It’s a new comic book series about a naughty bulldog and his responsible horse pal. They’re the best of friends and they live in a San Francisco apartment together—even though they get on each other’s nerves sometimes. Even when they’re trying to be good, this goofy twosome just cannot stop getting into trouble.
If you grew up in the Bay Area in the ’60s, ’70s or early ’80s, you’ll instantly recognize these characters as Charley and Humphrey, the beloved puppets who once dominated local kids’ entertainment. Their long-running shows on KTVU and KGO-TV—the creations of TV host Pat McCormick—helped shape the minds and morals of generations of children in the region. And though they’ve been off the air for decades, Charley and Humphrey have not been forgotten. Which is why artist John Hageman and writer Justin Sane have teamed up to revive the duo in a new comic book series approved by McCormick himself.
The first ten issues of the series have already been story-boarded, with the first one hitting shelves at the end of December. After that, new adventures will be released every two months. “The issues just get better and better,” Hageman tells KQED. “Justin has a brilliant mind for humor.”
Planned storylines so far include: Charley and Humphrey trying to save a community center, the duo getting into real-world scrapes via a virtual reality game, and Humphrey spending the night at a ska club. In the second issue, another beloved McCormick character is introduced—Pussyfoot the cat who, in the comic, owns a rowdy beatnik cafe next door to Charley and Humphrey’s apartment.
The idea for a Charley and Humphrey comic book started brewing all the way back in 2013. That’s when Hageman (from Fremont) and Sane (based in Napa) first met at a San Jose comic convention.