The Wizard of Id

The Wizard of Id

Cover of The Wizard of Id: The Dailies & Sundays, 1971 (collection).
Author(s) Brant Parker (1964-1997)
Johnny Hart (1964-2007)
Jeff Parker (1997-2015)
Mason Mastroianni (2015–present)
Website The Wizard of Id
Current status / schedule Running
Launch date November 9, 1964
Syndicate(s) Creators Syndicate
Genre(s) Humor, Gag-a-day

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. Hart's grandson Mason Mastroianni took over artist's duties on the strip after Hart's death in 2007.[1][2] The new byline, "B.C. by Mastroianni and Hart," appeared for the first time in another of their strips on January 3, 2010.[3] On December 14, 2015, Jeff Parker also passed his duties on to Mastroianni.[4]



In the early 1960s, Johnny Hart, having already created the successful B.C., began collaborating with his friend, then-unpublished cartoonist Brant Parker, on a new comic strip.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 later 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 the idea from a deck of playing cards.[5] The Wizard of Id was first syndicated on November 9, 1964, drawn by Parker and co-written by Parker and Hart.

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.


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 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.


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.


According to Don Markstein's Toonopedia "The strip's humor style—quite contemporary, in contrast to its medieval setting—ranges from broad and low to pure black".[6]

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.

On December 14, 2015 the cartoonist changed to Mason Mastroianni from Jeff Parker.[7]

Cast of characters

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 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.[33]

The comic was also adapted into a cartoon short, produced by Chuck Jones, directed by Abe Levitow and with voices from Paul Winchell and Don Messick.[34]


The Wizard of Id was 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 and Sunday strips starting with 1971, publishing one annual collection per year.

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

Titan Books

International syndication


  1. Micale, Jennifer (February 7, 2010). "Johnny Hart's grandson adds byline to "B.C." comic strip". Press & Sun-Bulletin.
  2. "B.C. Team". John Hart Studios. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  3. Gardner, Alan (January 5, 2010). "Mason Mastroianni Gains Byline on B.C. Strip". Daily Cartoonist.
  4. "December | 2015 | Wizard of Id". Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  5. Johnny Hart Studios - Meet The Artists of B.C. and Wizard of Id at Johhny Hart Studios
  6. The Wizard of Id at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  7. "December | 2015 | Wizard of Id". Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  8. "Wizard of ID Aug. 7, 1966 comic strip".
  9. "Wizard of ID Feb 19, 1971 comic strip
  10. "Wizard of ID" 2-23-1992 comic strip
  11. Wizard of Id September 6, 2002
  12. Wizard of ID June 22, 1998
  13. Wizard of Id June 18, 2006
  14. Wizard of ID June 20, 1994
  15. Wizard of ID June 20, 2004
  16. The Wizard of Id December 31, 1965
  17. Wizard of Id May 9, 2010
  18. Wizard of Id, 8-16-1994 strip.
  19. Wizard of ID August 17, 2005
  20. Wizard of Id April 2, 2013
  21. [On a previous occasion Snow White and seven Dwarfs visited the king "The Wizard of ID" December 31, 1966]
  22. Wizard of Id February 6,2016
  23. The Wizard of ID December 25, 2003
  24. Wizard of ID Comic
  25. Wizard of Id May 12, 2013
  26. Wizard of ID June 19, 2005
  27. Wizard of ID Feb 14, 2016
  28. Wizard of ID November 3, 1969
  29. [Beetle Bailey 11-17-2014]
  30. Wizard of Id November 29,2016
  31. "Wizard of ID" June 7, 1999
  32. Wizard of Id March 18, 2015
  33. 3/22/1969 – 'Shoot "Wizard of Id" pilot'
  34. The Wizard of Id
  35. Johnny Hart Studios (2012). "Remembering Brant". Johnny Hart Studios. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
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