No More Cartoons

It dawned on me last week that the transition of our local newspaper to a weekly format means that we won’t have daily comics anymore. I can access comics online, but it just isn’t the same as holding it in one’s hand in a paper format.

I started to subscribe to the New Yorker magazine when I was in Grade 7, mainly for the cartoons. It didn’t take long for me to take notice the articles, but those cartoons were wonderful. These days my favorite comic strips are Retail (which is ending next week), Luann, and Zits. I also like reading For Better Or Worse. The creator of that comic strip produced it while she  lived in one of the farthest north communities in northern Manitoba where her husband was a dentist. Calvin and Hobbes is also a treasure.

What is your favorite  comic strip or cartoonist? What is it about comics and cartoons that is so appealing?

42 thoughts on “No More Cartoons”

  1. doonsberry the far side calvin and hobbs are the quick answers but beetle bailey blonde hi and lois all make my list before i’m done peanuts is always at the top of the list
    when i was a kid it was a sunday morning ritual to sit on my dads lap and read the sunday funnies after church. bacon and eggs sunday funnies and 9 o’clock mass with my little brother and sister all dressed up in little suits and frilly dresses and polished shoes. 1960 suburban bloomington across the street from the corn field from population 13,000 people as minneapolis became a city with suburbs, they would be putting freeways in soon and the minnesota twins and minnesota vikings were getting ready to move to town

    guess comics are more a memory than a current event
    doonsberry made a brief appearance in high school with confer and his tan but i’m not much of a comics guy today
    jughead batman and superman never really made it either.
    new yorker write a caption to go with the curtain is a fun brain game but i don’t run in to it often enough to make it a regular pleasure
    i agree about a paper in the hand vs online reading
    it’s not the same but it is a real thing
    right after seeing the rich guy in omaha sold the newspapers for a loss i see garnett just closed up another 78 papers because the business model doesn’t work anymore
    the ice wagon is gone
    wooden buckets and now newspapers
    typewriters fountain pens and spats
    what’s next?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Doonesbury was something of a revelation in the 70’s. Political humor on the comics page!

    Loved the Far Side and Bloom County back when.

    These days I like Dilbert, Frank and Ernest, and Mutts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. All time fave was Calvin & Hobbes. I even named my cat Calvin (due to his personality). Other old faves were the Far Side and Doonesbury. Today my faves are Peals Before Swine (especially the agonizingly convoluted puns) and Tundra, both of which we only see in the Sunday Strib because the Owatonna People’s Press funnies are fairly limited. Zits is amazingly consistent.

    And if we can mention Doonesbury as being a political cartoon then we need to include the brilliance of Steve Sack for more than 30 years in the Strib. I remember him as the cartoonist for the Minnesota Daily when I was at the U. Funny and sharp then, just as good today.

    I think the appeal of cartoons is that the social commentary can sneak up on a reader when the characters are animals or kids or lovable losers who aren’t expected to make pithy observations about the world and its shortcomings or absurdities. Pogo was perhaps the best at that in its day. Sometimes the exaggeration in the comics puts reality into perspective and lets us see it from a slightly different angle. A funny cartoon that also makes a sharp social point in four panels or less is a brilliant combination of writing and art.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Political commentary in comics can also go off the rails. I remember when both Al Capp (Lil’ Abner) and Chester Gould (Dick Tracy) started inserting their right wing views, as parodies of current events, into their strips. That was the beginning of the end for both of them.

      We haven’t subscribed to the Minneapolis paper for at least five years, maybe more. Even when we did get the paper I mostly disregarded the comics, except for a couple of the single panels. Some of the regular strips are so incredibly lame, I don’t know what keeps them going.


  4. I grew up loving Pogo so deeply that it affected my speech and my view of the world. I say things every week that only I know are quotes from Pogo. After that, the only strip to touch me so deeply was Calvin and Hobbes. Dick Guindon and Gary Larson will always be my favorite single panel cartoonists.

    But first, last and always, I’m a Pogo guy.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. To the best of my knowledge, Pogo was never run in the Minneapolis papers. I remember being surprised as a youngster to discover that other people in other places had papers with different comics.


        1. I looked it up. Apparently it didn’t come to Minneapolis until sometime in 1969. By then I was in college and living in a crappy apartment and not taking the paper. Kelly stopped cartooning in 1972 and died in 1973.


        2. Walt Kelly was the only man I ever saw on live TV who was obviously drunk during the filming. I was crushed to see a cultural hero four sheets to the wind. This was the Steve Allen Show, which could be quite good. He brought Kelly on because Kelly had just released “Songs of the Pogo.” Steve Allen obviously knew his guest was impaired. At one point he offered, “Hey, Walt, why don’t we go through a few bars of these songs?” Kelly slurred, “Sure! I went through a few bars on my way down here!”


  5. We get all seven days of the STrib – mostly because Husband and I prefer the comics in print. Husband has all sorts of online comics he reads, but the strips in the paper are different. Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Boondocks (when that was still around), Bloom County… I have a fondness for Heart of the City as well (I am married to a slightly grown-up Dean). Berkeley Breathed has been publishing new Bloom Counties online – that is one comic I will read regularly in that format. The social commentary and Opus just being Opus feeds my soul.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I don’t have much new to offer. Guindon kept me going for years with his lumpy Minnesota people in their winter garb. Doonesbury was so thrilling with his version of political satire in the 70s and 80s. Now I go for the Flying McCoys and Argyle Sweater. I also often appreciate the STRIB’s Sack with his political satire.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Guindon cartoon I will never forget showed a lumpy Minnesotan next to a car with a flat tire. The man has just bounced a wadded bit of paper off the flat tire. The caption: “Another liberal throwing money at a problem.”

