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-   -   Best/Worst comic strips. (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=825847)

CastletonSnob 05-10-2017 08:07 AM

Best/Worst comic strips.
 
What are the best comic strips, in your opinion? The Worst comic strips?

Son of a Rich 05-10-2017 08:43 AM

If you can include the classics, the best is Segar's Thimble Theater. Dunno about the worst- there's a lot of bad ones to choose from.

RealityChuck 05-10-2017 08:58 AM

Best of all time is Krazy Kat, with Pogo second. There is no argument other than possibly switching the order).

Currently? I'd go with The Argyle Sweater or Pearls Before Swine.

Worst of all time? Mallard Fillmore. This is inarguable, too.

BobLibDem 05-10-2017 09:04 AM

Best of all time, no question whatsoever: Bloom County
Worst of all time, beyond the slightest doubt: Cathy


Current good comics:
Off the Mark
Luann
Prince Valiant

Current worst:
Nancy
Lockhorns

CalMeacham 05-10-2017 09:11 AM

Tough question, because "best" covers a lot of ground. Best adventure strips? Best artwork? Most innovative? Funniest?

I'll agree with Son of a Rich about Thimble Theater being one of the greats -- it introduced Popeye, and Segar's storytelling was great, even if (or because) of his primitive art style.

I'll agree with RealityChuck about Krazy Kat because of its heavy influence, but I have to admit that I've never really been a big fan of either Krazy Kat on its own or (blasphemy!) of Pogo, either. There was an occasional strip I liked.

One of the true greats has to be Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland. When these originally ran in the Sunday papers, in full color, with the "strip" taking up the entire page with its exotic fantasies and fin de siècle architecture, this must've blown that pre-movie audience away

https://www.google.com/search?q=Litt...mgrc=_&spf=205

(also the flip side, the adult nightmares in his black and white adult strip Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend. McCay practically invented the imagery of the Giant Beasts Invading the city, had not Gellett Burgess gotten there first.)


Dick Tracy was another great "story" strip.

For humor, I have to admit to a fondness for the 1960s-70s strips The Wizard of Id and B.C., which could be hilarious and intellectual and still filled with slapstick. This was before Johnny Hart got religion and made his strips tedious.

Of course, I'd include Doonesbury and Bloom County and The Far Side.



For worst, there are plenty of contenders. To tell the truth, many are so awful that I don't think Mallard Fillmore is even in the running. I may disagree with his politics, but his style is good and his presentation is, too. But there's no saving grace to strips like Bugs Bunny or any of the incarnations of Betty Boop. There have been some recent strips that I can't even recall the names of (nor do I want to) that are distinguished by a total lack of artistic capability as well as a lack of humor.

CelticKnot 05-10-2017 09:13 AM

There are so many classics. Calvin and Hobbes will always be a favorite; as another thread made clear, almost everyone loves The Far Side.
Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, about a family consisting of a teenage boy and his parents, who are often confounded by each other.
Most obscure, and hilarious: Overboard by Chip Dunham. A pirate ship portrayed as if a modern office: incompetent employees, idiot boss, office politics. I say obscure because I read it in the Baltimore Sun decades ago, but I have never seen it anywhere else.
I confess to bias; my husband created a few strips, but has never found a publisher for them. If anyone has any ideas about how to make them public, let me know.
There are few today that might be good, but the "artwork" is so bad I don't want to look at them.

FairyChatMom 05-10-2017 09:33 AM

I really enjoy The New Adventures of Queen Victoria, altho I don't always get it, since I don't always know the historical figures he uses.

On the other hand, there are far too many that I can't stand, so picking the worst is pretty close to impossible for me.

Ukulele Ike 05-10-2017 10:24 AM

Lil' Abner (1934-1977) was the only comic strip able to sustain months-long, suspenseful plots with extremely funny joke-a-day stuff*. It also introduced characters vital to the popular culture (well, pretty much limited to us comics nerds these days): The Shmoos; Fearless Fosdick; Evil-Eye Fleegle, Master of the "Whammy;" etc. Also invented the concept of "Sadie Hawkins Day."

So that would be my choice. Pogo second.

*(you know who else could do this? Alison Bechdel, with her late, lamented Dykes to Watch Out For. Which doesn't count because it didn't run in the squares' newspapers.)

Malleus, Incus, Stapes! 05-10-2017 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 20196549)

Current good comics:
Off the Mark
Luann
Prince Valiant

I used to read Off The Mark online a lot; I should probably go check it out again.

Amateur Barbarian 05-10-2017 10:39 AM

I have always been a comic junkie, so these days I maintain a GoComics account and a long page of comics - yes, I know, the web is full of brilliant, funny, edgy, kewler stuff but I can spare five minutes to read the old-school stuff, too.

I have about a half-dozen political panels on there - Toles, Luckovich, Danziger
I have always liked -
  • Pearls Before Swine (and all of its reflection parodies in the other strips)
  • Rhymes with Orange
  • Luann (not sure why)
  • Lio
  • Non Sequitur
  • Zippy
I like
  • Frazz
  • Monty
  • Speed Bump
  • Strange Brew
  • Off the Mark
  • Argyle Sweater
  • Dark Side of the Horse
And I have some oddball ones in there
  • Baldo and Baldo en Espanol - I like comparing the humor, especially when there are major cultural differences in the punchline
  • Garfield minus Garfield - the deconstructions are entertaining
  • Brewster Rockit
...and a dozen of the old standards. I have to say the tedious old Wizard of Id and BC have been fairly fresh lately. Seriously.


No comment on the classics; I think they're a different topic.

IvoryTowerDenizen 05-10-2017 11:11 AM

Mod Hat On
 
Since this is seeking opinions about comic strips, I'm moving it to Cafe Society.

Prof. Pepperwinkle 05-10-2017 11:18 AM

Best (in order):

Pogo
Calvin & Hobbes
Bloom County
Krazy Kat
Pearls Before Swine
Far Side
Doonesbury

Worst:
Zippy the Pinhead

kayaker 05-10-2017 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prof. Pepperwinkle (Post 20196907)
Worst:
Zippy the Pinhead

YOW!!

Quimby 05-10-2017 12:17 PM

Of current ones, my favorites are are Sally Forth, Foxtrot, Dilbert, Zits and Rhymes with Orange.

The worst is Fusco Brothers. It is clearly a science experiment designed to remove humor from the universe.

Ukulele Ike 05-10-2017 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quimby (Post 20197088)
The worst is Fusco Brothers. It is clearly a science experiment designed to remove humor from the universe.

I kinda like The Fusco Brothers.

I've been vacationing in Down East Maine on and off for the past 35 years, and I occasionally have to read the Boston Globe up there when I can't get the New York Times, and I've only ever seen it in the Globe.

So when I see The Fusco Brothers, it reminds me of being on vacation in Maine. And gives me an inexplicable yearning for steamed clams.

