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

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!


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