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A Marmaduke cartoon from September 13, 2006
Author(s) Brad Anderson
Paul Anderson
Current status / schedule Active
Launch date 1954
Syndicate(s) United Media

Marmaduke is a newspaper comic strip drawn by Brad Anderson from 1954 to 2015. The strip was created by Anderson, with help from Phil Leeming (1955–1962) and later Dorothy Leeming (1963–1969), and (since August 2, 2004) Paul Anderson. The strip revolves around the Winslow family and their Great Dane, Marmaduke. The strip on Sundays also has a side feature called "Dog Gone Funny", in which one or more panels are devoted to dog anecdotes submitted by the fans. Anderson, who said he drew on Laurel and Hardy routines for his ideas,[1] received the National Cartoonists Society Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award for the strip in 1978. Anderson died on August 30, 2015,[2] leaving the long-term fate of the strip unknown; strips co-drawn with the help of his son, Paul Anderson, continue to be syndicated.


  • Marmaduke – A messy but lovable Great Dane owned by the Winslow family; Marmaduke is a very large example of the breed and has regularly been drawn approximately as measuring 40 inches and upwards at the withers.
  • Phil – Patriarch of the Winslow family
  • Dottie – Matriarch of the Winslow family
  • Barbara ("Barbie"[3]) – The Winslows' older child
  • Billy – The Winslows' younger child
  • Mr. and Mrs. Snyder – The Winslows' neighbors
  • Carlos – The Winslows' cat who is Marmaduke's best friend
  • King Tut – The Winslows' cat[4]


Brad Anderson won the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Newspaper Panel Cartoon in 1978,[5] and the George Arents Pioneer Medal for Syracuse University alumni in 1999.[6]

As of 2015, Marmaduke continues to be widely syndicated,[6] and is popular with readers. Attempts to cancel Marmaduke have drawn protest, such as those by readers of The Toronto Star in 1999,[7] of the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 2007,[8] and of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1986.[9]

Brad Anderson died on August 30, 2015 at the age of 91.[10]


The strip's longevity and perceived monotony[11] have been noted by satirical publications such as The Onion[12] and have made it the butt of jokes.[7] It has become "a hot source of retro-ironic-subversive humor."[13] For example, a blog called "Joe Mathlete Explains Today's Marmaduke"[14] deconstructs the strip to offer an alternative explanation for what's happening in the drawing.[15][16][11][13] Another blog called "Marmaduke Can Vote" gives each panel a political slant,[17][13] while another called "Poignant Marmaduke" changes all the captions to make the comics sad.[18] Additionally, "The Marmaduke Project" re-imagines Marmaduke in other forms.[19][13]

In his satirical analysis at The Comic Strip Doctor, David Malki of Wondermark ranked Marmaduke among "the worst newspaper comic strips" alongside Heathcliff, Family Circus and Dennis the Menace.[20]


Animated series[edit]

Ruby-Spears produced Marmaduke segments for the 1980 animated series Heathcliff, whose title character was also based on a comic strip character. In this animated version, the male characters were voiced by Paul Winchell and the females were voiced by Russi Taylor.

Motion picture[edit]

A live-action Marmaduke movie, in which the Winslows and their dog move from Kansas to California, was released on June 4, 2010.


  1. ^ Josephson, Joan (July 12, 2009). "History, Great Dane defy rain at Brocton-Portland festival". Evening Observer. Portland. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Tulloch, Katrina (September 6, 2015). "Syracuse University alum, 'Marmaduke' cartoonist Brad Anderson passes away". Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ "August 7, 2016 Marmaduke strip". 
  4. ^ "March 9, 2018 Marmaduke strip". 
  5. ^ Marmaduke, bio at United Feature Syndicate website
  6. ^ a b ARENTS AWARD WINNERS Archived November 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Syracuse University Magazine 1999: "The strip [...] now syndicated in more than 600 newspapers worldwide."
  7. ^ a b Garnet Fraser (February 3, 2008). "Web sites mocking comic strips gain following". The Toronto Star. : "Marmaduke has arguably spent 50 years retelling the same two jokes – Marmaduke is a dog with some human qualities, and Marmaduke is gargantuan – but the Star's attempt to drop it in 1999 sparked a reader revolt."
  8. ^ "FROM YOUR READER ADVOCATE". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. AccessMyLibrary. January 13, 2007. 
  9. ^ Our readers show their loyalties, Chicago Sun Times, October 1, 1986
  10. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E. (September 8, 2015). "Brad Anderson, Creator of 'Marmaduke,' Dies at 91". New York Times. 
  11. ^ a b Laughing at, not with, the comics, Troy Reimink, Grand Rapids Press: "The daily comic strip strikes me as such a moldy, arcane form of entertainment, based on tired jokes repeated ad nauseam until the end of time. We get it: Garfield likes lasagna. Marmaduke is big."
  12. ^ Some Old Man Still Churning Out Marmaduke, The Onion, March 14, 2008
  13. ^ a b c d Jay Cridlin (October 10, 2006). "Doggone funny at last". St. Petersburg Times. pp. 1E–2E. 
  15. ^ NPR Story about Marmaduke Explained: " Let's be clear. No one thinks Marmaduke is funny. [...] However, someone explaining Marmaduke – that's funny."
  16. ^ CNN, By Anne Hammock. "The Internet, in real life -". 
  17. ^ "Marmaduke Can Vote: If Marmaduke Went Political..." 
  18. ^ "Poignant Marmaduke". 
  19. ^ "Marmaduke Project". 
  20. ^ "Wondermark » Archive » The Comic Strip Doctor: Marmaduke". 
  • Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924–1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.

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