Ponch8 05-10-2017 12:58 PM

Several years ago, the Chicago Tribune ran a comic strip called Reply All on a trial basis. Then there was a vote on whether to keep that comic strip or another one. Reply All lost the vote 94% to 6%. It was the ugliest, least funny piece of shit I've ever seen. I started a thread about it:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=665095

divemaster 05-10-2017 01:21 PM

Based just on what's in my daily newspaper:

BEST
Brewster Rockitt (I swear, this is the freshest, most clever strip being produced these days)
Pearls Before Swine
Lio
Sally Forth (the meta strips are great: just this week a character that only shows up during Hillary's summer vacation is asked what's he's been up to, and his answer is "I don't know; it's like I live in a void until July" or something like that)
Big Nate
Dilbert

WORST
Hard to say, b/c the ones I gave a chance but don't like, I don't read. Having said that, they got rid of Get Fuzzy to make room for Mike De Jour, which is like some sort of sick joke. That's one terrible, terrible strip.

RickJay 05-10-2017 01:28 PM

For best, I'd have to go with "Calvin & Hobbes." The strip was simply brilliant, over and over. It was more consistently good than "The Far Side," which had some of the funniest jokes ever written by a human, but if you actually paw though all the Far Sides, a surprising number aren't very funny. C&H was good basically every single day.

Obviously, many, many comic strips are brilliant and innovative. Pogo, Peanuts, Dilbert, Bloom County, XKCD, all wonderful and important.

For worst, I admit I hate "Cathy," too. I agree that "Reply All" strip is appalling - I randomly fired up 10 strips, nine did not have anything I could identify as a joke, and the one that did wasn't funny - but I am sure there are even worse ones; to get my vote is has to be a strip popular enough that most people would have seen it if they read the funny pages.

Darren Garrison 05-10-2017 02:05 PM

Favorite currently running strip that nobody has mentioned yet: Get Fuzzy. Worst? Family Circus.

Amateur Barbarian 05-10-2017 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20197364)
Favorite currently running strip that nobody has mentioned yet: Get Fuzzy. Worst? Family Circus.

I stepped away from Get Fuzzy when it went on reruns, which seems to be a common thing these days.

Some of the strips on GoComics are delayed - reruns from a couple of years back, I guess as relicensed material. I don't mind as long as I didn't read the originals, which for things like Doonesbury and Get Fuzzy I had.

I really liked Starslip, but the author seems to have run it first as a webcomic, then rebooted it as a print strip, and then ended it, in-strip, at some point recently. (The final crisis involved a risk of rebooting reality, and they push the button, and... fwoop.)

Family Circus, yeah. I'd put Marmaduke at the same level if I didn't live with Great Danes and find real comfort in someone else understanding how weird they are.

Amateur Barbarian 05-10-2017 02:30 PM

As for reruns, I've read enough of Peanuts to last me a lifetime. Also For Better or Worse and the daily Doonesbury. Enough, already.

carnivorousplant 05-10-2017 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20197163)
So when I see The Fusco Brothers, it reminds me of being on vacation in Maine. And gives me an inexplicable yearning for steamed clams.

See your Physician, or Minister.


I vote Pearls Before Swine for best, Mary Worth for the worth. Worst.

Brewester Rockit is... My spleen!

JohnGalt 05-10-2017 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20197364)
Favorite currently running strip that nobody has mentioned yet: Get Fuzzy. Worst? Family Circus.

To each their own, but to me Get Fuzzy is the worst for one simple reason - the font! It's almost like Comic Sans. I'm getting too old to squint. And lots of times it's just silly misunderstanding of English phrases.

Two I like that haven't been mentioned are The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, and Heart of the City. The local Sunday paper has these at the bottom of page 7 (the last inside page), so I read page 8 first and save these two for the very last.

Tom Tildrum 05-10-2017 03:23 PM

My new favorite is one called Bad Machinery (on GoComics.com). It's a British strip set in a middle school. Funny but very warm and human.

cmkeller 05-10-2017 04:04 PM

Celtic Knot:

Quote:

Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, about a family consisting of a teenage boy and his parents, who are often confounded by each other.
Nitpick - the family also includes a seldom-seen older brother (away at college, I think?) - he's not much of a factor in the strip, but it would be inaccurate to say the family consists of only the teenager and his parents.

I read a lot of comics, but I'd say the ones I like best at the moment are Monty, Frazz, and Pearls Before Swine.

Worst? I nominate Mutts. I hate the cat's stupid speech impediment. I hate the fact that the author thinks it's entertaining to have a full week of strips of just the cat singing about its little pink sock, and I hate the sappy "shelter stories weeks" that are basically repetitive advertisements for adopting shelter animals as pets (to be fair, these might have changed; I don't read it anymore since I don't like it).

Honorable mention for worst is Pibgorn, not because the content is bad, but because its author seems to take weeks-long vacations in the middle of storylines, and offers no word to the reading audience (at least not that I can see on GoComics.com - maybe there's a better venue for reading it) as to when the next installment can be expected.

Czarcasm 05-10-2017 04:22 PM

Right now?
Dick Tracy-Lots of crossovers(Annie, The Spirit, Terry and the Pirates and so many others), and interesting plotlines(current one taking place at a cosplay convention, with non-mocking mentions of furries).
The Phantom-Nice continuity, very interesting villains, and a very real chance that in the near future one of his children is going to become the next Phantom, which would be the first passing of the torch since the strip began.
Safe Havens-Watching those kids grow up in real time has been a blast.

Darren Garrison 05-10-2017 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmkeller (Post 20197692)
Honorable mention for worst is Pibgorn, not because the content is bad, but because its author seems to take weeks-long vacations in the middle of storylines

Heck, until just now I thought the strip ended years ago.

ftg 05-10-2017 05:04 PM

The one that whose continued existence baffles me is The Lockhorns. Incredibly old fashioned stereotypes and the same few recycled bits. It was out-of-date even when it started in 1968.

It makes Garfield look like high art.

(Even more baffling- according to Wikipedia it won two awards back when.)

Covfefe 05-10-2017 05:57 PM

Grand Avenue gradually became my most disliked. I haven't checked on it lately; looks like someone else writes it now. It debuted around the time of Get Fuzzy and was receiving some similar hype beforehand for being relatively edgy.

There's a lot of going for sardonic wit and sarcasm (often out of the mouth of the lippy girl character who's like 8 or 9) without any insightful intelligence on the part of the creator behind it beyond mining the obvious. Boring, depressing, and joyless.

Ukulele Ike 05-10-2017 06:11 PM

If anyone reading this thread is unaware of the Comics Curmudgeon blog of Josh Fruhlinger (AKA "Josh Reads the Funnies So You Don't Have To"), you owe it to yourselves to have a look. One of the brightest parts of my Internet day.

Warning: I started reading this years ago by only checking out Josh's daily commentary. But the commenters are so damn amusing I now regularly plow through the 150-200 posts whenever I can make the time.

https://joshreads.com/

John DiFool 05-10-2017 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 20197427)
I stepped away from Get Fuzzy when it went on reruns, which seems to be a common thing these days.

I stopped reading when I got a bit tired of the delivery of the jokes-the artist in question simply does not have a good sense of comic timing. A simple example-knowing when to leave a panel empty of any text (Bill Watterson did this very expertly). Conley simply cannot resist the temptation to fill every panel with text, often too much of it. The jokes need to breathe.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 05-10-2017 08:18 PM

Pogo
Dick Tracey

E-DUB 05-10-2017 08:28 PM

Best ever: Far Side.

I do like Brewster Rocket but no local papers carry it anymore.

Worst: Mallard Fillmore (Do even conservatives think it's funny?)

