Barney Google and Snuffy Smith is one of the longest-running comic strips in history. Created by Billy DeBeck in 1919, it first appeared in the sports section of the Chicago Herald and Examiner as Take Barney Google, F'rinstance. It starred the cigar-smoking, sports-loving, poker-playing, girl-chasing ne'er-do-well Barney Google. By October of that year, the strip was distributed by King Features to newspapers all across the country.
In 1934, Barney Google met Snuffy Smith, a hillbilly who soon eclipsed him in popularity. Not long after this meeting, the strip became known as Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. In 1942, the comic strip was inherited by DeBeck’s long-time assistant, Fred Lasswell, who continued to draw the strip until his death in March 2001. Lasswell, a master of the sight gag, really developed the hillbilly characters of Hootin’ Holler. John Rose, who inked the strip for Lasswell, has been carrying on the bodacious tradition of being the strip’s cartoonist since 2001.
This tremendously popular feature boasts clients in 21 countries and 11 languages. It has added several phrases to the American vernacular, including “sweet mama,” “horsefeathers,” “heebie-jeebies” and “hotsie-totsie.” It has been the inspiration for a hit song, “Barney Google (With Your Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes)” and is one of a few historical comic strips to be honored on a special set of U.S. postage stamps.
Awards and Distinctions:
In 1946, the National Cartoonist Society named its first outstanding cartoonist of the year award The Billy DeBeck Award. It was given out every year until 1953, when it was replaced with the Reuben Award.
In 1946, Fred Lasswell was presented with the prestigious Silver Lady Award from the Banshees Society in New York City for his work on the Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip.
In 1963, Fred Lasswell won the coveted National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award as “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year,” as well as the award for “Best Humor Strip Cartoonist.”
In 1984, Lasswell was presented the NCS' Elzie Segar Award for his unique and outstanding contributions to the profession of cartooning.
The book "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: 75 Years of An American Legend" by Brian Walker was published in 1994.
In 1995, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith became one of a few historical comic strips to be honored on a special set of U.S. postage stamps.
John Rose was honored with the 2004 Outstanding Professional Achievement in the Media Award from the Public Relations Council of the Shenandoah Valley for his work on the Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip.
John Rose was honored with the Jamboree 2010 Contingent Leadership Award by the Stonewall Jackson Area Council of Boy Scouts (VA/WV) for creating a commemorative Snuffy Smith 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouting patch for the National Jamboree.
Being the cartoonist for King Features' Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip has been the greatest joy of John Rose's professional career.
John Rose always wanted to be a cartoonist. He started drawing on his parents' living room walls and continued throughout his school years in the margins of his test papers (hoping for extra credit).
The Virginia-born Rose graduated from James Madison University in 1986 with a bachelor of fine arts degree, double-majoring in art and art history. After graduation, he drew freelance sports cartoons for newspapers in Manassas, Va. He joined Byrd Newspapers of Virginia in 1988, starting at the Warren Sentinel and then moving to the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record. His cartoons have won awards from the National Newspaper Association and the Virginia Press Association. Besides appearing in the Byrd Newspaper chain, his editorial cartoons are distributed by the Scripps Howard News Service. He has had two editorial cartoon collections of his work published. The titles are Cartoons That Fit the Bill and Now This Is Where I Draw The Line! His cartoons have also been featured in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year collections (Pelican Publishing) each year since 1994.
Since 1991, Rose has been creating Kids' Home Newspaper, a weekly children's cartoon/activity page that is syndicated with Creators Syndicate. This feature has spawned three activity books: "Fun With Pup!," "More Fun With Pup!" and "Christmas Fun With Pup!" (Pelican Publishing Company). His cartoon illustrations have also appeared in books and magazines published by Scholastic and Magination Press. He is also a writer and inker for Archie Comic Publications.
Since mid-1998, Rose has been working on the Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip. He began as an inking assistant to cartooning legend Fred Lasswell. Rose became the strip's full-time cartoonist after Lasswell's death in March 2001. "Working for Fred Lasswell was a dream come true for me. He was more than a boss…he was a wonderful mentor and friend. Definitely the greatest cartoonist I have ever known.”
Rose enjoys meeting Snuffy Smith readers and frequently does Snuffy Smith Cartooning Chalk Talks for civic organizations, corporate groups, schools and festivals. Rose is a member of both the National Cartoonists Society and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists.
He lives with his wife, Karen, and daughters, Meredith and Sarah, in the mountains of Harrisonburg, Va. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, freshwater fishing and following James Madison University sports.
When Barney Google's adventures took him deep into the Kentucky hills to escape the law, he met Snuffy Smith, a bodacious hillbilly who soon eclipsed him in popularity. At one time the premier moonshiner of Hootin' Holler Mountain, this card-playin', hammock-swayin', shotgun-sprayin' varmint made the headlines when he vowed to give up his still forever. We'll just see about that!
Snuffy's adoring wife. The only thing she enjoys more than servin' up tasty vittles to Snuffy and the kids is servin' up a bit of juicy gossip to her best friend, Elviney. She loves her role as chief cook and bottle washer in the Smith household!
Snuffy and Loweezy’s nephew. Always in a coonskin cap and suspenders, Jughaid proves that while you can take the boy out of the country, you can't take the country out of the boy! He loves frogs, slingshots and --uh-- Mary Beth--maybe!
Little Tater is the spittin’ image of his Paw, only shorter! Tater is the apple of his papa's eye — and the bane of Jughaid's existence!
While Loweezy keeps tabs on Snuffy inside the house, it's Sheriff Tait who watches every step he takes outside the house. He’s rough on checker cheats, chicken stealers and jay walkers!
Likes to visit his flock daily around suppertime. He has tried for years to save ol' Snuffy's soul — to no avail!
A horse who brings out the best in Barney. Barney hates for Spark Plug to lose a race, but he loves their friendship.
Dishes the dirt with Loweezy over the gossip fence! She knows everything that is going on in Hootin’ Holler!
The bodacious school marm. She is sweet on Uriah the Mailman and sour on Jughaid, who gives her plenty of headaches each week!
Purty, prissy and sweet on Jughaid!
Snuffy’s sidekick and long-sufferin’ husband of Elviney!
Ol’ Bullet loves nothing more than huntin’, fishin’ or relaxin’ with Snuffy. Their relationship proves that dog definitely is man’s best friend!
Barney Google was ridin' Spark Plug when he met Snuffy Smith in them thar hills long, long ago!
The one and only best doctor in Hootin' Holler, with the one and only car!