SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Chris Browne, the long-time cartoonist behind Hägar the Horrible has died in Sioux Falls. Browne’s sister, Tsuiwen Browne-Boeras, announced his passing through the National Cartoonists Society (NCS).

The NCS posted this message from Browne-Boeras on their Twitter page:

With much sadness, I am here to announce, my brother Christopher Browne passed away peacefully in Sioux Falls, SD after a long-term illness. After our father passed away, he was the face of our family’s cartoon strip Hägar the Horrible. Besides drawing Hägar, Chris drew and illustrated children’s books. He always had a sketchbook in hand and loved to draw for people. He will be very much missed by his family and friends as well as his fans throughout the world. We’ll miss his talent and his gentle and kind soul.

Tsuiwen Browne-Boeras

People around the world are remembering a well-known Sioux Falls cartoonist.

Chris Browne says he began drawing “Hägar the Horrible” when he was a teenager. When his father died in 1989, Chris kept the comic strip alive. A family member says the 70-year old Browne passed away peacefully in Sioux Falls following a long-term illness.

KELOLAND’s Doug Lund first introduced us to Chris Browne in 2005. The cartoonist was visiting Sioux Falls for a conference and festival.

Chris’ father Dik Browne started the comic strip and based the characters on his family.

“And he was a big man like me. He was three hundred pounds and six feet two and had a flaming red beard. He would come running downstairs when he would hear us and we would say, run, it’s Hägar the Horrible. It was just a crazy made-up name,” Browne said.

KELOLAND News spoke with Browne in January 2008, when he explained how he kept the comic going after the death of his father, Dik Browne, who created the character, as well as how he and his wife ended up in Sioux Falls.

“I feel like I found that magical place I’ve been looking for my whole life,” Browne said. “There’s a real spirit of Bedford Falls here. I’m a real It’s a Wonderful Life fan30:04 so it’s got that going for it and the people here are warm and good and I love the trees.”

In his new home, Chris continued carrying out his dad’s plan of keeping Hägar family friendly.

He didn’t want to do anything controversial. He didn’t want to send political messages. He just wanted to make people smile and brighten their day.

He was also beginning to work on children’s books, just like his father did.

“I just love visual story-telling and some of my favorite memories of my father is when he was writing children’s books,” Browne said.

Our most recent story with Chris was in 2015, when he joined the world rallying cry “Je Suis Charlie,” French for I am Charlie, is a defiant show of solidarity among cartoonists against the violence of terrorism.

“It’s easy to imagine myself in that situation and to imagine any of my cartoonist friends in that situation,” Browne said.

Through the years, even as Chris’ life changed, Hägar remained one of the most recognized vikings around the globe.

Chris’ sister says family, friends and fans around the world will remember him for his talent and his gentle and kind soul.

Hägar the Horrible celebrated its 50th anniversary on Feb. 4th, 2023.

Browne, who died on Feb. 5, was 70 years old.

Local artist Hector Curriel also expressed his admiration for his friend Browne in a Facebook post, writing “Remembering my friend and great cartoonist Chris Browne, who passed away this week. His kindness and lovely way to treat everyone, that is something I will never forget. Rest in peace dear Chris, definitely Bunny Hill wouldn’t be the same without you..💜