TreacherousCretin 05-10-2017 08:34 PM

Best ever, by far: Calvin & Hobbes.

Worst: going way back, I'd nominate Henry.

TreacherousCretin 05-10-2017 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20196768)
[B]...(you know who else could do this? Alison Bechdel, with her late, lamented Dykes to Watch Out For. Which doesn't count because it didn't run in the squares' newspapers.)

Amen. DTWOF was terrific, and very well drawn.

Ukulele Ike 05-10-2017 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin (Post 20198246)
Amen. DTWOF was terrific...

"There is entirely too much relish at this picnic."

Prof. Pepperwinkle 05-10-2017 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20197364)
Favorite currently running strip that nobody has mentioned yet: Get Fuzzy. Worst? Family Circus.

Get Fuzzy is only new on weekends. Since Oct. 2013 the daily strips have been reruns. I like it, but I can see why newspapers are dropping it.

carnivorousplant 05-10-2017 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prof. Pepperwinkle (Post 20198346)
Get Fuzzy is only new on weekends. Since Oct. 2013 the daily strips have been reruns.

I never noticed it.

jebert 05-10-2017 09:59 PM

There's a new one out - "Cat Breaking News". Horrible.

carnivorousplant 05-10-2017 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin (Post 20198233)

Worst: going way back, I'd nominate Henry.

Oh, shame, you Treacherous Cretin! Shame!

Martini Enfield 05-10-2017 10:17 PM

My personal favourite would be The Far Side and I rather enjoy its spiritual successor, The Argyle Sweater.

I've never understood or got the popularity of Doonesbury, or why Australian newspapers run it. Worse, I often see "Classic Doonesbury" from the 1970s and think "Who, in this country, is amused by a political comic strip from before the invention of cassette tapes???"

kaylasdad99 05-10-2017 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CelticKnot (Post 20196573)
There are so many classics. Calvin and Hobbes will always be a favorite; as another thread made clear, almost everyone loves The Far Side.
Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, about a family consisting of a teenage boy and his parents, who are often confounded by each other.
Most obscure, and hilarious: Overboard by Chip Dunham. A pirate ship portrayed as if a modern office: incompetent employees, idiot boss, office politics. I say obscure because I read it in the Baltimore Sun decades ago, but I have never seen it anywhere else.
I confess to bias; my husband created a few strips, but has never found a publisher for them. If anyone has any ideas about how to make them public, let me know.
There are few today that might be good, but the "artwork" is so bad I don't want to look at them.

There's a strip I found on the gocomics dot com site a few years ago, called Breaking Cat News by Georgia Dunn. It follows the antics of three cats living in the household of a young couple and their growing family. The conceit is that the cats treat their daily life as a newscast. When I first saw it, the strips werre done in a watercolor style, and they were of varying lengths (which made online publication pretty much necessary). Recently (like, in the past few weeks), the strip has apparently been picked up for syndication, and publication in newspapers.

It may be worthwhile to try to track Ms. Dunn down and see how she got her start.

kaylasdad99 05-10-2017 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20196768)
Lil' Abner (1934-1977) was the only comic strip able to sustain months-long, suspenseful plots with extremely funny joke-a-day stuff*. It also introduced characters vital to the popular culture (well, pretty much limited to us comics nerds these days): The Shmoos; Fearless Fosdick; Evil-Eye Fleegle, Master of the "Whammy;" etc. Also invented the concept of "Sadie Hawkins Day."

So that would be my choice. Pogo second.

*(you know who else could do this? Alison Bechdel, with her late, lamented Dykes to Watch Out For. Which doesn't count because it didn't run in the squares' newspapers.)

Is DTWOF available online? Fun fact about the artist: Her graphic novel/memoir, Fun Home, provided the basis for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name.

kaylasdad99 05-10-2017 11:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jebert (Post 20198396)
There's a new one out - "Cat Breaking News". Horrible.

If you only know about "Breaking Cat News" from the strips that have appeared in newspapers, you should check it out online and read them from the beginning. They're delightful, especially if you're any kind of a cat person.

I will say that the migration to newspapers, where the strip is constrained to the three-panel format, hasn't done it any favors.

pulykamell 05-10-2017 11:13 PM

I haven't read the comics in ages. But best would definitely be Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes, obviously (as someone who grew up reading comics in the 80s and 90s). Pearls Before Swine was good for the first few years, but I've just grown tired of it. (I read it from about 2004-2006 before I lost interest). I occasionally flip back to it when I have the funny pages at my disposal (which is not often these days) and it's usually just so-so.

Worst? I'm surprised I'm the first to mention Fred Basset. I'm still on the lookout for a funny Fred Basset comic.

Biotop 05-10-2017 11:21 PM

Anyone else with love for Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy ?

Derleth 05-11-2017 01:14 AM

Best:

Classic period Peanuts, from the 1950s to whenever age caught up with ol' Sparky.

The Far Side, which is only made better by every sub-par imitation which gets released.

Calvin and Hobbes, with Frazz a fairly good homage which needs to take more chances.

Get Fuzzy, which has made me laugh harder than any other comic strip.

Pearls Before Swine, which is not far behind.

Little Nemo In Slumberland for the sheer artwork and imagination and just being Winsor McCay at his Winsor McCay-i-est (and that ain't peanuts).

Krazy Kat for being jazz in comic form, repetition on a theme done with wit and aplomb and endless language play.

Not Worst, or knockwurst, the sausage of the comics world, a homogeneous product laid out on the page, endlessly, repetitively:

Any of the zombie comics, such as Blondie or Hi and Lois or Beetle Bailey or The Lockhorns or any of the other comics passed down from generation to generation, the ones which endlessly rerun the same jokes which may have been funny once but which have now been so thoroughly beaten into the ground it's impossible to imagine anyone finding them funny. But they're not the worst. They're the visual equivalent of cinder blocks, filling space and preventing any holes which angry letters might otherwise pour through. They're just not worth the effort of considering them the worst.

Worst:

Yeah, probably Mallard Fillmore for being so insufferably unfunny and shrill and chip-on-its-shoulder-y that it's impossible to imagine anyone laughing along with it in a good-natured way. It's the comic of the trolls of the political world, the people who only find humor in mean-spirited put-downs and deliberately misunderstanding everyone else's point simply to annoy them. Sure, there are probably objectively worse comics which have hit print, comics with even worse art and, possibly, meaner "humor" and a lower average intelligence, but nobody's heard of them so their damage is limited. Mallard Fillmore, the Affirmative Action comic, the comic which only gets printed to "balance out" Doonesbury, is running in wide release.

Not Carlson 05-11-2017 04:37 AM

Another vote for Calvin and Hobbes.
Deep and Imaginative ideas, whimsical humor, eloquent yet tight writing, excellent art. This is a real all-rounder.

As a teen, I also loved Matt Groening’s Life in Hell for it’s dark and off-beat humor.

Worst: Probably Mary Worth.
Also, although I’ve only skimmed through a few, I’d say Funky Winkerbean has to be in the running for one of the worst by being both a humorless “funny” comic and a pretentious “serious” comic at the same time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CelticKnot (Post 20196573)
almost everyone loves The Far Side.

