Blondie is a popular comic strip created by Murat Bernar "Chic" Young and syndicated by King Features Syndicate. It has been published in newspapers since September 8, 1930. The success of the comic strip led to a long-run Blondie film series (1938-1950) and a popular Blondie radio program (1939-1950).
Chic Young drew Blondie until his death in 1973, when the control of the strip passed to his son Dean Young. Dean Young has collaborated with a number of artists on the strip, including Jim Raymond, Mike Gersher, Stan Drake, Denis Lebrun and most recently, John Marshall. Through these changes, Blondie has remained popular, appearing in more than 2300 newspapers in 55 countries and translated into 35 languages, as of 2005. Blondie celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005.
Originally, Blondie focused on the adventures of Blondie Boopadoop, a carefree flapper girl who spent her days in dance halls. On February 17, 1933, after much fanfare and build-up, Miss Boopadoop married her boyfriend Dagwood Bumstead, the son of a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately for the Bumsteads, Dagwood was disowned by his upper-crust family for marrying beneath his class. Ever since, he has been slaving away at the office of the J. C. Dithers Construction Company under the direction of tyrannical boss Julius Caesar Dithers, who frequently threatens to fire Dagwood from his workplace when (as frequently happens) Dagwood either botches or does not finish his work, sleeps on the job, comes into work late, or pesters Dithers for a raise or promotion.
Blondie and Dagwood live in suburbia, next door to Herb and Tootsie Woodley. The Bumstead family has grown, with the addition of a son named Alexander (originally "Baby Dumpling") in 1934, a daughter named Cookie in 1941 (both permanently frozen in their late teens as of 2006), and a dog named Daisy. Alexander and Cookie have grown into teenagers who uncannily resemble their parents. Other regular characters include Mr. Beasley (the mailman), Elmo Tuttle (a pesky neighborhood kid), Cora Dithers (domineering wife of Julius Dithers), and Lou (owner of the diner where Dagwood frequently eats on his lunch break).
A running gag in the strip is the impossibly tall sandwich Dagwood often fixes for a snack, which came to be known as a Dagwood sandwich. Others feature Dagwood's propensity to fall asleep on the couch during the day, to collide with Mr. Beasley while rushing out the front door each morning, or to be interrupted by other characters while he is relaxing in the bathtub.
While the distinctive look and running gags of Blondie have been carefully preserved through the decades, a number of details have been altered to keep up with changing times. The Bumstead kitchen, which remained essentially unchanged from the 1930s through the 1960s has slowly acquired a more modern look (no more legs on the gas range, for instance). Clothing has slowly kept pace with times, most notably when Blondie began wearing pants and traded her high-heeled pumps for flat shoes (although in recent years she has reverted to mostly wearing skirts). Today, neither Blondie nor Dagwood wears a hat when leaving the house. The telephone in the hall now has push buttons instead of a dial, the water cooler and time clock at the office have given way to computers on the desks. Even Mr. Beasley wears walking shorts on his mail route during the warm weather months. Blondie herself is no longer a housewife. She and Tootsie Woodley started a catering business in 1991. Dagwood still knocks heads with his boss, Mr. Dithers, but now he does it in a more modern office at J.C. Dithers Construction Company, and he now begins each morning racing to meet his carpool rather than chasing after a just-missed streetcar or city bus. Also, for a time in the late 1990s and around 2000/2001, Blondie and Dagwood's teenage son Alexander worked part-time outside of high school at the order counter of a fast food restaurant, the Burger Barn. There are still occasional references to Cookie and her "baby-sitting". Daisy, who once had a litter of puppies that lived with the family is now the only dog seen in the Bumstead household. Cookie and Alexander can be seen in modern clothing trends and sometimes use cell phones.
Chic Young was awarded a Reuben in 1948 for his work on the strip, whilst in 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative postage stamps.