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Author Topic: Comic strips  (Read 5558 times)
Glen Davis
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« on: May 09, 2012, 06:26:15 PM »

Between the newspaper and the computer, I read way too many comic strips, so I figured I'd review them.

Mutts:  Offensively lame, but loved by many, and seems to be respected by cartoonists themselves.  I don't see the appeal.

Get Fuzzy:  At one time a brilliant strip, arguably the best in syndication, then it happened.  Like so many people in 2006-2008, Darby Conley got Bush Derangement Syndrome.  The quality of the strip quickly plummeted, as the focus of the strip changed from Bucky driving everybody else crazy, to everybody making fun of Bucky, and a lot of lame social and political commentary go shoe horned in.  Only now is it beginning to recover.  Too bad.
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Glen Davis
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 06:35:44 PM »

Family Circus:   A beloved zombie strip (nomenclature for a strip that continues after the death or retirement of its original creator) this single panel strip has been popular for ages.  It seems most popular among small children and old people.  I really enjoyed it until I was about 6 or 7 years old, after which it lost my affection due to the cloying sentimentality.

For Better Or Worse:  A brilliant strip in the 70s, the quality fell off, as the author's children grew up, she took on art assistants, and her marriage dissolved.  Seduced by siren call of drama, the strip became a long series of after school specials in panel form.  Way too many strips take this way out, as it is hard to be funny day in and day day, 7 days a week.

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 06:50:34 PM »

I kinda love the recaptioned Family Circus, especially the Lovecraft ones.
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Glen Davis
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 07:09:23 PM »

Andy Capp:  Another zombie strip, this comic about a drunken soccer hooligan and his long suffering wife is on the wrong side of political correctness, and as a result many papers have pulled the feature.  As a result, this 60 year old strip is on the counter cultural edge.  If anything, it's funnier than it was 20 years ago.
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 07:46:19 PM »

Speaking of Bush derangement syndrome, Non Sequitor buries itself each day under its own pomposity.

I find Lio often clever. Kind of like if Gahan Wilson's Playboy cartoons had a child.

Dilbert still cracks me up. A deceptively complex strip and one of the only ones that does a one-two gag.

Get Fuzzy's creator has forgotten he's doing a daily strip not a graphic novel sliced into bite sized pieces.

If Hagar the Horrible were ever funny they would have to put the strip on the front page because that would be the biggest news of the day.

Of on-line comics I really like Savage Chickens. And I've kind of become friends with the creator. We email to and fro often.
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 08:12:50 PM »

For Better or Worse is now just reruns of the olds strips, right? And is she legally obligated to change the name since she herself couldn't marry for better or worse?  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 08:36:28 PM »

I love Dilbert. Used to really like Fox Trot, but haven't read it in a long time so I'm not sure if the quality is where it used to be or not. Anyone know? Currently reading through the collected volumes of Peanuts.
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 08:44:03 PM »

Me too! My Mom buys me the two volumes a year every Christmas. In a few years I will have read every Peanuts strip ever made. It's a crazy thought.
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 11:31:53 PM »

Pearls Before Swine is a strip that I wish more newspapers will carry.
Get Fuzzy still has its moments. Too bad they are few and far between.
Rose is Rose I don't get and think is a waste of paper and Ink
Who still reads Mary Worth?
Long for the days of Far Side and Bloom County
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 05:43:46 AM »

My description of Andy Capp would be more workshy layabout than hooligan but it's still class.  They once tried to make a live-action comedy based on it, not good.

Beau Peep and a Man called Horace are by the same creative teams and riff Foreign Legion and Westerns pretty well.

If you come across a strip by Rich Brookes avoid like the plague.  Staggeringly unfunny.

By contrast, it used to appear (until I assume it cancelled, I hope) with Nemi in a paper over here.

Nemi is a gem of strip and argubly my fav at the moment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemi_(comic_strip)

It has some political themes on occasion but rarely beats you over the head with it and normally done with great humour (YMMV).
Plus
"Nemi's heroes are Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, André Bjerke, J. R. R. Tolkien, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P., The Phantom Blot, Darth Vader and Batman"

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Glen Davis
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2012, 11:21:40 AM »

I love Dilbert. Used to really like Fox Trot, but haven't read it in a long time so I'm not sure if the quality is where it used to be or not. Anyone know? Currently reading through the collected volumes of Peanuts.

Bill Amend, the creator of Foxtrot, has semi retired, and gone to Sundays only.  The strip is as good as ever, but only appears once a week.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 11:54:46 AM by Glen Davis » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 12:01:26 PM »

Dennis the Menace was a great one panel strip, from its inception in the 50s, to some time in the Carter administration.  The strip has inspired a TV series, a cartoon series, movies, and more knock offs than you can imagine.  At some point, Dennis became less of menace, and more of a cute panel like Family Circus.  Now it's a zombie strip.

