Barney Google, by John Rose
'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith', 2014.

John Rose is an American editorial cartoonist and newspaper comics artist, best known for continuing 'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith' (originally created by Billy DeBeck) since 2001. He is the third artist to have officially drawn the series for King Features Syndicate since its creation. He is furthermore an editorial cartoonist for The Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the Ogden Newspapers group, and the creator of the weekly activity page 'Kids' Home Newspaper' (1991-...) for Creators Syndicate.

Early life and career
John R. Rose was born in 1963 in Cubbington, Virginia. As a child he already enjoyed reading 'Barney Google', but he also considers Walt Disney, Mike Peters, Jeff MacNelly, Charles M. Schulz, Chic Young and Mort Walker among his main graphic influences. He also admires Bob Scott. Rose graduated from James Madison University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Art History. During his studies, cartoonist Mike Peters once held a lecture at his university. One of the art professors arranged a dinner meeting between Rose and Peters, which motivated Rose more to become a professional cartoonist. Later he would meet people like Brant Parker, Bill Reckon, Gary Brookens and Mort Walker, who offered him even more professional advice. Rose published cartoons in the school newspaper The Breeze.


Cartoon by John Rose which won the "Best In Show-Art" award for daily newspapers at the VPA Awards Banquet in 2018.

Editorial cartoonist
After his studies, he started drawing freelance sports cartoons for newspapers, before becoming an editorial cartoonist for the Byrd Newspapers from Virginia in 1988. He first worked for Byrd's weekly The Warren Sentinel from Front Royal, but since 1993 he has worked as an art director and cartoonist for The Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Rose's cartoons have furthermore been distributed by the Scripps Howard News Service until that company closed down in 2013. When the Byrd group was bought over by the Ogden Newspapers in 2018, Rose's political and editorial cartoons have appeared in that group's papers as well. In 1996, Pelican Publishing Company published a collection of his editorial cartoons, entitled 'Cartoons That Fit the Bill: An Editorial Cartoon Collection About Washington and Beyond'.

Since 1991 he also creates the 'Kids' Home Newspaper', a weekly activity page hosted by an anthropomorphic dog called Pup. It is distributed by Creators Syndicate, and has been collected in books like 'Fun With Pup!' (1996), 'More Fun With Pup!' (1998) and 'Christmas Fun With Pup!' (2000) by Pelican Publishing Co. John Rose has furthermore illustrated children's books.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith
In mid-1998 Rose had a conversation with a fellow cartoonist, which prompted him to try and get involved with a syndicated comic strip. He picked out 'Barney Google' as his first choice and sent cartoon samples to Fred Lasswell, who had continued the series ever since 1942. Lasswell called him back, because he liked the way he drew cartoony noses and hired him as an inker on the daily and Sunday pages of 'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith'. After Lasswell's death in March 2001, Rose took over the comic completely. Despite the series' title 'Barney and Google and Snuffy Smith' had centered more around Snuffy Smith than Barney Google since 1954. Lasswell had used Barney the last time, in a cameo spot, on 5 January 1997. Rose noticed that whenever he met fans people invariably asked him "whatever happened to Barney?" So, in 2012 he brought Barney back for a two week visit in the series, which got such a positive response that Barney's appearances became more regular. In Rose's opinion the biggest change he made to the main cast was making them literate, which offered opportunities to have them discuss newspaper articles. Contributing writers to 'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith' are Margaret Shulock and Mike Marland.


'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith' (16 June 2019).

On Monday 17 June 2019 'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith' celebrated its 100th anniversary. John Rose and King Features Syndicate gave many notable characters from the strip's long run cameo appearances in the two weeks before the landmark event. Snuffy also had a run-in with characters from other long-running newspaper strips, such as Popeye and Blondie's Dagwood!

Recognition
In 2015 Rose won the Lum and Abner Memorial Award by the National Lum and Abner Society, for his contributions to rural comedy. He furthermore won a "Best Use of Humor In An Ad" for his 'Snuff Out Wildfires Before They Stat' ads, from the Tennessee Press Association.

Snuffy Smith by John Rose
'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith' (21 March 2014).

snuffysmithcomics.com

Series and books by John Rose in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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