Grand Avenue is 25!

Congratulations to creator Mike Thompson on the 25th anniversary of Grand Avenue. The strip made its debut on April 5, 1999. Check it out on GoComics. Mike took some time to participate in a Q&A in honor of the anniversary. Get to know him a little better by reading the interview on our corporate website.

What do you think it is about Grand Avenue that has made it so popular with readers – and editors – for so long?

Grand Avenue is popular because it is relatable. The strip finds the humor in everyday life — everything from raising children, to housecleaning and homework. I deliberately steer away from controversial topics, so the strip is a break from the regularly-scheduled discord in the world. And readers find that refreshing. The cast of characters, led by a single, spunky grandmother raising her two rambunctious grandchildren, appeals to young and old alike. No matter who you are, you can find relatable characters like the kids’ teacher, Mr. D., and laugh along with the exploits of the evil yorkies.

What has been your favorite part about creating this strip and these characters and for 25 years?

I love that many readers find the characters relatable and share their feedback and observations. It’s enjoyable to share the Grand Avenue characters as they uncover the humor in the seemingly mundane routines of everyday life. I spent 35 years as an editorial cartoonist, so being able to step away from controversial topics has been a welcome opportunity.

Do you have a favorite strip that you’ve created? If yes, what one?

My favorite strips are the ones that generate the most reader responses. Typically, the strips that hit home are the ones that deal with relatable subjects we’ve all experienced, like trying to feed picky children and keeping up with the bottomless laundry basket.

How has your experience been working with Andrews McMeel?

Working with Andrews McMeel has been a great experience. They’re the premiere syndicate, and I’m delighted that Grand Avenue is part of their lineup.

What is one thing readers don’t know about Grand Avenue?

Readers may not know that the strip is largely based on my own experiences as a parent. Like Kate, I’ve had my share of housecleaning tussles and homework headaches. I’ve also experienced the joys of family. And these are all topics that have universal appeal.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about Grand Avenue?

The best compliment is the high level of reader interaction with the strip. Readers love to share their own experiences on the topic of the day’s cartoon. I am honored that many readers make Grand Avenue a part of their daily routine.

What do you hope to see in years to come with Grand Avenue?

 I hope that readers of the strip continue to laugh along with the cast of characters and find Grand Avenue a bright spot in their day.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the strip, or about your life as a cartoonist?

Grand Avenue was originally created by fellow cartoonist Steve Breen. After several years of collaboration, I was handed the baton and have continued telling the story of Kate and her two exuberant grandkids.