Monday, August 04, 2008

Most Influential Cartoonist of the 20th Century Poll Results

I think that my friend Brian Fies was right when he commented in a previous entry on the word "influential" (not "most successful" or "most famous") as an interesting choice in the heading of the latest poll. Below is the top five cartoonists according to the learned readers of this Mike Lynch Cartoons blog:
  1. Charles Schulz (a landslide)

  2. Jack Kirby

  3. Bill Watterson

  4. Gary Larson

  5. Milton Caniff
Early on, Schulz and Kirby were neck and neck. And I wondered, what with all the Marvel movies, would Kirby eclipse Schulz? But, no, with 31% of the vote, Schulz won the poll.

It's nice to see that there are two living cartoonists listed, but sad to note that both have left the daily comic strip production grind. The comics page, and comics fans, are all the poorer.

The bottom:

  • Bill Mauldin received no votes

  • TAD Dorgan and Scott Kurtz got one vote each

  • R.F. Outcault, James Thurber, Rube Goldberg, Alex Raymond, Jim Davis and Herblock each received 2 votes

All of these men are very important, with TAD being my favorite overlooked cartoonist. Without TAD's encouragement, we might not have had Segar or Herriman. But the years have passed and TAD is not a well remembered name.

It was fun to see Osamu Tezuka and Walt Kelly get exactly the same number of votes (9 votes; 7%). Both are masters of very different kinds of storytelling!

My thanks to everyone who participated.


Larry Levine said...

In my book it's an even tie between Chuck Jones & Charles Schulz.

Jhay Phoenix said...

I would say Chuck Jones...he paved the way for many to come. Second to that would definitely be Charles Shultz

Gerry said...

What, no Robert Crumb?

Jeff Kersten said...

I'm disappointed that Chester Gould wasn't on this list. Gould inspired generations of cartoonists in both their art, but more importantly, their storytelling. He's the godfather of the procedural detective story.

For those who just aren't familiar you NEED to check out IDW Publ for his "little work" DICK TRACY & inquire with The Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum at for details on The Sunday Project.