To nitpick, The Far Side, though often brilliantly funny and despite being one of my all-time favorite "funnies", is not technically a comic strip.
For this same reason, I can’t include the often profound and always quirky work of Leunig or the deliciously sardonic work of Kaz Cooke.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martini Enfield (Post 20198439)
I've never understood or got the popularity of Doonesbury, or why Australian newspapers run it. Worse, I often see "Classic Doonesbury" from the 1970s and think "Who, in this country, is amused by a political comic strip from before the invention of cassette tapes???"

Heh. I'll cop to that. Even as a kid I liked the ironic humor of Doonesbury, although a lot of it sailed right over my head. It also had an intriguing format and played around with its narratives and artwork in a sort of cinematic way that I found interesting.

GuanoLad 05-11-2017 05:20 AM

Best: Calvin and Hobbes. Why are you even asking?
Worst: Fred Bassett.

Czarcasm 05-11-2017 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin (Post 20198233)
Worst: going way back, I'd nominate Henry.

I have nothing to say to you.

carnivorousplant 05-11-2017 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martini Enfield (Post 20198439)
I've never understood or got the popularity of Doonesbury, or why Australian newspapers run it. Worse, I often see "Classic Doonesbury" from the 1970s and think "Who, in this country, is amused by a political comic strip from before the invention of cassette tapes???"

It is running a segment about Charles and Diana, on the 20th anniversary of her death.

Phillips released cassette tapes in 1962.

Martini Enfield 05-11-2017 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnivorousplant (Post 20198834)
It is running a segment about Charles and Diana, on the 20th anniversary of her death.

Phillips released cassette tapes in 1962.

1) Not my point and 2) Fair enough, but my point stands - it's a really long time ago.

Crane 05-11-2017 08:40 AM

Best

1. Prince Valiant - Great art - classic stories

2. Lil Abner - Great characters - Big Barnsmell, Lonesome Polecat, Moonbeam McSwine, Fearless Fosdick - long running plots

3. Dick Tracey - Memorable characters - BO Plenty, Sparkle Plenty

4. Pogo - Displaced the industry

Worst

The bad ones aren't memorable.

Crane

carnivorousplant 05-11-2017 08:47 AM

Forgive my digression; why do Prince Valiant and Tarzan have narration with no speaking characters?

Tom Tildrum 05-11-2017 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin (Post 20198233)
Worst: going way back, I'd nominate Henry.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biotop (Post 20198551)
Anyone else with love for Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy ?

I find Henry much more charming than Nancy. Nancy tries too hard.

Amateur Barbarian 05-11-2017 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-DUB (Post 20198221)
I do like Brewster Rocket but no local papers carry it anymore.

GoComics.com. Free; for like $12 a year you get to make your own lists and have them delivered.

John DiFool 05-11-2017 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derleth (Post 20198662)
Calvin and Hobbes, with Frazz a fairly good homage which needs to take more chances.

Stopped following the latter a few years ago, it's just so insufferably and cloyingly dry, makes the Sahara look like a thriving wetland...

Darren Garrison 05-11-2017 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum (Post 20199126)
I find Henry much more charming than Nancy. Nancy tries too hard.

Plus, her dog is a racist.

carnivorousplant 05-11-2017 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum (Post 20199126)
I find Henry much more charming than Nancy. Nancy tries too hard.

But Aunt Fritzi...

Richard John Marcej 05-11-2017 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martini Enfield (Post 20198439)
I've never understood or got the popularity of Doonesbury, or why Australian newspapers run it. Worse, I often see "Classic Doonesbury" from the 1970s and think "Who, in this country, is amused by a political comic strip from before the invention of cassette tapes???"

I just finished reading of a collection of Pogo strips from 1951-53 dealing with the McCarthy era.
A satirical political strip written and drawn before I or the cassette tape was born.
It was funny, drawn superbly and still holds up today.

Great writing and great art can tackle any subject and hold up. Especially since mankind continues to make the same mistakes over and over again, a political comic strip can unintentionally be as relevant today as when it was first published.

Darren Garrison 05-11-2017 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnivorousplant (Post 20199369)

You're not alone.

Amateur Barbarian 05-11-2017 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John DiFool (Post 20199193)
Stopped following the latter a few years ago, it's just so insufferably and cloyingly dry, makes the Sahara look like a thriving wetland...

The idea of a comics page (printed or online) is that you include a mix of the ones you like, with the idea that even the best is going to have an off day, or week, but is worth a glance a day.

I didn't get the idea that this thread is "if you could only get one strip on your desert island, what would it be"... so while Frazz wouldn't be mine, I find it amusing often enough to keep it in my daily list of 30 or so. Same for many of them.

Ukulele Ike 05-11-2017 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 20199456)
I just finished reading of a collection of Pogo strips from 1951-53 dealing with the McCarthy era.
A satirical political strip written and drawn before I or the cassette tape was born.
It was funny, drawn superbly and still holds up today.

Great writing and great art can tackle any subject and hold up. Especially since mankind continues to make the same mistakes over and over again, a political comic strip can unintentionally be as relevant today as when it was first published.

Definitely. And the "Simple J. Malarky" storyline was one of the best sequences in 20th century American comics.

jtur88 05-11-2017 12:23 PM

For worst, I's go with the aforementioned "Henry" and "Nancy".

Shodan 05-11-2017 01:27 PM

Of current strips, Zits is consistently good. All Time Favorite is The Far Side.

I don't know if it is the worst, but every time I read Zippy Pinhead, I could not tell what was supposed to be funny about it. And the art work is downright ugly.

Regards,
Shodan

Amateur Barbarian 05-11-2017 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 20199800)
I don't know if it is the worst, but every time I read Zippy Pinhead, I could not tell what was supposed to be funny about it. And the art work is downright ugly.

I'll tell Bill you said so. But then, I wouldn't expect someone who chooses yet-another-dopey-family strip to appreciate Griffy's last-of-the-breed comic art.

OTOH, the art is hardly visible in today's postage-stamp comics world, where it's just sketchy or rubber-stamp illumination around the jokes.

Shodan 05-11-2017 02:48 PM

I would agree with that - the best thing about the art work in Zippy Pinhead is that you can't see it very well.

Regards,
Shodan

Darren Garrison 05-11-2017 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 20199800)
I don't know if it is the worst, but every time I read Zippy Pinhead, I could not tell what was supposed to be funny about it. And the art work is downright ugly.

Wow, I'm kind of surprised that comic even exists, given that "pinhead" is a slur against people with microcephaly, who used to end up in "freak shows."

Amateur Barbarian 05-11-2017 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20200073)
Wow, I'm kind of surprised that comic even exists, given that "pinhead" is a slur against people with microcephaly, who used to end up in "freak shows."

You clearly don't know the history of the strip, its author or his frequent mentions of its inspirations and origins. Griffy is well aware of the sideshow history of pinheads and other freaks.

Darren Garrison 05-11-2017 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 20200121)
You clearly don't know the history of the strip, its author or his frequent mentions of its inspirations and origins. Griffy is well aware of the sideshow history of pinheads and other freaks.

I wasn't claiming that he wasn't aware of it. Just (mildly) surprised that someone was still willing to do it, as I would be for comic strips named Manny the Mongaloid or Ricky the Retard.