Marmaduke is a giant dog.  That's the whole joke of the strip, which has lasted for years and years.  This one also had a cartoon series.  The strip and the cartoon were both pretty lame.
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 12:12:41 PM »

Dennis the Menace was a great one panel strip, from its inception in the 50s, to some time in the Carter administration.  The strip has inspired a TV series, a cartoon series, movies, and more knock offs than you can imagine.  At some point, Dennis became less of menace, and more of a cute panel like Family Circus.  Now it's a zombie strip.

Marmaduke is a giant dog.  That's the whole joke of the strip, which has lasted for years and years.  This one also had a cartoon series.  The strip and the cartoon were both pretty lame.

And a movie.

And multiple references on Monk. It was apparently Monk's favorite comic strip.
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Glen Davis
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 12:13:56 PM »

And most people consider that a part of his mental disorder.
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 12:15:01 PM »

Dennis the Menace was a great one panel strip, from its inception in the 50s, to some time in the Carter administration.  The strip has inspired a TV series, a cartoon series, movies, and more knock offs than you can imagine.  At some point, Dennis became less of menace, and more of a cute panel like Family Circus.  Now it's a zombie strip.

Marmaduke is a giant dog.  That's the whole joke of the strip, which has lasted for years and years.  This one also had a cartoon series.  The strip and the cartoon were both pretty lame.

I used to have a coworker who would faithfully read Marmaduke each day and would typically remark afterwards how Marmaduke was JUST like her dog.  As our Features editor told me early on, "Every strip has its fans."
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Thlayli
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2012, 01:31:11 PM »

Dennis the Menace was a great one panel strip, from its inception in the 50s, to some time in the Carter administration.  The strip has inspired a TV series, a cartoon series, movies, and more knock offs than you can imagine.  At some point, Dennis became less of menace, and more of a cute panel like Family Circus.  Now it's a zombie strip.

Marmaduke is a giant dog.  That's the whole joke of the strip, which has lasted for years and years.  This one also had a cartoon series.  The strip and the cartoon were both pretty lame.

As a child, I never tired of Marmaduke...
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John Morgan 'Bat' Neal
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2012, 01:50:26 PM »

I share a like for some that have been mentioned.  Two that haven't been mentioned are the long running strip The Born Loser and the more recent Monty (formerly Robot Man).  I like them both.
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Glen Davis
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2012, 01:53:38 PM »

I share a like for some that have been mentioned.  Two that haven't been mentioned are the long running strip The Born Loser and the more recent Monty (formerly Robot Man).  I like them both.

I'll get to'em!  Don't worry!
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2012, 01:55:54 PM »

Ugh, The Born Loser. If it were a person, I would hate crime it.
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2012, 01:57:27 PM »

Heh.  I worry not.  But one more thing about The Born Loser.  It really was ripe to be made into a 60's sitcom.  


Ugh, The Born Loser. If it were a person, I would hate crime it.

Philistine. 
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Rex Dart
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2012, 02:04:51 PM »

As a child, I never tired of Marmaduke...

I always liked Marmaduke myself - and still do, actually, though it's not like I actively seek out the strip every day or am lobbying for Fantagraphics to come out with a super-deluxe Complete Marmaduke Omnibus or anything.

But Marmaduke works:
1. Marmaduke is a really big dog, and:
2. Really big dogs are funny.

Sometimes, that's enough.

I think I'm the only person to have "comics movie adaptation nerdrage" (subdued as it was) over Marmaduke.  Look, Marmaduke is just a dog.  He doesn't talk, doesn't have thought balloons, and just acts like a dog, but for the commonly-observed canine principle of "He thinks he's people."  Look here, Marmaduke movie, he never even approaches Scooby-Doo levels, let alone all-out "talking dog" status!
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2012, 02:06:00 PM »

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/09/the_10_newspaper_comic_strips_that_need_to_fking_e.php

Rob Bricken lays out the case for a lot of strips here. Salty language.
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2012, 02:10:43 PM »

This Rob guy is a nerk.   The Born Loser has some genuinely funny strips.  That is all I require out of a gag strip.  If one provides more like The Far Side and Bloom County, all the better.  But as always we become spoiled by things like those and Calvin and Hobbes. 

Here is a truth.  Every comic strip will NEVER be to the quality those were.  And also many people don't like them. 
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Glen Davis
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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2012, 02:11:00 PM »

Sometimes comic strips completely change concept over time.

