Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What comics do you read?

A former friend who works at the daily paper here once told me that when the Newhouse chain consolidated the two papers it owned here into one, the one thing that elicited the most comment from people was there two pages of comics the merger produced.

The other day one of the graphic artists stuck his head into my door and saw me reading the comics. He wondered that if this day and age if any young person would even want to produce a daily comic strip.

I replied there seems to be quite a number of folks who do indeed want to do a strip and he retreated.

I think his point was that most strips today suck pond water. Of course the fact they are reproduced at a size that does not service to the work of the creators is another issue.

Anyway, I thought I would list most, if not all of the strips and give them a rating and encourage my readers to do the same.

Do you read the comics in your paper? What are your favorites? Which are the worst?

Here’s my picks and pans of the strip I see almost everyday:

Strips that deserve a fond farewell and a long dirt nap: Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Nancy, Hagar the Horrible, Andy Capp (celebrating 40 years of spouse abuse!), Family Circus, The Wizard of Id, and the Peanuts re-runs

Strips that were never much good: Spiderman, Cathy, Drabble (possibly the worst strip in syndication today)

Strips that just need to be put down: Sally Forth, Apartment 3-6, Buckets, Marvin

Strips that actually tell a compelling story: For Better or Worse, Funky Winkerbean

Strips that actually make me laugh: Mutts, Shoe, Dilbert, Non-Sequitor, Crankshaft, Curtis, Mother Goose and Grimm, Zits

Strips that are just too precious: Rhymes with Orange, Get Fuzzy (what in the name of God is that thing all about?) Baby Blues

Strips I honestly hate: Garfield

Do I use strips in my papers? We have the King features weekly service and I do run the Sunday Popeye strips every chance I get. A second strip if there’s room is Henry that I run out of sheer perversity.

© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

6 comments:

Mark Martin said...

MUTTS is the only strip I read. And I just wait and buy the collections. Looking at the tiny mess of shitty comics in the newspaper is too depressing.

I cannot for the life of me understand why the newspapers still run the things if they are not willing to - don't get me started, and besides, you've heard it all before a million times. It's some kind of perverse slow death, like a crazed mother clinging to her baby while denying it nourishment. It's psychotic.

The current level and tone of comics today is pathetic. Except for Mutts, when it's good, which it usually is. Therefore, I am not saying that 100% of the level and tone is pathetic, but in general it is pathetic.

SRBissette said...

Mutts, Zits and -- I confess! -- For Better or Worse, which is the best soaper in any medium right now. All three sport solid cartooning, too, especially Jim's work on Zits.

dogboy443 said...

My biggest dissapointment locally is the Republicans Sunday color comics. They've squuezed 10 lbs of comics into a 5 lb bag. There are more half and 3/4 page ads for lumber ills than there are for comics. All of the comcis havebben reduced in size so some of my favorites like Adam and Dribble and Zits are so small, my fading eye-sight struggles just to read them. From some one who dabbled with a weekly strip-Life With Monty, that Mike Dobbs published in his day job, it was tough to keep a full-time gig going at the same time cranking a weekly strip going. A daily is for those who have hit it big and devote all of their time to doing it. As for what's out there in the funny pages...a lot of of them just aren't so funny anymore.

Tommy said...

Wow, what humorless comic fans! I think we live in a golden age of humor, comics included.

Kip W said...

I look at both pages of comics in the Republican when I don't forget to take the paper out of the bag. I laugh at maybe one or two. Not always the same one or two. About the only one I don't even look at is "Cathy," which had good writing the times I managed to focus on it, but the butt-ugly, unimaginative drawing (the characters have three expressions and two poses) and curiously hard-to-read lettering makes my eyes roll right off.

Since I've been following "The Comics Curmudgeon" online, I've been paying attention to strips I wouldn't have glanced twice at before. This may or may not be a good thing. I've come to hate "For Better Or Worse" as a result, instead of feeling apathetic about it as I used to.

Good or bad, the comics deserve way more space than they get. I believe there are huge numbers of people who look at the front and/or sports pages and the comics, but editors (present company excepted) seem to think they are something shameful to be shrunk down until they can be drowned in a bottle cap.

Sarah The Anime Librarian said...

I agree about space issues. Comics seem to be the redheaded stepchild of media these days.

I adore Dilbert, and I'm a big Boondocks fan as well.