The Funny Pages

Ok, seems we have a little consensus here that whether or not bloggers are thin-skinned, Doonesbury isn’t particularly funny or sharply observed any longer and hasn’t been for a while. I can go along with that.

So what do you all read on the standard newspaper funny pages (not webcomics)? Can I confess to actually liking Edge City? (Which, coincidentally, is doing a set of strips on blogging at the moment.) It’s about the only “daily life” strip that seems even vaguely contemporary and non-generic, and at times, it’s actually pretty amusing.

I also read The Boondocks, though it takes itself way too seriously at times and is struggling to say anything new.

I have a guilty taste for Funky Winkerbean (though holy shit, man, it’s a bit depressing at times: it would be nice if the strip could go for a week without referencing alcoholism, cancer or post-traumatic stress syndrome). Also I kind of like the schmaltz of For Better or Worse at times.

Really guilty secret: I actually read Rex Morgan M.D. You get sucked into these things and then you can’t help your eyes from wandering to those little boxes just to see what’s happening. How many people think Buck Foxworth’s box that he hid in Rex and June’s house actually has drugs in it? But then I thought he was going to be a deranged grifter who was going to attack June when he was first introduced…

The Philly Inquirer doesn’t carry The Phantom but I’d read that if it did, simply because it’s one of the weirdest strips of all time. Combine Tarzan plus leotards the color of grapes running around in the jungle. That’s only the beginning of the weirdness. It would make a good candidate for a sort of “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” treatment if King Features ever wanted to try and revitalize the strip in some fashion.

This entry was posted in Popular Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Funny Pages

  1. Olivia says:

    For the ultimate guilty pleasure you should try Get Fuzzy. Bucky could kick Garfield’s butt any day.

  2. Berkeley Breathed’s Opus. Scott and Borgman’s Zits. And Kirkman and Scott’s Baby Blues, which has an interesting place in our home–our older girls regularly either read it or ask us to read (and explain) it to them. Reliably, when Melissa and I don’t care much for a particular strip, our kids do. It’s becoming some kind of common comedic language between. I’d prefer it to have been Rocky and Bullwinkle, but you take what you can get…

  3. Timothy Burke says:

    Get Fuzzy is good. Baby Blues is sort of eh, ok, funny sometimes. Zits I don’t know.

    Opus I think is weak–but I didn’t like Bloom County all that much either.

  4. Chris Clarke says:

    I liked Bloom County. I can’t stand Opus. Admittedly, some of that has to do with Breathed’s hype of the strip as the antidote for widespread suckage among all other comics, his insistence on taking up a rather large amount of page real estate as compared to other strips, and his subsequent utter uncreativity and rehashed, two-decade-old ideas.

    Get Fuzzy is very good, though Conley’s judgment has slipped some in the last year. Bizarro and Non Sequitur are alternately annoying and brilliant. Boondocks is occasionally brillaint, more often forgettable. I recognize that Pearls Before Swine is widley considered to be ground-breaking and revolutionary, but to me it’s just unbearably mean-spirited.

    Best art in a newspaper syndicate strip: 9 Chickweed Lane. No contest.

  5. Timothy Burke says:

    9 Chickweed Lane is very well drawn.

    How many papers does Liberty Meadows appear in these days? Any? I seem to remember it was in the WaPo. Of course mentioning Frank Cho’s name in the context of cartooning is usually like sticking a lightning rod up in the middle of a thunderstorm.

  6. pzmyers says:

    My secret ‘toon: Rose is Rose. It’s sappy, it’s got guardian angels, but for some reason, I just like it. I think I identify with Jimbo, but I also like Rose’s secret identity.

  7. Daniel Rosenblatt says:

    For the “somehow compelling though I’m not sure why I even look at it” category I nominate “Gil Thorp”

  8. wolfangel says:

    I still read ‘For better or for worse’; otherwise, I also suggest ‘Rhymes with orange’. We do not have that one, because the local paper apparently feels it is more important to carry Peanuts, Blondie, and Hagar the Horrible (among others).

  9. Simstim says:

    OK, so it’s British, but Biff can be achingly funny sometimes (in the paper world, it appears in the Guardian).

Comments are closed.