Brad Anderson widely known syndicated cartoonist and creator of the popular newspaper comic strip, "Marmaduke" will be visiting his hometown of Portland, this coming weekend.
Anderson graduated from Brocton Central School in 1943 and will be attending the yearly Alumni Reunion and visiting with old friends and family. He will also be attending a special ceremony at the Town of Portland, 87 W. Main Street in Brocton on Monday, July 16 at 10 a.m. where a large banner will be placed indicating where bronze statues of Anderson and Marmaduke will be erected in his honor as a tribute to his exceptional worldwide success and to commemorate a Chautauqua County favorite native son.
Both the Town of Portland and the Village of Brocton have proclaimed July 16th Brad Anderson Day. Scheduled speakers will be Portland Supervisor Dan Schrantz and Brocton Mayor Dave Hazelton. Committee Chairman Jerry Boltz and the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee have already started to collect donations for this special community project. Anyone wishing to help with this worthy cause can send donations payable to the Brocton Portland Development Corporation -The Marmaduke Fund, c/o of Town of Portland, 87 W. Main St., Brocton, New York 14716. All donations will be tax deductable.
Anderson has been drawing Marmaduke the loveable Great Dane for newspapers since 1954. His popular and well-loved comic strip, a United Features Syndicate appears in more than 600 newspapers across 20 countries, including the OBSERVER. Along with his wife, Barbara, he will be accompanied by his son, Paul who has been assisting his father with the comic strip since 2004.
Brad Anderson was born in Jamestown, New York in 1924. He grew up on Third Street in the Hamlet of Portland and Marmaduke was "born" on the top floor at the Old Bailey Building on the northeast corner of Main Street and Lake Avenue. Anderson has featured many of his lifelong friends and locales such as "Cave's Meat Market" from the Brocton/Portland area in his comic strip. Many remember his father's farm machine business in Portland where his father introduced Brad to craftsmanship in the areas of manufacturing farm implements, woodworking, and metal forgery, glass work, hardware crafting and sales. These skills were put to good use when he served in the Navy aboard a diesel ship.
Working from his home in Montgomery, Texas, Mr. Anderson chronicles the amusing antics of the awkward but loveable Great Dane, creating six single-panel comics and one Sunday strip each week to add to his collection of over 20,000 Marmaduke-inspired comics, two dozen books, a 1970s animated TV show and a feature film.
Marmaduke was inspired by a boxer belonging to a relative, but Anderson opted for a larger dog and Marmaduke the Great Dane was the result. Anderson nurtured his artistic talent whenever he wasn't doing chores or helping his Dad in the family business. One of his earliest memories was drawing on the sidewalk in front of his grandmother's home. On Anderson's last visit, he spent hours on a sweltering afternoon making drawings for the many that stood in line to see him at the Portland Historical Museum, all the while explaining to his admirers how he did his work.
The public is welcome to come on Monday, July 16 at 10 a.m. to pay tribute to Brad Anderson and his famous dog Marmaduke.