The Wizard of Id

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The Wizard of Id
Wiz-il-mago-midi.jpg
The Wizard of Id on the cover of an Italian collection of his stories.
Author(s)Jeff Parker
WebsiteThe Wizard of Id
Current status / scheduleRunning
Launch dateNovember 9, 1964
Syndicate(s)Creators Syndicate
 
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The Wizard of Id
Wiz-il-mago-midi.jpg
The Wizard of Id on the cover of an Italian collection of his stories.
Author(s)Jeff Parker
WebsiteThe Wizard of Id
Current status / scheduleRunning
Launch dateNovember 9, 1964
Syndicate(s)Creators Syndicate

The Wizard of Id is a daily newspaper comic strip created by American cartoonists Brant Parker and Johnny Hart. Beginning in 1964, the strip follows the antics of a large cast of characters in a shabby medieval kingdom called "Id". From time to time, the king refers to his subjects as "Idiots". (The title is a play on The Wizard of Oz, combined with the Freudian psychological term Id, which represents the instinctive and primal part of the human psyche.)

In 1997 Brant Parker passed his duties on to his son, Jeff Parker, who had already been involved with creating Id for a decade. As of late 2002, the strip appears in some 1,000 newspapers all over the world, syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

Contents

Overview

History

In the early 1960s, Johnny Hart, having already created the successful B.C., began collaborating with his friend, then-unpublished cartoonist Brant Parker, on a new comic strip. (Parker would go on to create or co-create the strips Goosemyer, Crock and Out of Bounds.) Having already drawn cartoons about the Stone Age, Hart advanced through time to the Middle Ages, taking an idea from a deck of playing cards.[1] The Wizard of Id was first syndicated on November 9, 1964, drawn by Parker and co-written by Parker and Hart.[citation needed]

Setting

The Wizard of Id deals with the goings-on of the rundown and oppressed mythical kingdom of Id. It follows people from all corners of the kingdom, but concentrates on the court of a tyrannical, dwarfish monarch known only as "the King". The strip's humor occasionally satirizes modern American culture, and deliberate anachronisms are rampant. Technology changes to suit whatever a gag requires; a battle with spears and arrows might be followed by a peasant using an ATM.

In some strips the king is curiously elected to his monarchial position (albeit through rigged ballots). The aspects that stay the same, however, are that Id is in the middle of nowhere, home to a large castle surrounded by a moat. The king and his subjects run an inept army perpetually at war with "the Huns", while the unhappy, overtaxed peasants (or Idiots) make little money as farmers and stablehands to keep modest lifestyles.

Format

The Wizard of Id follows a gag-a-day format, plus a color Sunday page. There are running gags relating to the main cast, to a variety of secondary, continuing characters, and to the kingdom itself. Occasionally it will run an extended sequence on a given theme over a week or two. For instance, in 1967 there was a six-week story with the Wizard taking over the throne.

Style

"The strip's humor style—quite contemporary, in contrast to its medieval setting—ranges from broad and low to pure black", according to Don Markstein's Toonopedia.[2]

The drawing style of certain characters has changed from the early years of the strip to today. For example, the old style of the King's head was more rectangular, had a crown with identifiable card suits on it (club, diamond, heart), his mustache and beard always hid his mouth, and his beard frequently extended to a curved point when the King was shown in profile (see The Wondrous Wizard of Id, 1970, Fawcett Publications). In the new style, the King's head is more trapezoidal with a slightly smaller and undecorated crown, he has a huge nose (even bigger than Rodney's) which covers his mouth and chin, and when he opens his mouth it appears that his beard has been shaved off.

Cast of characters

A Wizard of Id strip featuring the King of Id.

Main characters

Sir Rodney: Cover of a 1980 Australian collection of strips
Bung shown in a Dutch-language version of the cartoon.

Supporting characters

In addition to the main cast, several recurring jokes have run throughout the life of the comic strip for which certain characters come back from time to time.

There are many other generic incidental characters that Parker often included in The Wizard of Id. They are not individually identifiable, but they serve as the "straight men" and joke-tellers for each day's strip. In addition to assorted guards, peasants and executioners, they include the Huns, fortune tellers, dentists, bartenders, innkeepers, town criers, insurance salesmen, monks, rats, horses, dragons and frogs, to name a few.

In other media

In 1969, Jim Henson and Don Sahlin produced a test pilot for the Wizard of Id. By the time interest was expressed in the concept Henson was deeply involved in other projects and decided to not pursue it any further.[3]

Awards

The Wizard of Id has enjoyed a successful life to date. It has been named best humor strip by the National Cartoonists Society in 1971, 1976, 1980, 1982 and 1983. In 1984, Parker received a Reuben Award for his work on the strip. Dozens of paperback collections have been published since 1965, and some titles are still in print as of 2010.

Collections and reprints

Fawcett Gold Medal

  • The King Is a Fink! (1969)
  • The Wondrous Wizard of Id (1970)
  • The Peasants Are Revolting! (1971)
  • Remember the Golden Rule! (1971)
  • There's a Fly in My Swill! (1973)
  • The Wizard's Back (1973)
  • Yield (1974)
  • Frammin' at the Jim-Jam, Frippin' in the Krotz! (1974)
  • Long Live the King! (1975)
  • We've Got to Stop Meeting Like This (1975)
  • I'm Off to See the Wizard (1976)
  • Every Man is Innocent Until Proven Broke (1976)
  • Let There Be Reign (1977)
  • Help Stamp Out Grapes (1978)
  • Charge! (1978)
  • Ala Ka-Zot! (1979)
  • Well, This Is Another Fine How Do You Do (1982)
  • The Lone Haranguer Rides Again! (1982)
  • Abra Cadaver! (1983)
  • My Kingdom for a Horsie! (1984)
  • Suspended Sentence Indeed! (1984)
  • The Fing Is a Kink! (1985)
  • I Dig Freedom (1985)
  • Pick a Card, Any Card (1986)

Andrews McMeel

Other publishers

International syndication

[4]

References

  1. ^ [http://www.johnhartstudios.com/artists/index.php?page=brant Johnny Hart Studios - Meet The Artists of B.C. and Wizard of Id at Johhny Hart Studios
  2. ^ [http://www.toonopedia.com/wizid.htm The Wizard of Id at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  3. ^ 3/22/1969 – 'Shoot "Wizard of Id" pilot'
  4. ^ Johnny Hart Studios (2012). "Remembering Brant". Johnny Hart Studios. http://www.johnhartstudios.com/artists/index.php?page=brant. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 

External links