiger was running in more than 100 newspapers in 11 countries.
Characters and story
Tiger followed a gag-a-day format and was designed to appeal to both adults and children. It centered around a scrappy group of kindergarten-aged kids in an unidentified, middle-class neighborhood. Parents and teachers were occasionally referred to, but no adult was ever pictured. Tiger was told from a child's perspective and retained its innocent kids' eye world view from beginning to end.
- Tiger: The unofficial gang leader was a typical, everyman kid, clad in a loose-fitting white sweatshirt with an ever-changing caption on the front and an oversized baseball cap which covered his eyes.
- Punkinhead: Tiger's precocious kid brother, naïve but occasionally insightful, who wore a red hooded sweater, sneakers with perpetually untied laces, an incongruously long, polka-dotted necktie and an ever-present cowlick.
- Hugo: Pudgy and none-too-bright, Tiger's best friend Hugo sported a red crewcut, a single baby tooth and an unquenchable appetite.
- Bonnie: A pushy, wisecracking neighborhood girl with black bobbed bangs and a loud, sarcastic demeanor.
- Suzy: The frequent target of Bonnie's barbs (along with Hugo), the soft-spoken Suzy wore long blonde tresses, black leotards and white Mary Jane shoes.
- Julian: The smart, bespectacled neighborhood bookworm.
- Stripe: Tiger's agreeable, faithful, lazy and ever-present spotted mutt.
Collections and reprints
- Charlton Comics published eight issues of a comic book version of the strip, from March 1970 to January 1971.
- Tiger (No. 1) by Bud Blake (1969) Tempo Books
- Tiger Turns On (No. 2) by Bud Blake (1970) Tempo Books
- King Features biography
- Lambiek Comicpedia
- Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Tiger
- National Cartoonists Society: Bud Blake
- Associated Press article on CNN.com about Blake's death
- Cached site of 2004 article from reuben.org
- Hogan's Alley #13 (July 2005): Interview with Bud Blake