Comic Strips you love, and love to hate

The Get Fuzzy thread got me to thinking–well, that and I have The Comics Curmudgeon bookmarked.

Those of you who read the Funny Pages, what comics do you genuinely, unironically enjoy? For me, it’s Sally Forth, Pearls Before Swine, and the old-timey Peanuts.

I also adore Mary Worth and Mark Trail, because they are both a perfect car-accident of bad writing and bad artwork. Mary Worth in particular looks like a ransom note, with odd body parts and facial features cut from other comics and pasted together by a blind toddler.

Oh! And the unbelievably pedo-creepy Love Is. I swear, if you did a photographed or live-action version of that, you would be in the Federal Pen for 20-life. The fact that the naked toddlers carry briefcases to work or sometimes wear pearls or neckties makes them even pornier.

Bizarro, which is the best-drawn comic out there

Cul de Sac

Non Sequitur, but only when it’s the single panel comic. I really dislike the multiple panels dealing with the people in the Maine bar, etc.

Get Fuzzy, most of the time

Pearls Before Swine, some of the time

Close to Home has its moments, but it’s so poorly drawn that it puts me off

In The Bleachers in the Sunday funnies

I also look at the old Peanuts from time to time.

I used to love Tundra, but it’s not in the local paper.

Most of the others, I can’t stand. Prince Valiant, Hagar, the child-centric stuff like Family Circus.

The paper I get has a poll every so often to determine reader favorites. It’s a general rule of thumb that the higher a strip places, the less I like it. About the only one I read every day is Doonesbury.
Usually read Tundra, Non Sequitor, Diamond Lil, Rymes with Orange, Crankshaft and Pearls Before Swine.
Glance at Luanne and if it’s Toni-Brad I might read it but not if it’s Luanne-Gunther. I think they are rerunning old ones lately.

Was looking at the paper as I post this (because I didn’t know the names of some of those) and just noticed Get Fuzzy is gone.

Unironically, I like Mister Boffo. The other day it had toddlers picking up their toys pro bono, which is funnier than anything the nudie kids do in Love Is.

Ironically, another vote for Mark Trail. I love the plots that don’t quite make sense, the lack of contractions, and the dialog that’s always one note off-key.

The ultimate two: The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes

Current Favorites: Sally Forth, Foxtrot, Rhymes with Orange

Ones I read and enjoy: Zits and Dilbert

Ones I read because I used to enjoy and now I just read: Blondie and Family Circus.

Ones I hate: The Soapy ones are a waste of space. Years ago my paper carried a strip called The Fusco Brothers. It was aggressively horrible. The jokes were either nonsensical or completely obvious and the art was awful. I would sure it was some sort of meta parody of a comic but it was in my paper for years until they did a huge purge and cut their comics page in half.

Related tangent: years ago a friend and I tried to sell a comic strip that I wrote and he drew. We shopped it around but it didn’t sell. I love comic strips.

What’s the one with the haphazardly drawn cats where they use “sh” rather than an s, sho they shay thingsh like thish?

I have married friends who talk that annoying way to each other, and it reminds me of them.

Mutts. I used to like it, but it’s grown tiresome.



Get Fuzzy
Pearls Before Swine
Doonesbury at least some of the time
Frazz more often than not
Non Sequitur fairly often


Family Circus because oh god this is where humor goes to bleed out on the cold ground while Billy leaves little turds over and around it.
Cathy because it is feminism as imagined by someone who thinks Mallard Fillmore is too modern.
The Lockhorns because it is the same handful of notes played incessantly through the decades; it is a symphony by Glass if Glass were a Faulknerian idiot-child and also he hates you.

Like Ironically:

Dick Tracy because it is a nearly abstract symphony of violence; the art has become more representational but the plots have not, and the violence remains.
Mark Trail because it is so emotionally repressed it verges on Autism and the animals are more naturalistic than the freakishly ugly and badly-proportioned people.

