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‘Bud’ Blake, 87; Created Comic Strip ‘Tiger’ in ’65

From Associated Press

Julian “Bud” Blake, 87, the creator of the award-winning comic strip “Tiger,” died Monday at Maine Medical Center in Portland. No cause of death was announced.

Blake created the strip “Tiger” in 1965, nine years after he quit his job at a New York advertising agency to pursue his love of drawing.

The strip, with its cast of Tiger and his boyhood pals, was named the year’s best humor strip in 1970, 1978 and 2000 by the National Cartoonists Society.

It still appears in more than 100 newspapers in 11 countries, according to King Features Syndicate, which distributes the comic.

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Blake said the characters in “Tiger” were composites of youngsters from his childhood.

In addition to Tiger, the strip’s characters included his little brother Punkinhead, his best friend Hugo and his dog Stripe. Other characters included Bonnie, Suzy and Julian.

Blake once said the Hugo character was based on a boy who used to beat him up as a youngster growing up in Nutley, N.J. Stripe was based on his boyhood dog, Jenny.

Before becoming a cartoonist, he was executive art director for an ad agency whose corporate clients included General Motors and Goodyear. But Blake tired of commuting to the city, administrative details and business travel, and he quit in 1956 to create a cartoon panel, “Ever Happen to You?”

He attended the National Academy of Design before serving in the Army during World War II.

Blake, who had spent many summers in Maine, moved permanently to his home and studio in Bremen, Maine, after the death of his wife in 1988.

Blake continued drawing “Tiger” until he was 85.

He is survived by a son and a daughter.

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