Amateur Barbarian 05-11-2017 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 20200147)
I wasn't claiming that he wasn't aware of it. Just (mildly) surprised that someone was still willing to do it, as I would be for comic strips named Manny the Mongaloid or Ricky the Retard.

Well, he's been drawing it for over forty years. I'd say the term is better known as the comic character than the old sideshow figures.

RivkahChaya 05-11-2017 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20196768)
Lil' Abner (1934-1977) was the only comic strip able to sustain months-long, suspenseful plots with extremely funny joke-a-day stuff*. It also introduced characters vital to the popular culture (well, pretty much limited to us comics nerds these days): The Shmoos; Fearless Fosdick; Evil-Eye Fleegle, Master of the "Whammy;" etc. Also invented the concept of "Sadie Hawkins Day."

So that would be my choice. Pogo second.

*(you know who else could do this? Alison Bechdel, with her late, lamented Dykes to Watch Out For. Which doesn't count because it didn't run in the squares' newspapers.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by TreacherousCretin (Post 20198233)
Best ever, by far: Calvin & Hobbes.

Worst: going way back, I'd nominate Henry.

Yup. My list of favorites would include L'il Abner, DTWOF, Calvin & Hobbes, and Get Fuzzy.

Henry would be on my list of worst.

For hardest fall, I nominate Garfield. The first couple of years of that strip were side-splittingly funny, and then the well ran dry, but Jim Davis kept cranking out Nancy-level humor for decades. It seems that basically, he drew a real cat, with cat problems, for a while, drawn from observing cats, but then decided to anthropomorphize Garfield, and make lots of nerd jokes about Jon. So this strip ends up on both my best and worst lists. Year one was brilliant, year two, pretty funny, but current Garfield is
so bad it's embarrassing.

I also agree with everything said about The Lockhorns.

Richard John Marcej 05-11-2017 03:58 PM

"Best" and "Worst" when judging entertainment work, are always terms that are difficult to universally define. As I read through many choices on this thread I'm guessing I define Best & Worst much differently.

Example, the strip Henry has been brought up quite a few times here as Worst, but is it? The artwork is pretty professionally done (in a simplistic way) and the writing, well, it's a "silent" strip, so all the writing is pantomime and tells a silly story. But that's okay, because it's not for us.

Henry, along with strips like Ferdinand and Lio are all pantomime strips and serves very young readers (or readers who can't speak English) as an intro comic strip. I can recall as a very young kid looking at the daily and Sunday comics pages and being overwhelmed with all the artwork of the different strips. I'd be frustrated, unless there was someone there to read me the strips, but Henry and Ferdinand were there for me. I could enjoy the goofy punchline because it was all visual and wasn't deep.

Yes, as an adult, those strips don't do anything for me, but the basis of the newspaper comics page was, not every strip would be for you. Why's Family Circus there? For grandma to smile, clip and hang on her refrigerator.

When it comes to Best & Worst I prefer to judge it on the quality of the work. If it's so poorly draw, poorly written that even a very young or old person wouldn't like it, then it makes the Worst list for me. If someone calls themselves a professional cartoonist and they can't draw or write, then their strip makes my Worst List

carnivorousplant 05-11-2017 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 20200171)
Yup. My list of favorites would include L'il Abner,

I recall J. Edgar Hoover in Pogo using spiders to replace the stars on printed paper, to use them as "bugs". He had to cut off two of their legs.

RickJay 05-11-2017 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 20200274)
Example, the strip Henry has been brought up quite a few times here as Worst, but is it? The artwork is pretty professionally done (in a simplistic way) and the writing, well, it's a "silent" strip, so all the writing is pantomime and tells a silly story. But that's okay, because it's not for us.

I'm looking at tpoday's "Henry" and I have to agree. It's a perfectly functional comic strip. The joke is very simple, but it does convey a clear little story ending in a joke. The use of four panels to convey the story is very well done, and the artwork is quite competent.

It's not really very funny or insightful, but it's perfectly competent. It isn't aggressively irritating, like "Cathy," or poorly drawn, like that "Reply To All" monstrosity. It's not politically in your face, and it's too simple to be genuinely saccharine. It's a comic strip for young children. What's wrong with that?

It would be like saying "The Wiggles" sucks because it's not "Breaking Bad." Well, of course it isn't; it's for four-year-olds. If you're four, "The Wiggles" was awesome.

I agree with your point about Family Circus, too. I hate Family Circus and the sites that lampoon it are great, but I cannot say it's a terrible comic strip because it's perfect for its target audience: really, really old people. Old people LIKE simplicity, repetition, and non-threatening humor, and struggle with irony and depth of message. For a fogey, "Family Circus" is ideal.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99
Most obscure, and hilarious: Overboard by Chip Dunham. A pirate ship portrayed as if a modern office: incompetent employees, idiot boss, office politics.

I loved "Overboard." It could have been 10% better drawn, but the humor was often outstanding. It's still around.

Snowboarder Bo 05-11-2017 05:52 PM

I agree with Pogo and Doonesbury being great and important strips.

I agree that Calvin and Hobbes was great, on the condition that we all agree that Bloom County was not (and that it's successors have been increasingly suck-sessors).

I agree that The Far Side has a lot of great comics, even if in my heart I still resent Larson for ripping off B. Kliban's style.

I agree that Get Fuzzy is one of the greatest strips ever and that it's a shame Conley has stalled on the daily strips.

And I'm saddened that no one has yet mentioned the greatest comic strip of the last 40 years: Cul de Sac by the late, great Richard Thompson. I will never stop singing this strip's praises nor showering Mr. Thompson with accolades. The man was a fantastic artist and a genius writer. Here's a strip picked at random; this came up the first time I hit the button.

ETA: Oh yeah, Mallard Fillmore is the worst. It's like an anti-comic: it destroys fun and funny.

mbh 05-11-2017 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 20200274)
But that's okay, because it's not for us.

That's my reaction to Zippy the Pinhead. Several friends of mine think it's the greatest strip ever made. I don't get it. I believe I understand what he's trying to say. I just don't think it's funny.

I am rather fond of old adventure strips. Steve Canyon, Buck Rogers, Prince Valiant, Don Winslow of the Navy. My parents taught me to read partly with Flash Gordon in the Sunday papers, so Flash has always been my favorite.

Someone upthread opined that single-panel cartoons don't count. Pity, because Burr Shafer's J. Wesley Smith is one of the funniest series ever.

A couple that haven't been mentioned yet: University 2 and Liberty Meadows, by Frank Cho. He wrote University 2 for his college newspaper, then wrote Liberty Meadows after he graduated. The college strips were funnier. He had to water it down for syndication. But both were good.

jaycat 05-11-2017 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 20200370)
I'm looking at tpoday's "Henry" and I have to agree. It's a perfectly functional comic strip. The joke is very simple, but it does convey a clear little story ending in a joke. The use of four panels to convey the story is very well done, and the artwork is quite competent. . . .
.

http://comicskingdom.com/henry-1/2017-05-11

I think it's charming. A window into a world that exists no more.

carnivorousplant 05-11-2017 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mbh (Post 20200707)
I am rather fond of old adventure strips. Steve Canyon, Buck Rogers, Prince Valiant, Don Winslow of the Navy.

Buzz Sawyer.

