Well, the last strip was today, Saturday, February 3.  You might have noticed that recently some dailies had been published before. A total of 6 weeks worth, like Ernie and the chicken story. Here’s why: King Features went nuts about censoring me. I mentioned it before, but, for example, in one story Arnold goes to voodoo college to become a voodoo king. They wouldn’t let me publish it because they said that voodoo is a religion and I can’t make fun of religions. Heck, I make fun of everything else. One of the censored stories was from several years ago. It was one of my Osama Bin Laden parodies. It was offensive to Muslims. The third story was about a gay space alien. I can’t even make fun of space aliens, for crying out loud. Eventually I’ll put those stories and some other very early censored stories in one of my book collections.

Speaking of books, the publisher has been screwing around like crazy. The only book available right now is my Guess who Got Lucky collection of magazine cartoons. I’ll try to get things straightened out this week. Sorry.

Whatever you do, don’t buy any books from scalpers. A reader said he saw one for sale on Amazon for 90 bucks. Geeze!

Here’s another photo from my Baby Book. Lord knows why my mother put this photo in there and left out pictures when I was a baby. I must have been about 8 years old here. And a teenager, I think it was Bobby Jones, had speared this shark on the beach in front of the trailer park where I lived. The sharks would swim in the trough along the shore that the breaking surf made, and catch whiting. Bobby ran along the shoreline with the shark and gigged it. It looks like a nurse shark. They are quite harmless.

That’s Eddie Howe on the right. Next to him is Buzzy Roak. I’m the sissy looking kid in the Speedos. I forget the name of the other kid.

Hey, look what came in the mail today:


Did someone ask me for a particular Sunday which I didn’t post? I’ve been swamped with the book problems and tons of emails lately, and things are a little mixed up. Remember, if there is a particular strip or story that you’d like to see again, shoot me an email. It may take me some time to answer all my emails, but I’ll get it done eventually.

For those of you who don’t get the daily strips in your paper, here are the final two strips which appeared Friday and Saturday:

And here’s the very first Ernie Sunday from February 7,1988:

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22 Responses to Whew!

  1. Robin Solis says:

    Hi Bud! I hope you remember me so I can get you to vouch for me. Remember in 1995 or 1996(?) when you asked your fans to suggest a new strip name because you wanted to change it from Ernie? (which to me was a good idea – It always irked me that “Ernie” wasn’t funny and your excellent humor level deserved better) And I insisted that you had to go with Piranha Club? Maybe others suggested it too but I was dead sure that Piranha Club was the best choice and told you that. Did I help? Please say you remember so I can put it in my memoirs!

    btw, My hubby is the same age you are and he got a cremation flyer yesterday too! (Also, he went to “swinging” London in 1968 to attend the London School of Film)

    • budgra5_wp says:

      Maybe we should all sign up for the cremation cruise. It’s going to be great fun. You and my editor agreed on the title change. I guess great minds think alike. But remember what Shakespeare said.Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II.

      • Robin Solis says:

        Thanks Bud! Well, I’ll be, you weren’t involved? Even back then someone else was running your “social media” lol. Well Hubs cannot stand being trapped on a boat so maybe just the cremation meet up without the cruise? We moved to SoCal from SF 20 years ago but San Francisco will always be the best city in America for us. We sure enjoyed your humor for a long time. All my best to you and yours. Robin 🙂

  2. Alex says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful career.
    I have only been a fan for about 9 years and I will miss your humor.
    Have a happy retirement.

  3. Kevin P Riley says:

    Holy caramba! That really was your last strip!
    I actually thought that Baby Nicole was going to show up in my newspaper. I guess that I’m an Ernie at heart.
    I’ll miss your off-the-wall humor, but I genuinely hope you enjoy retirement. For all the yucks you’ve given the world, you deserve it.
    I’m looking forward to a future uncensored book; keep us posted when that comes out.
    Best wishes!
    -Retired engineer/Florida Today

  4. Anna Page says:

    Wow, that cremation seminar sounds like something Sid would organize. Do they chuck you on the BBQ until you’re done, then brush you down an urn or just make a burger out of you? Weird world.

    • budgra5_wp says:

      This 2003-2004 Book that should be ready this week has a Sid cremation gag in it. And an Enos one as well. I guess I was on a roll.

