10 Pages of Comics = Three Laughs. This is fuzzy math indead.

Count me in with BigStar303 – Johnny Hart isn’t just unfunny, but his far-right political bludgeoning leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

The most recent example that comes to mind were several strips during the November election/Florida fiasco – Hart ran several strips about a “Democrat vote counter” doll that “keeps recounting votes until the cows come home,” or something similar. Har har har. And I vaguely recall assorted “Jesus died for our sins” Christmas-themed strips, along with several school-prayer strips.

I can forgive Hart for the above if his strips were at least funny, but they’re not – they’re just stereotypical right-wing opinionation hidden behind a thin veneer of “oh, it’s just a comic strip”.

And sure, Garry Trudeau’s been opinionating in Doonesbury for years, but at least Trudeau skewers everyone regardless of political party or position (witness this week’s run on Clinton’s continued troubles). Hart is politically neutral unless he finds an opportunity to cheer for the GOP, and that kind of blatant political grandstanding is nauseating to me.

Yeah, I remember that “Democratic doll” strip now. There was an element of self-parody in that, though, because it’s 30 years since anybody told wind-up-doll jokes. I like the cleverness and the, ah, chutzpa of his Christian allegories; and I give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evolution jokes. Clams, after all, got legs.

The one-legged poet guy would be Wiley, BTW. Christian’s got prehistoric apologists!

Hi, there! I am an apteryx; a wingless bird with hairy feathers.

Since this seems to have been hijacked into a BC thread…

I had a couple mass market books of the early (1959-1961) strips when I was younger, and by God BC used to be FUNNY! Hard to believe, eh?

I have to admit that I do look forward to Hart’s Easter and Christmas Sunday strips. Chuzpah ain’t the word for it. I remember the first overtly Christian one from a few years back…prehistoric cavemen washing themselves clean of sin in the blood of a messiah who wouldn’t put in an appearance for thousands and thousands of years. So over the TOP bizarre you had to love it.

I agree that the Sunday funnies are rarely laugh-inducing, yet somehow, I cannot turn away. I guess just the hope that TODAY will be the day, that just with another turn of the page I might find the FUNNIEST COMIC OF ALL TIME. Alas, time and time again I am disappointed.

The ones I really miss are:

  • The Far Side (there are many poor, sad imitations out there, but nothing comes close to the original)
  • Zippy (used to run in the KC Star when I lived there.)
  • Life in Hell (before it turned into the Akbar and Jeff saga every week)
  • Calvin and Hobbes (Heavy sigh…)

Not missed:

  • Peanuts (NEVER FUNNY)
  • Any “serial” comic like Girls in Apt 3G or Brenda Starr
  • Dilbert (Yeah, working in an office sucks…HA, HA, HA–enough already!!)

It’s TRUE!! Remember “Clams got legs”? I’m not sure what happened to B.C. Is this one of the ones where the founder died/retired and his son took over for him?

Strips I like:
Dilbert (usually)
Garfield (occasionally)
Non Sequitur (sometimes)

Strips I hate:
Family Circus (NEVER funny)
Dennis the Menace (ditto)
And my least favorite of all…

Mallard Fillmore! Can’t believe no one has mentioned this one yet, especially with the seeming near-consensus on B.C.'s political slant. Not only is MF slightly to the right of Genghis Khan, not only is it never funny, but it’s ALSO unrelentingly negative! This guy (Bruce Tinsley is his name, I believe) sees nothing good about ANYTHING! He’s ALWAYS complaining about something. Drives me up a wall.

And strips I miss:
Calvin & Hobbes
The Far Side
Bloom County (snif!)

I don’t even recognize half the strips people have been talking about; of course, I don’t live in a major market area. Our Sunday comics page only has one complete sheet of newsprint (4 “pages” as they’re typically counted, I think).

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Sherman’s Lagoon, which is available at the Washington Post’s website (M-Sa) and in the comic strip section of AOL (7 days). It’s a hoot a good 85% of the time.

One Big Happy is a family-style strip, often relying on “cute kids.” But the kids are so real (and when they aren’t they’re usually surreal) that it’s often fun.

Frank and Earnest has a certain wisdom to it.

I have a weakness for For Better or For Worse. The author’s a pretty good writer, and although occasionally it’s a bit disease-of-the-week-y, her plots usually have some oomph to them. I’ll always remember one of her strips from about 15 years ago:

(Mother and two kids, about 11 and 7, are watching new neighbors move in. They’re white; the new neighbors are an Asian family with two children.)

Boy: Mom! Lookit, they’re…!
Mom: Shush.
Boy: But Mom, they’re…!
Mom (increasingly frantic): Hush! (grabs boy)
Boy: But Mom, (squirms away) they’re our age!
(Mom looks up, a little stricken but clearly mostly at herself.)

Zippy the Pinhead still runs – it’s in the Boston Globe.
B.C. was funny for a lot longer than 1959-1961. I haven’t read it for a few years (not in my papers), and was surprised that so many people were putting it down – BC used to be a HOOT. But I guess Hart has gotten really conservative in his old age (I don’t think he’s turned the strip over to anyone).