DSYoungEsq 05-11-2017 07:06 PM

I've been reading funnies in the papers for longer than I can remember (literally; I cannot recall what I was reading in the mid-60s, but I know I was reading them, because it was quite habitual in my family). I've seen a lot of good strips, a few great strips, and wayyyyyy too many poor strips to count. Some were just awful.

I've collected a fair number of strips in book form over the years, starting with books of Peanuts strips bought back in the 70s. But there is only one comic strip I have ever wanted to have the complete collected works of (and I do have that). For me, that strip was the all-time best-ever, for the multiple different ways it entertained me in the ten years it ran.

Calvin and Hobbes

Even today, just thinking about one of the Sunday snowman strips is enough to get me giggling uncontrollably. :D

Honorable mentions: For Better or For Worse (before she rebooted the strip)
The Wizard of Id (back before Brant Parker stopped working on it) (I actually always preferred it to B.C.
Doonesbury (back before he got way too full of himself; I stopped collecting his books about the time Duke was managing the Redskins)
Prince Valiant I always looked for this on Sunday!
xkcd Sometimes he's a bit too abstruse, but often I love how he hits the spot

As for Pogo and Li'l Abner, I cannot judge. I've gone back and read the works (Gasoline Alley, too. But it's not fair to compare something you've only read in collected works form to something you had to wait each and every day for the next installment of. It's like going back now and binge-watching M*A*S*H - it's just not the same as having to wait a week to see the next installment of craziness. Clearly, they were excellent comics.

I wouldn't know what the worst comic is. I don't bother to read bad comics. They are literally blank spots on the page for me.

Jeep's Phoenix 05-11-2017 07:14 PM

I was all set to come in here with my list...Richard John Marcej made me rethink the concept of "worst". I think we can all agree "Reply All" is an excellent example of horrible though...how does that thing has over 5,000 subscribers on GoComics?!?. (If you type "reply all comic is horrible" into Google, it comes back with "Did you mean: reply all comic is terrible".)

Other comics end up on my "disappointment" list rather than my "worst" list. "We The Robots," for example, looks like fun but has fallen hard into sticking with traditional, bland work/home humor. And I can't stand to look at "Dilbert" anymore because Scott Adams has turned into an MRA clod.

I haven't seen any mentions of "Scary Gary"...it's not side-splittingly funny, but its absurdity is enjoyable. "Sarah's Scribbles" is also a good one (though it tends to break the traditional comic format, so it might not count).

Horatio Hellpop 05-12-2017 12:41 AM

Tom the Dancing Bug (and its daily reprint companion, Super Fun-Pak Comics). Frequently brilliant.

Senegoid 05-12-2017 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 20199456)
I just finished reading of a collection of Pogo strips from 1951-53 dealing with the McCarthy era.
A satirical political strip written and drawn before I or the cassette tape was born.
It was funny, drawn superbly and still holds up today.

BWT, a link to the entire Simple J. Malarkey storyline from Pogo (satire on Joseph McCarthy).

(Click on each image to see full-screen-size.) (Malarkey makes his first appearance on page 14.)

jtur88 05-12-2017 09:39 AM

"Pogo" transcends mere comics. It is the essence of the universe.

The same way that Baseball transcends mere sport.

jtur88 05-12-2017 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 20200628)



And I'm saddened that no one has yet mentioned the greatest comic strip of the last 40 years: Cul de Sac by the late, great Richard Thompson. I will never stop singing this strip's praises nor showering Mr. Thompson with accolades. The man was a fantastic artist and a genius writer. Here's a strip picked at random; this came up the first time I hit the button.
.

Thanks -- those are very good.

Jophiel 05-12-2017 10:07 AM

Yeah, started reading Cul de Sac last night based on this thread. A couple strips after the linked one was this strip that gave me a laugh out loud moment and I started from the beginning.

Methyl Ethyl Death 05-12-2017 11:10 AM

Please check out Sequential Art when you get a chance. Very well drawn, interesting character design (some are downright sexy), great stories and jokes. I'd link to it but I'm on a tablet and have no clue how to do it.

Ukulele Ike 05-12-2017 11:47 AM

Oh, yeah! Thompson's Cul de Sac is one of the contemporary greats. I enjoy interjecting "YOU CAN'T TIE DOWN A BANJO MAN!!!" randomly into everyday conversation.

http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac/2011/01/31

CurrlyD 05-12-2017 01:43 PM

I cast another vote for Pearls Before Swine. I like the way the characters give the cartoonist a hard time for his puns - just like we do to punsters IRL.

An excellent comic about family life with kids is Baby Blues. It's the opposite of Family Circle in its portaryals of family, kid, and parent situations. It always hits home in a hilarious way.

Snowboarder Bo 05-12-2017 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 20201965)
Thanks -- those are very good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 20201998)
Yeah, started reading Cul de Sac last night based on this thread. A couple strips after the linked one was this strip that gave me a laugh out loud moment and I started from the beginning.

I'm so glad you both took the time to read some strips and that you enjoyed them! The whole 4 year run of the strip was awesome. I've collected pretty much Mr. Thompson's entire body of work over the last 10 years or so and they are truly his pinnacle achievement, something his entire life and career were just preparation for, IMO.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20202315)
Oh, yeah! Thompson's Cul de Sac is one of the contemporary greats. I enjoy interjecting "YOU CAN'T TIE DOWN A BANJO MAN!!!" randomly into everyday conversation.

http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac/2011/01/31

I love that line! I never use it because I already get enough strange looks from saying "I blame society" at inappropriate moments.

Tom Tildrum 05-12-2017 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard John Marcej (Post 20200274)
When it comes to Best & Worst I prefer to judge it on the quality of the work. If it's so poorly draw, poorly written that even a very young or old person wouldn't like it, then it makes the Worst list for me. If someone calls themselves a professional cartoonist and they can't draw or write, then their strip makes my Worst List

See, e.g., Close To Home.

Jeff Lichtman 05-13-2017 04:47 AM

I'm going to try to avoid repeating all the bests and worsts already mentioned. Here are some that I think are worth mentioning:

Sherman's Lagoon - Consistently funny. There's often a tag line at the end that's at least as funny as the actual punchline.

Six Chix - Truly awful. Poorly drawn, unfunny and smug. The idea of splitting the work among six artists reminds me of the old saying: If you want to win the high jump, you need one guy who can jump seven feet, not seven guys who can jump one foot.

Marvin - Dirty diapers weren't funny the first ten thousand times. Maybe they'll be funny the ten thousand and first time.

Mark Trail - The comic where all the characters look like they were laid out with a drafting set. Has some of the most stilted dialogue of any strip, which is saying a lot. Bad, but possibly unintentionally funny.

Gil Thorp - The excitement of seeing sports in a four-panel format. The biggest problem this strip has is with continuity: it happens often that the panels have nothing to do with each other. Pretty awful.

Medium Large - One of my favorite on-line strips. The author is Francesco Marciuliano, who also does the newspapr strip Sally Forth. In Medium Large he sometimes parodies classic comics such as Peanuts and Beetle Bailey, which is fun for fans of the form.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Another of my favorite on-line strips. It combines juvenile and philosophical humor, sometimes in the same strip.

Buni - Another online strip, about an optimistic but hapless rabbit. The strip takes some surreal turns sometimes. The humor often comes from surprising places - there's no predicting what's going to happen in this strip. Unfortunately, I think it's losing some of its edge, but I still think it's pretty funny.

