By Kevin Williams
If you are on my daily e-newsletter I discussed the funnies more there (so sign up if you aren't!). So I won't rehash much here, except to say that the comics remain an "anchor" of the Sunday newspaper. People do NOT like editors messing with their comics, so if you are a comic artist and you happen to land some of the dwindling newspaper real estate, you'll probably be there for a long time. Here are five comics that I generally didn't miss when I was a kid:
THE FAR SIDE: Bar none my favorite. Gary Larson had a way – at least for me – of pushing my “funny button” in a single sentence married to a perfectly pitched illustration. My gosh, I can just crack up reading them. But it seems like you either “get” them or you don’t. I remember my Mom would stare blankly at the panels wondering what was so funny, while my father burst out laughing at them also.
After that the list just is much different, less funny, more witty (in my opinion)
BLONDIE: Bumbling Bumstead and all the characters…there have been some funny moments over the years, but I really just found the comic comforting. Nothing ever changed. Dagwood always plowed over the mailman. It was just a strip one could relate to.
PEANUTS: Charles Schultz was brilliant and the strip was funny sometimes, but it was very engaging, very creative, and hugely comforting as you could always relate to the Peanuts gang. He was a master at the serialized strip and creating visuals (I always would have given anything for a tour of Snoopy's dog house which had a pool table and a Van Gogh painting. And Lucy's "psychiatric help" booth. Priceless.
NANCY: My local Cincinnati Post newspaper carried this comic and I remember finding it funny, although I have not read it in years.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE: Man, I LOVED this comic when I was a kid but then I think it just - in my opinion - went too soap operaish. But when I was a kid, I loved it. Does anyone still read it? Did the cartoonist (Lynn Johnston, I think?) "age" the characters? If so, the comic strip Mom must be shopping around for retirement digs now, or have they stayed the same age?
ARCHIE: Jughead, Archie, Veronica, Betty, Big Moose....was always fun to read about the goings ons at Riverdale High. I always thought Betty was prettier and never understood why Archie was so obsessed with Veronica. Betty hands down prettier and more down to earth.