Comic Strip / Comics

Who Owns the Comic Strip in NYC?

Have you ever wondered who owns the comic strip in NYC? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you may think.

In fact, there are multiple parties involved in the ownership and distribution of comic strips in the Big Apple. Let’s dive in and explore the complex world of comic strip ownership in NYC.

Comic Strip Syndicates

The first key players in the comic strip ownership game are the syndicates. These are companies that specialize in packaging and distributing comic strips to newspapers across the country.

Some of the biggest syndicates include Andrews McMeel Syndication, King Features Syndicate, and Creators Syndicate. These companies own the rights to many beloved comic strips, such as Garfield, Dilbert, and Peanuts.


Of course, once a syndicate has packaged a comic strip, it needs to find a home for it in newspapers. Newspapers themselves own the right to publish specific comics within their pages. This means that a newspaper may have exclusive rights to publish a certain comic strip within its local market.

Individual Creators

While syndicates and newspapers play a significant role in comic strip ownership, individual creators also have rights to their work. For example, Bill Watterson owns the rights to his iconic Calvin and Hobbes series. This means that he has control over how his characters are used and where they appear.

The Business of Comic Strip Ownership

So why does all this matter? Well, owning a popular comic strip can be incredibly lucrative.

Syndicates make money by licensing their comics out to newspapers for publication. Creators make money through merchandise sales, book deals, and other forms of media adaptation.

However, owning a beloved comic strip can also come with legal challenges. For example, when Jim Davis sold his Garfield property to Nickelodeon Studios in 2019, he faced a lawsuit from Paws, Inc. – an organization that had previously owned a portion of the Garfield rights. The legal battle ultimately settled out of court, but it highlights the complexity of comic strip ownership.


So who owns the comic strip in NYC? The answer is that there are multiple parties involved, from syndicates to newspapers to individual creators.

While owning a popular comic strip can be lucrative, it also comes with legal challenges and complexities. Nonetheless, these beloved characters continue to capture our hearts and imaginations – and their ownership remains a fascinating subject for exploration.