John DiFool 05-13-2017 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman (Post 20204157)
Gil Thorp - The excitement of seeing sports in a four-panel format. The biggest problem this strip has is with continuity: it happens often that the panels have nothing to do with each other. Pretty awful.

Izzat the one where an occasional panel will focus on something completely irrelevant while the dialogue continues unabated, like a bird or a tree or something?

Jophiel 05-13-2017 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John DiFool (Post 20204258)
Izzat the one where an occasional panel will focus on something completely irrelevant while the dialogue continues unabated, like a bird or a tree or something?

That's Mark Trail. Which is amusing when the effect looks as though the animal is talking.

bmoak 05-13-2017 10:07 PM

A few people have already mentioned Richard Thompson's Cul-De-Sac, which has been my strip of the century so far. I thought it would be the next great strip, the next Calvin & Hobbes. (Bill Watterson seems to have thought so, too, as he wrote a glowing introduction to the first Cul-De-Sac collected volume.) Alas, the Parkinson's Disease that eventually took Mr. Thompson from us, restricted the strip's run to less than five years.

His weekly one-page comic, Richard's Poor Almanac, ran for years in the Washington Post The archives can be read at www.gocomics.com

bmoak 05-14-2017 11:59 PM

As for other good strips: I like Mark Tatulli's stuff (Lio, Heart of the City) and Zits. Luann has gotten a lot better since she graduated high school and moved on to college. Legacy strips are usually a blight on the comics page, but new creative teams at Dick Tracy and Judge Parker have breathed some life into them.

I wasn't going to list this, as it is very new and also a webcomic, but I will since it's now at gocomics.com. Two Party Opera is a cross between a comic strip and a political cartoon that uses all 45 Presidents of the United States as its dramatis personae. Here is a recent strip featuring Presidents Kennedy, Wilson, Nixon, McKinley, and Andrew Johnson.


As for bad strips: The Archie comic strip has the lamest jokes I've ever seen. And then there is Crock, which has been running for 40 years and never been funny. At it's best, it's a poor man's Wizard of Id with cultural insensitivity thrown in.

Chimera 05-15-2017 12:16 AM

I enjoy 9 Chickweed Lane. It has long term stories and is entertaining. The French Resistance story from a couple of years back was awesome. I enjoyed Hugh and Xuilan's wedding and their parental interactions.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal? I don't really think of it as a Comic like Pearls or Luann, but it is one of my personal favorites and I sponsor him for $3 a month through Patreon.

furryman 05-15-2017 04:40 PM

I've heard a lot about the current Dick Tracy, could somebody link to a good starting point?

Chronos 05-15-2017 06:48 PM

Of all time, I think it's got to be Calvin and Hobbes. Back in the day, I would have said that Bloom County was a contender, but it hasn't aged as well. The Far Side is also up there, but while Larson was the best at surreal/absurd humor, he doesn't have much breadth beyond that.

Of current comics, my favorite is probably Frazz, and I'm also quite fond of Sally Forth, Zits, and Non Sequitur. Get Fuzzy used to be up there, but it's tough to justify even calling it a "current comic" any more, with as many re-runs as it runs.

Cul de Sac didn't really last long enough to qualify as a "great", but what I saw of it, I loved.

For worst, it's too easy to list amateur efforts like Reply All, so I'll restrict myself to strips that run in my local paper, the Plain Dealer. The worst has to be Prickly City, an incoherent political strip written by a guy who appears to hold liberal positions but who thinks he's a conservative because he's swallowed the narrative that liberals are evil idiots for... reasons.

Right after that comes Mutts, whose typical MO is to take one not-very-funny joke, and then tell that same joke six times in a row to fill out a week, interspersed with a week of nothing but six "inspirational" quotes or a week of a shelter animal saying "Adopt me" six times in a row.

And of Garfield, I'll say this: A few years ago, it jumped the shark by having Liz start going out with Jon, and it actually worked: For at least a little while, the strip had a new source of jokes, and was funny again. He's now mostly run out of that humor, too, but it helped for a year or two.

Gatopescado 05-15-2017 07:08 PM

It might not be "the best", but I'm a big fan of Maakies. http://www.maakies.com/?paged=2

May make a case for "best artwork", however.

Never heard of Reply All till today, bet egad! That's gotta be near the worst!

Quimby 05-15-2017 07:34 PM

I didn't bother with an All Time Best answer because of course it's Calvin & Hobbes (with The Far Side a close second).

The All Time Worst is probably one of those Drama Strips no one reads. A person who stays up at night wondering what will happen next in Apartment 3-G probably needs to buy three more cats.

Ukulele Ike 05-15-2017 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 20209171)
It might not be "the best", but I'm a big fan of Maakies. http://www.maakies.com/?paged=2

Oh man, I love Maakies. Read it all through the '90s in the New York Press.. It would suck 90% of the time, but the other 10 could be pure gold.

There was one about 15-20 years ago with the shamrock-hatted ape riding on top of a stagecoach with God (anyway, a long-haired bearded dude in a robe)...first panel: "My entire family was wiped out in the Holocaust." God: "I did not know that your family was Jewish." Second panel: "Oh, we are not Jewish. We are mentally retarded." A Jewish friend gave me hell for loving this., saying it was anti-Semitic.

Even better was a one-off at the same time period, about eating fried clams in coastal Massachusetts. (Tony Millionaire is a native Masshole.). Gorgeous art and very funny text. I would buy the damn original art from him. If someone with better google skills than I could conjure it up, I would just print it out and frame it. "Oh, that clam..."

MacLir 05-16-2017 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-DUB (Post 20198221)
I do like Brewster Rocket but no local papers carry it anymore.

It's available on the web www.gocomics.com/brewsterrockit

Czarcasm 05-16-2017 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by furryman (Post 20208795)
I've heard a lot about the current Dick Tracy, could somebody link to a good starting point?

January 19th, 2011, when artist Joe Staton and writer Mike Curtis took over the strip. The brought back old villains, reformed The Mole, and started the crossovers with other adventure comics Like Brenda Starr, Little Orphan Annie, Terry And The Pirates, The Spirit(The three-way encounter between Tracy, The Spirit and The Dragon Lady was magnificent!), and even a Popeye cameo.

Snowboarder Bo 05-16-2017 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 20209128)
Cul de Sac didn't really last long enough to qualify as a "great", but what I saw of it, I loved.

It ran a little over 5 years; that's a very good run for a comic strip. The fact that it didn't continue into perpetuity had nothing to do with the quality of the strip or the number of readers. The fact that it had a limited run does not, IMO, lessen the quality of the run. Calvin and Hobbes, for instance, isn't highly regarded because it ran for 10 years; it's because it was a damned good comic.

furryman 05-16-2017 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 20210529)
January 19th, 2011, when artist Joe Staton and writer Mike Curtis took over the strip. The brought back old villains, reformed The Mole, and started the crossovers with other adventure comics Like Brenda Starr, Little Orphan Annie, Terry And The Pirates, The Spirit(The three-way encounter between Tracy, The Spirit and The Dragon Lady was magnificent!), and even a Popeye cameo.

