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Old 05-10-2017, 09:11 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,945
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

(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.