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. In 2002 the strip appeared in some 1,000 newspapers all over the world, syndicated by Creators Syndicate.
On November 17, 2014, the strip formally celebrated its 50th anniversary, and a number of other strips, including Beetle Bailey, BC, Ballard Street, Dennis the Menace, Garfield, Mother Goose and Grimm, Pickles, Mutts, Pooch Café, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith ran special 50th anniversary commemorative strips (e.g., Beetle called Sarge “a fink,” and ended up sharing a dungeon cell with Spookingdorf). Hi and Lois ran an otherwise-ordinary strip with a portrait of the Wizard in the last panel, while Speed Bump ran a cartoon of Harry Potter in a Wizard of Id T-shirt, Family Circus put a greeting on a book (being held upside down), and Blondie showed a greeting written on a cake in the first panel.
In the early 1960s, Johnny Hart, having already created the successful B.C., began collaborating with his friend, then-unpublished cartoonist Brant Parker, on a new comic strip.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. The Wizard of Id was first syndicated on November 9, 1964, drawn by Parker and co-written by Parker and Hart.
“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.
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.
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 of the older titles were still in print as of 2010. In 2009, Titan Books began re-publishing the strips and is printing the complete daily & Sunday strips starting with 1971, publishing one annual collection per year.
53 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1969
50 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1970
52 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1971
52 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1972
49 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1973
42 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1974
48 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1975
36 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1976
20 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1977
56 pages/strips Wizard of Id 1984
22 strips 1967
18 strips 1968