Blondie was originally a sort of soapy, though humorous strip about the adventures of a flapper.  As the Great Depression deepened, and flappers were on the way out, Chic Young married Blondie Boopadoop to rich playboy, Dagwood Bumstead, who lost his inheritance as a result, forcing him to go to work for Mr. Dithers.  Still a popular strip to this day.  Not groundbreaking, but reliably humorous.  A zombie strip that has somehow maintained a level of quality.  Inspired a series of movies, and many comic books.  I still have some premium glasses from an A&W promotion.  I wish someone would reprint this from the beginning.

Monty was originally Robotman, a little strip about a robot from space hanging out on earth.  Popular enough to inspire a cartoon.  As time went on, the creator decided to focus on Monty, Robotman's roommate, and wrote the little guy out of the strip.  Still fairly good.  I think the best storyline ever was the biker gang from the late 80s.

Pirahana Club:  Originally Ernie, this strip based in Bayonne, New Jersey, featured the adventures of Ernie, sort of a loser, and his Uncle Sid, a sharpie and con man.  At times, it was hilarious.  As time went on, the series began to focus more on Sid's lodge, The Pirahana Club, and so changed its name.  Now, Ernie is married to Doris, and has a child.  Not quite as conistently wacky and funny as it used to be, it still has its moments.  I do wonder about Bo Grace's continuing obsession with Quacko and the Bearded Lady.
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« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2012, 02:13:38 PM »

Robotman got really, really funny after a few years. I really like his art style as well.
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« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2012, 02:21:05 PM »

John Rose, the current writer and artist of Snuffy Smith lives locally and still does political cartoons for the local paper (or at least I think he does, it's been awhile since I read the local paper).
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John Morgan 'Bat' Neal
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« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2012, 02:28:08 PM »

Sometimes comic strips completely change concept over time.

Blondie was originally a sort of soapy, though humorous strip about the adventures of a flapper.  As the Great Depression deepened, and flappers were on the way out, Chic Young married Blondie Boopadoop to rich playboy, Dagwood Bumstead, who lost his inheritance as a result, forcing him to go to work for Mr. Dithers.  Still a popular strip to this day.  Not groundbreaking, but reliably humorous.  A zombie strip that has somehow maintained a level of quality.  Inspired a series of movies, and many comic books.  I still have some premium glasses from an A&W promotion.  I wish someone would reprint this from the beginning.

Monty was originally Robotman, a little strip about a robot from space hanging out on earth.  Popular enough to inspire a cartoon.  As time went on, the creator decided to focus on Monty, Robotman's roommate, and wrote the little guy out of the strip.  Still fairly good.  I think the best storyline ever was the biker gang from the late 80s.

Pirahana Club:  Originally Ernie, this strip based in Bayonne, New Jersey, featured the adventures of Ernie, sort of a loser, and his Uncle Sid, a sharpie and con man.  At times, it was hilarious.  As time went on, the series began to focus more on Sid's lodge, The Pirahana Club, and so changed its name.  Now, Ernie is married to Doris, and has a child.  Not quite as conistently wacky and funny as it used to be, it still has its moments.  I do wonder about Bo Grace's continuing obsession with Quacko and the Bearded Lady.

I love the old Blondie movies and the strip has been a fave. 

I love The Piranha Club/Ernie.  I adore Sid and his cronies. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2012, 02:32:31 PM »

It's striking to me how many of even the zombiest of today's zombie strips were actually cutting-edge once upon a time.  Like, say, The Wizard of Id.
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2012, 03:13:47 PM »

It's striking to me how many of even the zombiest of today's zombie strips were actually cutting-edge once upon a time.  Like, say, The Wizard of Id.

I remember what Rose Is Rose was like before it became the comic strip equivilant of CCM music, and it was a pretty different animal. Funnier, I think, though I was pretty young, so we'll call my memory an unreliable narrator in this instance.

You're not making Christianity better, you're making the comics page worse!
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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2012, 03:44:43 PM »

As a child, I never tired of Marmaduke...

I always liked Marmaduke myself - and still do, actually, though it's not like I actively seek out the strip every day or am lobbying for Fantagraphics to come out with a super-deluxe Complete Marmaduke Omnibus or anything.

But Marmaduke works:
1. Marmaduke is a really big dog, and:
2. Really big dogs are funny
.

Sometimes, that's enough.

I think I'm the only person to have "comics movie adaptation nerdrage" (subdued as it was) over Marmaduke.  Look, Marmaduke is just a dog.  He doesn't talk, doesn't have thought balloons, and just acts like a dog, but for the commonly-observed canine principle of "He thinks he's people."  Look here, Marmaduke movie, he never even approaches Scooby-Doo levels, let alone all-out "talking dog" status!

Words of Iron.

A neighbor of mine had a Great Dane puppy that would maul the family Christmas tree every time they weren't looking. He had huge goofy feet that he could hardly get going in the same direction. Funny dog...
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