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Interview With Bradley J. Anderson,
Creator of "Marmaduke"

This interview originally appeared in the Spring 1997 issue of Canis Max.

Canis Max: When Did you first start drawing "Marmaduke"?
Brad Anderson: "Marmaduke" was released to newspapers in November 1954.

CM: Approximately how many newspapers does the cartoon appear in today?
BA: More than 500.

CM: Is "Marmaduke" syndicated internationally? If so, in what other countries does it appear?
BA: "Marmaduke" appears in papers throughout the world: Canada, England, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Italy, Saudi Arabia, several South American countries, etc.

CM: Does he have different names in different languages?
BA: Yes. His name in Germany is Archibald, for example. Also, in Sweden, he has a different name and I've found different names in Spanish.

CM: I read somewhere that the inspiration for Marmaduke was your parents' Boxer. So why a cartoon about a Great Dane?
BA: Because I wanted a very large dog. They don't always realize their size and try to do funny things that little dogs do such as cuddling up on someone's lap.

CM: Does Marmaduke get any fan mail? If so, is it mainly from children or people who own large dogs?
BA: Yes. Marmaduke receives fan mail from people of all ages, both male and female. Mail is received from current dog owners, people who are no longer able to have pets, and people with all sizes of dogs. One little girl wrote and said she named her dog Marmaduke. It was a Miniature Poodle.

CM: Has Marmaduke's image ever been used commercially to sell a product? For example, has there ever been a Marmaduke Dog Food or something like that?
BA: There have been many Marmaduke products. There was a Marmaduke Dog Food in the midwest years ago...heartworm pills...a few other products. Usually, small cuddly round characters are chosen for products.

CM: What makes Marmaduke different from other cartoon dogs?
BA: Marmaduke doesn't talk. No word balloons. Sometimes Marmaduke "talks" to himself with "picture" balloons. For example, if he hears "ride" or "let's go," he may picture a car. Almost all other animal cartoons either talk or they are "people" in an animal's body.

CM: Can you give us your opinion of Snoopy?
BA: Very funny, lovable character.

CM: Fred Bassett?
BA: Another funny and lovable character.

CM: How about "Scooby Doo," the animated cartoon featuring a Great Dane?
BA: A rip-off of the Marmaduke character. There's a story behind this but I prefer not to go into it.

CM: How and where did you learn to draw cartoons?
BA: I always loved cartoons and comics since I was a small child. I taught myself to draw cartoons although I did graduate from the Syracuse University School of Fine Arts.

CM: Is "Marmaduke" the only comic strip you've created?
BA: "Marmaduke" is my only "highly successful" comic. The others are not memorable.

CM: Do you own any dogs yourself?
BA: I currently have a 12-year-old Great Dane called Marmaladee. I have had other dogs: a Chihauhau-Terrier, a couple of Dalmations, a Labrador, and some mixed breeds.

CM: Any words of wisdom or advice that you could give to owners of large dogs?
BA: Be kind. Give them lots of love and they will respond. And don't let them push you out of your bed.


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