Pluggers is a comic panel created by Jeff MacNelly in 1993 that relies on reader submissions (referred to as "Pluggerisms") for the premise of each day's panel. Editorial cartoonist Gary Brookins took over in 1997, three years prior to MacNelly's death from lymphoma in 2000.

It is syndicated by Tribune Media Services in 60 newspapers, mostly in the Southern, Mid-West, Plains, and Rocky Mountain states.


In the context of this strip, "pluggers" are defined as rural, blue-collar workers who live a typical working-class American lifestyle, accompanied by a mentality characteristic of the veteran and Baby Boomer generations. In the comic, pluggers are portrayed in the form of anthropomorphic animals, most often a plump bear, dog, chicken, or rhinoceros, sometimes a kangaroo or a cat.

Recurring characters

Past characters

Criticism of strip

The blog Comics Curmudgeon often pokes fun at the comic and its implied populist stance,[4] on one occasion referring to it as a "folksy bit of lower-middle-class reactionary agitprop." [5]

In 1996 Dave Eggers from criticized the strip for lionizing the working class despite being written by a committee of "current and former CEOs", and objected to "the self-important and vaguely jingoistic way the creators promote the cartoon".[6]

Gary Brookins himself argues that "Pluggers are self-deprecating and have a healthy sense of humor about themselves. They represent the majority of us who don't live for the latest trend, who keep plugging along without fanfare and try to balance work, play and family life." [7]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Cast of Characters". 1996-06-24. Archived from the original on February 8, 1997. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  2. 1 2 "ComicStrip/Pluggers". Television Tropes and Idioms. Retrieved 2013-10-11.
  3. 1 2 Brookins, Gary (c). Pluggers. June 10, 2014, Universal Uclick.
  6. Eggers, Dave (1996-07-10). "Crude Caricatures: A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist goes slumming". Archived from the original on 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  7. Peters, Mike. "You're a plugger if...". Dallas Morning News. 2006-10-29.

External links

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