BTW – “B.C.” stands for “Broome County (New York)”, I’m pretty sure. Hart lives here, or did. He used to work for General Electric, and based some of his characters on people who worked there. (I learned this when I was an employee of G.E. Binghamton several years ago). The local gold course still holds the “B.C.Open”, using B.C, characters as mascots. In fact, there’s a lot of “B.C.” this and “B.C.” that in Broome County. I strongly suspect that Brekeley Breathed named “Bloom County” after Broome County.

Sherman’s Lagoon? Bah. It’s a waste of time that the Chicago Tribune uses as filler when the Universal Syndicate artists (FoxTrot, Doonesbury, etc) are on vacation.

It’s gotten to the point where I know read all my comics on the web, eschewing the 9-1 ratio of bad-to-good that the Tribune runs (and if you want to be depressed, note that they base it somewhat on a yearly poll of readers that runs with a Sunday comic section. Who the hell votes for Brenda Starr? (apologies to columnist Mary Schmich, a fine writer for the Tribune, who also writes “Brenda Starr”)).

That said, here’s my daily list:


Liberty Meadows

Rose is Rose



MegaTokyo (seen at http://www.MegaTokyo.com - two gamer freaks stuck in Japan. Works wonderfully as both humor at these two likeable lugnuts, and as satire on computer games and anime. Also great for the writer and artist rants. Runs M-W-F)

Exploitation Now (seen at http://www.exploitationnow.com/ - not for the faint of heart, but pretty damn funny if you love jokes about plotting to have Britney Spears’ breasts explode so that they take out Carson Daley and at least three of the Backstreet Boys).

For Better And For Worse - best written comic in America, bar none. Especially noteworthy for being the one comic I know of that works on so many levels, and is the only one I would give the proper description of as a “Family” strip. Well drawn, never mean, but can get an edge in on those who deserve it with the best of them. And for we Ugly Americans, it teaches us a bit about Canada (though I still have trouble wrapping my mind around Grade 13).

Boondocks. The whole Nader-Cleo-BET marital spat saga had me in stitches.


Red Meat, though I do read that one on paper in the CHicago Reader.

City, by Derf. Also in the Reader.

I have to add to the list “9 Chickweed Lane.” I think there’s some pretty funny stuff in there, and the art and the timing are hard to beat.

Re: B.C. Here’s one item no one has mentioned about his strip. What are the women named? “The Fat Broad,” and “The Skinny Broad.” Funny, huh? Nyet.

Ooh!! That reminds me; has anyone else read “Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet”? It’s a comic strip that I’ve only seen on the web (sorry, I don’t have a link; a co-worker e-mailed it to me weeks ago), and it is funnier than any comic strip I’ve seen in years. Sort of a modern, net-aware, Bloom County with a wonderful female lead character (sexy systems administrator). God, it’s great.

And “For Better and For Worse” is a good strip, most notable for actually LETTING PEOPLE FOR GOD’S SAKES AGE!!! I can’t think of a single other major strip where people actually get older. Well, Doonesbury, sort of, but the characters actually don’t LOOK all that much different (improvement [some would say “slickifying”, if that were a word] of Trudeau’s drawing talent notwithstanding) than they did 20 years ago.

LindyHopper writes:

And “For Better and For Worse” is a good strip, most notable for actually LETTING PEOPLE FOR GOD’S SAKES AGE!!! I can’t think of a single other major strip where people actually get older.
Older strips used to do this, most notably “Gasoline Alley.” Of course, I never liked that strip.

Someone mentioned the death of Fred Lasswell. Here’s a link to an AP obit. http://www.legacy.com/LegacySubPage1.asp?Page=APStory&Id=965

Not that I condone Snuffy Smith or anything, but there you are if you’re interested.

Yeah, “used to” seems to be the operative phrase.

If you’re generous and figure that Walt Wallet was only 18 when Skeezix was left on his doorstep in 1920 (he was probably older than that), that makes him close to 99 by now – and he seems awfully spry for that age. Still takes his annual walk through the woods with Skeezix (who turned 81 himself on Valentine’s Day), and seems to get around quite well.
I agree that “For Better or Worse” is very well done. I’m not real aware of its history, as our paper only began carrying it within the last five years or so, but I enjoy it. Imagine – family members who actually like and care about each other. What a concept!

Big Sherman’s Lagoon fan checking in here. It’s the funniest strip going on days when “Dilbert” isn’t funny.

“Zits” is also good, and “Mother Goose and Grimm” can pull off a real zinger every now and then.

IN this day and age when I can get my news off the net, it’s nice to know I can get my chuckles from there as well.

…but without the annoying and unfunny filler.

So, on a more-or-less daily schedule, I read (Sort of in order of fave):
-Pihranna(sp?) Club
-Sherman’s Lagoon (although sometimes it has its off days)
-User Friendly
-Dilbert (--------------"-----------------------)
-Get Fuzzy
-Liberty Meadows (--------------"-----------------------)
-Mother Goose & Grimm
-9 Chickweed Lane (sometimes a little dry or sentimental)
-The VC Comic
-Free For All (where the hell did THAT go, BTW?)

Then I check out my favorite online cartoon:
-Chilly Beach