Sunday April 8, 2007
'B.C.' creator Johnny Hart dies
Johnny Hart, an Endicott native whose collection of cartoon cave-dwellers amused and sometimes irritated newspaper readers for almost 50 years, died at his Nineveh home on Saturday. He was 76.
Hart is survived by his wife Bobby, and two daughters. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
Hart's B.C. comic strip was launched in 1958 and eventually appeared in more than 1,300 newspapers worldwide with an audience of 100 million. He lent his characters to promote many local agencies and activities, including the Broome Dusters hockey team, BC Transit, Broome County Parks and the professional golf tournament which became the B.C. Open.
B.C. participated in the nation's space program. In 1972, Hart received a public service award from NASA for outstanding contributions.
Later in his career, some of Hart's cartoons addressed religious themes -- a reflection of his own deepening Christian faith -- which dismayed some readers and delighted others.
Hart's biography at the Creators Syndicate web site said he never considered cartoon a serious profession until he graduated from Union-Endicott High School. At 19, he met Brant Parker, a young cartoonist who became a prime influence and who later became a partner in the Wizard of Id, another of Hart's comic strip creations