The Cartoonists by Susanna McLeod              Susanna@thecartoonists.ca

   

Gene & Dan Weingarten and David Clark, Creators of "Barney & Clyde"

October 31, 2011

 

The idea brewed for five years. A comic strip based "on a friendship between a billionaire and a homeless guy" was the inspiration of Daniel Weingarten, son of writer Gene Weingarten. Brainstorming plots, humour and storylines was the strength of the Weingarten men. Not exactly crafty with a pen, they added illustrator David Clark to the team.. On June 7, 2010 "Barney & Clyde" debuted under the Washington Post Writers Group syndicate.

   

"Barney & Clyde" by Weingarten and Clark

A syndicated writer for the Washington Post, Gene Weingarten is well-established in the world of humour One of his hilarious pieces earned Weingarten the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2008 and another won the coveted Prize again in 2010. His column was collected into an anthology entitled "The Fiddler in the Subway"; Weingarten also wrote three other bookers.

A dedicated father with daughter (Molly) and a son (Daniel), Weingarten's relationship with his daughter was a comfortable fit. The one with his son was not so smooth. Both father and son had sharpened senses of humour, and through chaos, arguments, and frustrations, that trait eventually led them to common ground.

Analyzing a potential new strip of a published cartoonist, an irritated Weingarten challenged his son to come up with something better. Daniel did.

   
 

Work over the next few years gradually brought "Barney and Clyde" to life. "Barney the billionaire and Clyde the bum turned into nuanced, three-dimensional characters: two men with nothing in common but a sense of humor, an awareness of the absurdity of their situation, and a willingness to engage each other honestly," said Gene Weingarten in "Gene and Dan Weingarten, drawn together by their comic strip "Barney and Clyde" (Washington Post, June 17, 2010). The father and son part of the team worked on the strip on weekends. By the debut of "Barney and Clyde," the Weingartens had "finished a year's worth of episodes," said Gene Weingarten.

 

The man bringing it all together on paper is an award-winning illustrator. Graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, began a career in freelance work over 20 years ago. An award-winning illustrator, Clark earned the National Cartoonists Society's prestigious Reuben Award for Newspaper Illustration in 1996.

Comic Strip "Barney & Clyde," Weingarten and Clark  

"Barney and Clyde" is an innovative comic strip, taking on the social dilemma of the modern "polarized economy of haves and have-nots," said the Post Writers Group. "It re-examines traditional measures of success, failure, and the nature of happiness.

Featuring a well-rounded and fascinating cast of characters, J. Barnard Pillsbury has a beautiful trophy wife, a cantankerous father, and a precocious daughter. The opposite side of the financial coin has Clyde Finster and his friend, giving the wealthy a proper look at how the other side lives. The cast includes housekeeping staff, and a cute little bunny named "Adolf." Sounds intriguing already, doesn't it?

 

Gene Weingarten is married to lawyer Arlene Reidy, and lives in Washington, DC. After working in several different fields, Daniel Weingarten is studying Information Technology at college and lives "in the sticks." David Clark is a father of three, living with his wife and family in Virginia.

Imaginative and thought-provoking, loaded with the hilarious humour of experienced funny guys, and well-drawn from the pen of a professional, let's hope "Barney & Clyde" will soon be read in newspapers across North America.

Thanks for the great comic strip, Weingartens and Clark!

 
Header of "Barney & Clyde" by Gene Weingarten and David Clark  
   
Images Copyright Weingarten and Clark, and Washington Post Writers Group.
© Susanna McLeod 2011
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