Thanks

CastletonSnob 05-16-2017 07:26 PM

I thank Calvin and Hobbes for expanding my vocabulary as a kid.

Also, as someone with ADHD, I found Calvin to be relatable.

race_to_the_bottom 05-16-2017 11:29 PM

You gotta be reading Sherman's Lagoon.

watchwolf49 05-17-2017 09:18 AM

No one mentioned R. Crumb's works ... [giggle] ... or should I be ashamed of myself for being the first ...

Gahan Wilson used to have a panel in Playboy every month ... funny stuff if you like the macabre ... SFW example

Jophiel 05-17-2017 09:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Methyl Ethyl Death (Post 20202210)
Please check out Sequential Art when you get a chance. Very well drawn, interesting character design (some are downright sexy), great stories and jokes. I'd link to it but I'm on a tablet and have no clue how to do it.

Read through it. Was good enough for me to, well, read 900-odd strips of it. Liked the art and general humor with a nerd slant. Not a big fan of parody arcs (that's partially what got me off Sluggy Freelance) but most of these were thankfully short. Looks like the updates are a bit sporadic but I have it linked in my Comic Rocket account now.

Son of a Rich 05-17-2017 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by watchwolf49 (Post 20213194)
No one mentioned R. Crumb's works ...

Probably because Crumb isn't a comic strip artist.

Gatopescado 05-17-2017 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike (Post 20209528)
Even better was a one-off at the same time period, about eating fried clams in coastal Massachusetts. (Tony Millionaire is a native Masshole.). Gorgeous art and very funny text. I would buy the damn original art from him. If someone with better google skills than I could conjure it up, I would just print it out and frame it. "Oh, that clam..."

I've got most of his books, but don't recall that one. If I find it, I'll let you know.

I've got 2 strip originals. "Skunk Cheese" and "Queer Eye". They look great framed on the wall. Tony sends them with extra art on the envelopes. Kinda pricy, though. But, hey, everybody's gotta eat.

Chimera 05-18-2017 01:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 20209128)
Get Fuzzy used to be up there, but it's tough to justify even calling it a "current comic" any more, with as many re-runs as it runs.

I stopped reading it a couple of years back.

From the Wikipedia page;

In 2011, Get Fuzzy began to incorporate more and more reprinted strips into its daily rotation. Initially, these would alternate from week to week with a new strip. Eventually, the reruns became more frequent and by November 2013, the daily Get Fuzzy strips consisted entirely of strips from previous years.

The lack of new content has caused a significant decline in the popularity of Get Fuzzy, and in some cases reader feedback polls have been conducted as to whether or not to keep the strip. One of these was conducted by The Washington Post in October 2013; the paper cited the reruns as the reason for the strip's lack of support and announced that they would be dropping it from the paper.[10] The Seattle Times, which stopped carrying Get Fuzzy on March 3, 2014, said their reasoning was "because the creator is no longer producing new installments."[11]

The Sunday editions of Get Fuzzy have been largely unaffected by this and new installments have continued to appear on a regular basis, much in the same vein of how Bill Amend's FoxTrot does. The difference is that Amend made a conscious decision and an announcement that he would be making the move, while neither Universal Uclick or Darby Conley have ever made an official statement on the status of Get Fuzzy. In addition, Conley has never explained his reasoning for no longer drawing daily strips.

MmeRose 05-19-2017 07:05 AM

So many comics that I'd forgotten about.
Best: Pogo above all, but i also like Far Side, Fabulous Furry Freak Bros. and Fat Freddy's Cat (the original ornery cat comic). As a child, I was fascinated by the soap opera comics, like Mary Worth, Rex Morgan MD and Apt 3-G. Are they still running? I can't believe anyone would read such trash now. I have a vague recollection of Miss Peach and Momma, both by Mel Lazarus.
British strips from Viz Comics: I like Mrs Brady, Old Lady and Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres.

Worst...so many to choose from. I always disliked Peanuts. By the time I "got" .
Doonesbury, I didn't like it. I don't like Garfied, Family Circus, Cathy, Dennis the Menace, but the prize for absolute worst must be shared between the Lockhorns (the worst outdated stereotypes and actually depressing) and Mallard Fillmore (for the reasons given by other Dopers above.

Windchaser 05-19-2017 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MmeRose (Post 20218311)
I have a vague recollection of Miss Peach and Momma, both by Mel Lazarus.

Mel Lazarus arranged for Momma to die when he did. The actual final strip was handled by his wife, but it's pretty fitting.

If I had to pick a 'greatest comic strip of all time', it would be Krazy Kat.

My 'favorite comic strip', though, is Bloom County. (When Breathed brought Bloom County back in 2015, he retconned Outland and Opus out of it. The new strip is really damned good, too.)

I also love Thimble Theater and the old, early Mickey Mouse strips, when it was an adventure comic and he had shootouts with Peg-Leg Pete. My fave webcomic is probably Freefall - it's very scifi, but the slow pace is maddening at times.

My most hated comic strip, just because of the way it went from 'silly' to 'what the hell is this' is Sluggy Freelance.

salinqmind 05-19-2017 10:07 AM

I like Pearls Before Swine, Peanuts, Daddy's Home, Get Fuzzy, and For Better or For Worse. (Mary Worth is still chugging along, somewhat updated, with a new artist. I read it just to read the comments from readers, hilarious!)

I really like Jump Start and Curtis, two strips featuring black families. Jump Start features a cop married to a nurse, and there is a huge, successful family, and it really is fun to read, rather clever.... Curtis is a smart-mouthed 11 year old with a pesky little brother. He has a strong caring small family, and this too is lots of fun. I find myself really caring about Curtis, his unrequited love for a rich girl, his conversations with the barber.

Luann is in college now and she and her friends certainly garner a LOT of attention judging by the hundreds of comments on the sites the strip is featured on. Everyone has an opinion about Luann and what she and her friends should be doing with themselves. Some of the 'fans' sound like they're rooting for certain of the characters to mate, like particular favorite animals in a zoo.

Oh, and I have a real love/hate relationship with The Dinette Set. They are the most maddening, in a very mundane way, characters I have every come across. But so real to life, all you can do is laugh.

Chimera 05-19-2017 11:45 AM

It can sometimes be hit or miss, but I do enjoy The New Adventures of Queen Victoria.

Tom Tildrum 05-19-2017 12:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windchaser (Post 20218330)
Mel Lazarus arranged for Momma to die when he did. The actual final strip was handled by his wife, but it's pretty fitting.

I suppose it's not surprising that none of her own children came to her funeral.

:p

Methyl Ethyl Death 05-19-2017 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 20213235)
Read through it. Was good enough for me to, well, read 900-odd strips of it. Liked the art and general humor with a nerd slant. Not a big fan of parody arcs (that's partially what got me off Sluggy Freelance) but most of these were thankfully short. Looks like the updates are a bit sporadic but I have it linked in my Comic Rocket account now.

Thank you, Jophiel, for taking the time to look it up and giving your review. I agree with you his posts are sporadic. He has many projects and commissions.

Now that I'm on my PC, I can post a link.

http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php

Give the strip at try my fellow dopers. As to the OP: favorites are Calvin & Hobbes and Bloom County. Worst...well, It's been a while since I've read the comics but Zippy the Pinhead never was funny for me.

My two cents.


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