In a special category and so a special post:

Peanuts because braaains! but it is a form-defining classic that invented American comics as we know them and it is damn good in its own right; the counter-argument to continuing to run it is because it takes increasingly-valuable space from new artists but most of the talented new artists (the ones you’d want to read) are doing webcomics now anyway so what does it matter.

Peanuts will have a permanent berth in the form it re-defined until that form is gone forever which may well happen within the lifetimes of many of us here.

  1. Love: Luanne, Get Fuzzy, Baby Blues, Mutts, Pearls Before Swine, 9 Chickweed Lane.

  2. Hate: Gil Thorpe, Mark Trail, Gasoline Alley, Adam, Rex Morgan.

Though I don’t ‘love’ everything about the first or ‘hate’ everything about the second bunch. It can get complicated. Who doesn’t love the artwork of 9CL? But the tiresome Amos is still dragged on like some kind of love god. Rex Morgan is drawn pretty well, but the storylines go at the pace of an elderly turtle.

Yeah, I love the artwork, but it has really upped its twee factor and become soppy and adowable.


No love for Stone Soup so far?

That’s my favorite in the post-Calvin&Hobbes world.

Like: Baby Blues (I thought it was clever even before I got married and had a child now it hits close to home)
Get Fuzzy ('cause, yeah)
Bizarro (acceptable Far Side knockoff)
Non Sequitur (a comprehensible version of Doonesbury)

Can’t stand: Sally Forth (I read it often trying to comprehend why it would make anyone laugh)
The Boondocks (if the characters races were reversed it would be drowned in accusations of racism)
RIP: Foxtrot, C&H, Far Side

I stopped reading this one years ago because of this. It’s gotten worse?

Love: Pearls Before Swine, Get Fuzzy, Zits, Cul de Sac

Like: Foxtrot, Dilbert, Baby Blues

Read just because: Family Circus, Blondie, Hagar the Horrible

Hate: Mallard Fillmore, anything with an ongoing plot (particularly when said plot isn’t funny)

I like Brewster Rocket: Space Guy!, Cul de Sac, Dilbert, Rhymes with Orange, and Frazz.

Zippy the Pinhead. I completely don’t get it at all, but I’m strangely fascinated by it. I don’t even know if it’s still being produced.

If defunct comics count, my top two are Calvin and Hobbes and Bloom County, in that order.

Favorites: Pearls Before Swine, Watch your Head, Cul de Sac, Lio, XKCD.

Pretty Good: Frazz, Zits, Bizarro, Doonesbury, Stone Soup, Big Nate, Baldo

Used To Be Great, Now Just OK: Dilbert, Get Fuzzy

Better Than You’d Expect: Blondie, Luann (NOT “Luanne”! Can’t anyone read the damn title!), Close To Home (although the artwork sucks).

R.I.P.: Bloom County (although Outland and Opus both sucked, go figure), Calvin & Hobbes, daily Foxtrot, The Far Side, Peanuts, Liberty Meadows, Lucky Cow, Eyebeam.

Give It Up, Already: Gasoline Alley (Walt is literally 111 years old - let him go!), Family Circus, B.C. (both were actually funny at one time, like 40-50 years ago).

Hated: Mallard Fillmore, Mutts (I’ve always been annoyed by the slurred talk, oh yesh), Dinette Set (the worst art and perpetually filled with inside jokes).

Wow. As horribly unsuccessful as it is, I honestly did not expect to see this. Thank you. I’m the guy responsible.

(Although, I’ve put my own comedy credentials in doubt defending Allen Gregory in another thread.)

Love: Frazz, Luann, Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, The Far Side

Like: XKCD, Rose is Rose, Two Lumps, NPC, Peanuts, Sally Forth

Used to like, not so much anymore: *Dilbert *(I gave up on it when he posted his misogynistic rant on his blog), Garfield

Hate: *Doonesbury *(yeah, I know, don’t start), Family Circus, Mary Worth, *Pogo *(I know. Sacrilege! But there you go), Cathy, The Lockhorns, Andy Capp