  5. rita shaughnessy says:

    i’ll really miss your strip.
    we met & had dinner together one night in the early 1990s in Washington
    my name is rita Shaughnessy & I was living w bruce korth at the time
    I wish yo the best in the future

    • budgra5_wp says:

      Rita, You may not know it, but I’m Psychic. No kidding. You popped into my head out of nowhere two days ago. It happens to me quite often. I’ll think of someone I hadn’t thought of in years, and then they will contact me in some way. Do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do (Theme from Twilight Zone) I’ll shoot you an email.

  6. Jack Graff says:

    Hi Mr. Grace,

    I’ve been a fan of yours since your strip was called “Ernie.” The first time my newspaper printed your strip (Philadelphia. Inquirer,) I was hooked. My first thought from the first strip was “hey this dude is on my level of humor, bent and crooked.” Or something like that, hell, hard to remember. But I know for the next 25 years, it was the comic I looked most foreward to reading. Thank you for helping me to start the day with a chuckle or outright guffaw, for all of these years. You’re a special man and I’m really going to miss your strip. Take good care of yourself and enjoy your retirement.

    • budgra5_wp says:

      Thanks, Jack. Did you know that I was born in Chester? Ever go slumming down there. By the way, my wikipedia page says that I was born in Chester, England, not Chester, Pennsylvania.

      • Jack Graff says:

        No sir, I was not aware that you were born in that High Rent district ! I’m from across the river, near Vineland, which I’m sure you are aware, is another High Rent district. I did socialize with a young lady or two from Chester, right after discharge from Air Force in 1972. Good people, down to earth, putting on no airs.

        • budgra5_wp says:

          Good People. Put on no airs. You haven’t met the Grace clan.I’ll ave to scan in an old newspaper article about my old man. Many years ago he was quite well known in chester.

      • Jack Graff says:

        …guess I should have read your Wikipedia page prior to me foaming at the mouth here. I see you like blues music, did you ever get to Chesapeake Bay Blues weekend ? Not good question, as I also note that you live in Florida. Last question and I will leave you alone … do you shoot pool ?

        • budgra5_wp says:

          Actually, I like all kinds of music with the exception of hip hop and that genre. Maybe I’m just getting old. But there’s good music and bad music in just about every style. When I was a kid, an awful lot of the early rock and roll was pretty lame. But then there was some really great, ground breaking stuff. I remember like yesterday the morning I woke up and heard on the radio that Buddy Holly was dead. I’m also a big opera fan. I’m going to the Vienna Opera in May to see Aida. As for pool, I suck. There were two boys about 6 and 8 years old playing at the Elks Lodge last week. I asked them if they wanted to play for money.

      • Robin Solis says:

        WTH??? LOL.

  7. Hi Bud,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re retiring. Cartoonists normally don’t retire. Just think about our mutual friend and colleague, Mort Walker who was still active two weeks before he passed away. I myself just turned 80, but I’m still doing my Crime-Quiz-comic strip and similar stuff.

    On the other hand, I don’t blame you for your decision the way the newspaper industry looks these days. I also think that “The Piranha Club” never got the recognition it deserved. You should have won our prestigious REUBEN award (I voted for you several times). The reason is simple: Your set of characters is simply funnier, crazier and more hilarious than the characters you’ll find in any other comic strip. And characters are what makes a comic strip successful. Here in Scandinavia we’ll certainly miss our crazy and weird friends such as Uncle Sid, “Effie”, Doc Pork, Spencer and one of my personal favorites – the butcher.

    Kindest regards form your Danish buddy

  8. Anders Ringnér says:


    I live up north in Sweden. I’ve been enjoying your strips for ages – probably since the mid 1990s, and I was a keen subscriber to the Swedish Ernie magazine until the publishing house must have gone bankrupt as the magazine stopped appearing in my letterbox, cheering me up every 2nd month (possibly Sid was looking after their books, or Effie did the lunches, I dunno).

    I will miss your absurd wit! I consider talking to O’Haberman and ask him to sue you as this causes me a lot of distress. But after all, 30 years are 30 years… So, congratulations to your retirement!

    Kind regards,


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