BROWNE. CHRISTOPHER KELLY (1952) American cartoonist born in South Orange, New Jersey, on May 16, 1952. The son of cartoonist Dik Browne, Chris Browne was raised in Connecticut and lists his only formal artistic training as one month at the Philadelphia College of Art. He had his first cartoon published by the YMCA when he was 13 years old: a Christmas card design distributed regionally by the organization. He entered the cartooning field in 1970 with the help of his father’s associates, assisting Dick Hodgins in slide and filmstrip preparations, and penciling for Frank Johnson on such comic books as Barney Rubble (Charlton) and Bullwinkle and Road Runner (Gold Key). For two years he pursued such work, until the elder Browne began producing Ha gar the Horrible, which debuted in February 1973. Since then he has played an active role in the strip, writing gags, assisting on art chores, and penciling Hi and Lois for a stretch as well.
Apart from his work with his father, Browne’s independent career and individual style mark him as one of the upcoming generation’s brightest talents. In 1974 he was associate editor of the Funny Papers, a short-lived but highly innovative tabloid that utilized reprints of classic comics and new work by underground artists; while there, Browne created the Mr. Nostalgia strip. Since 1976 he has drawn regularly for the National Lampoon (spots and parodies including Funny the Bunny), and since 1978 for Playboy, where his creations included Benny Juice, Born Toulouse, Tom Morrow, The Kinky Report and Cruiser, a gibe at the Playboy philosophy. He also made sales to Head and Esquire magazines.
Browne’s style is either a handsome refinement or a sympathetic caricature of the “Connecticut school” big-foot look, depending on his thematic material. He tends toward economical simplicity, well-spotted blacks and a wild, anarchical humor that seems even wilder when set against his reserved drawings.
The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, 1981