      Liked by 2 people

  7. HI-

    I’ve said before we share the paper with our neighbors; they get it and then leave it for us.
    Sometimes that means it might be a few days before we get it. And then since the Post Bulletin doesn’t publish on Fridays, Saturdays paper will have the color Sunday comics, plus Friday and Saturdays daily comics.
    I remember when they used to be 5 or 6 pages and the comics were big enough you could read them. Now they’re all tiny and smushed into two color pages.

    In my younger days I had the full series of ‘Dennis the Menace’ “Pocket Full of Fun” books. A bit longer stories rather than just a daily panel.
    Those too, from the time I started getting them in the mid ’70’s to the last ones in the 80’s, shrunk.

    These days it’s Berkley Breathed and Opus are the favorites like Anna says. And I think the two of them have gotten both more sharp witted and more sentimental than their earlier days.
    I used to buy the Strib daily and it was always amusing how Mark Trail could never seem to stay out of trouble. Talk about a soap opera. No sooner had he rescued one animal (which took 6 weeks) and he’d get home for a day and then was engaged in some new animal peril. Ridiculous! Or am I giving too much merit to a comic strip??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mark is currently on a mountain in search of the yeti… in a snowstorm… with a guy who is probably not right in the head. Only thing that his different with this particular storyline is that the animal in question is probably not real. But he will go home to Cherry, whose hair has not changed since sometime in the Carter administration and give her a smooch, he will go fishing with Rusty and all will be right with the world.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve been waiting for the time to mention this. Hunters, especially archery hunters, have a new toy called a “trail cam.” These aren’t very expensive. Hunters put out a bunch of them to monitor game trails. These things photograph every critter to pass by, including the day and time of day, for weeks on end. Nobody knows how many trail cams are in use today, but it is obviously several hundred thousand. The end product of all this secret wilderness photography is remarkable. I’ve seen a photo of a raccoon riding on the back of a wild boar. But not one photo of Bigfoot.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. We have a trail cam at the end of our driveway to keep an eye on miscreants. I get lots of deer and turkeys walking by. The occasional neighbors dog (with neighbor) and utility vehicles coming to the various towers down the road.
          Close ups of the snowplow coming in or my machinery going by. The worst photos are me coming up close and leaning in to change the card. Yikes! Ew! Do I look like that when doing that??

          The guys that hunt our place have several out in the woods. Sometimes out on the 4 wheeler we’ll see one. We wave at theirs, they wave at mine. If they’re good enough photos we send them to each other. It’s hard to time; you don’t know if they’re on delay, or when exactly it’s taking a photo so trying to time a kiss with Kelly is sheer luck to be captured.
          And once, when the camera had stopped working but it was still out there, there was a note stuck too it one day asking me to call. Seems the FedEx driver stopped there and uh… relieved himself. Wasn’t until he was done he saw the camera and he wanted to be sure it wasn’t a minor reading the card or anything. He was terribly embarrassed and grateful it wasn’t actually working.
          I have caught several people just out where they really didn’t need to be. And odd vehicles parking. If I get the plate I send it on to the deputy and they follow up.
          Once, saw a guy going in about 3AM. Came back out 20 minutes later.
          Later that day, the AT&T cell tower repair man was in working. I let him know I had someone in there at 3:00 but he was busy and ornery and didn’t really have time for me. Didn’t seem to care.
          Later on, when he finally figured out the guy had indeed cut a wire thinking it was copper only to find out it wasn’t really, he came down and apologized and I got him a copy of the person and notified law enforcement.

          Mine are all infrared cameras so the nefarious types don’t see the flash at night. The animals can though; they often look started when they’re caught up close.

          Liked by 4 people

  8. I like the Calvin and Hobbes storyline in which he duplicates himself, and all the other Calvin’s take turns going to school and get into all sorts of trouble. In the end he puts them in a box labeled “transmogrifier ” and changes them into worms.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I especially liked the retro artwork in the storylines that featured dinosaurs and outer space.
      My granddaughter was a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes when she was seven or eight and read all the compilations of the strips. She’s moved on from those. It’s just as well—they gave her too many ideas and, unlike Calvin she’s not indestructible.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. My favorite has for a long time been Arlo & Janis – I think it’s still in the Strib, which I don’t see regularly anymore) – a couple of aging hippies…
    And from the past, certainly Calvin and Hobbes, and For Better or For Worse (I would by books of these). Also like Sally Forth, though haven’t kept up.

    Loved Guindon and Farside, and I got a big charge out of The Neighborhood. What a skill to be able to do satire (or whatever type of humor) with a one-frame drawing and a clever caption!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Can’t really make claim to being an avid cartoon reader. I read them only sporadically. Used to read Doonesbury pretty religiously when it first came out back when I was in college. I also liked Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. Pearls Before Swine is husband’s favorite, I think. He shares when he sees one he likes.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I just got out my remaining C & H book: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, and realize again that Watterson is nothing less than brilliant. And the beginning pages are an additional story about the monsters in his night-time room, told in very cleaver rhyme – he could give Dale a run for his money! Here’s an excerpt:
    “Suddenly a floorboard creak
    Announces the bloodsucking freak
    Is here to steal my future years away!
    A sulf’rous smell now fills the room
    Heralding my imm’nent doom!
    A fang gleams in the dark and murky gray!”

    Liked by 3 people

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